NAPERVILLE, IL — If this is your first time cooking a turkey, the centerpiece of the quintessential Thanksgiving feast, there are experts to turn to for advice on how to marinate, brine, defrost, bake or fry your bird. The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line right here in Naperville is staffed, open and ready to answer your questions.
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For 38 years, the Turkey Talk-Line has responded to tens of thousands of questions during the holiday season. Its experts help with everything from cooking — the Butterball website has gluten-free dinner recipes, as well as tips on how to grill, air fry or deep fry a turkey — to serving and more. Butterball’s helpers are on the job now through Christmas Eve.
“We have many different hats that we wear,” Turkey Talk-Line operator Tara-Rose Groberski told Patch back in 2013. “We’re there to alleviate their angst. Will tell them to take a deep breath and walk them through what they have to do.”
And while it’s been around for decades to talk worried or novice cooks through their looming kitchen ordeals, the hotline keeps up with changing technology. It has added social media and Amazon Alexa to the ways you can reach out for help on what to do with giblets or keep your bird from drying out.
You can text your question to the Butterball turkey experts through 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day; send your text to: 844-877-3456.
You can find an expert on Butterball’s website, Facebook and Twitter, via email, or just give them a call at 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372) if you need to talk one-on-one.
The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line began in 1981 with six home economists working the phones that holiday season answering 11,000 questions about cooking a turkey. Since then, the line has grown in both the number of calls and the number of experts on hand to help.
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In 2016, the Naperville Turkey Talk-Line gained even more fame when it got a visit from “The Late Show” host Stephen Colbert, who, after a brief training from a supervisor, donned a drumstick headband and took over the phone lines to field calls for turkey-related help. Colbert seems to be a big fan of the turkey hotline and even called in himself to ask a few questions.
Today, Butterball has more than 50 experts and fields more than 100,000 questions from thousands of households across the United States and Canada. From phone calls to texts, nearly a million people have used the Talk-Line’s guidance.
You can read some of the Turkey Talk-Line operators’ most memorable calls here — from a man who called in a panic after his turkey caught fire to a woman who decided to store her turkey outside and lost it in a blizzard.
Watch Colbert help Thanksgiving Day cooks from the Naperville hotline:
Deb Belt and Shannon Antinori, Patch Staff, contributed to this article.