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5 Hilarious Calls Made to the Butterball Turkey Hotline

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We aren’t all master chefs accustomed to cooking huge meals for dozens people, so the kind folks at Butterball have been answering all our Thanksgiving-turkey-cooking-related questions for years. And during that time, they’ve had some funny calls.

Here are just a few of the most hilarious questions that have been posed to the 1-800-Butterball experts:

It’s All in the Thaw

One of the slowest and most underestimated parts of the turkey-prep process is thawing the big, frozen bird. Home cooks have forever been attempting to speed up the process. For example, the firefighters who needed to thaw 12 turkeys at once. The hotline expert suggested they put the birds in a large bin and use a fire hose to hose them down. Or the callers who have asked if you can thaw a frozen turkey using a hair dryer, an electric blanket, in an aquarium with tropical fish, or in the tub while the kids are having their bath. And, in case you think you have a creative plan for thawing your turkey, don’t. The best way to thaw it fast is in the kitchen sink. You’ll need 30 minutes for each pound of bird and you should change the water every half hour.

The Snowbound Bird

Speaking of thawing, one hotline expert was answering a woman’s call about thawing her turkey. At some point, the caller proudly told the turkey helper that her bird was actually staying frozen in the snow, rather than taking up space in the freezer. There had been a recent snowstorm and the big drifts were the perfect place to store the main course. That was until the caller realized that she now could not remember where she had put the turkey. So, the next time you want to keep your turkey frozen in the snow, make sure you draw a treasure map.

Free Parking on Holidays

It’s always an entertaining experience to let the kids help out in the kitchen during the holidays. It can also be a new experience to let the kids play in the kitchen. This was a lessen learned by one woman who called the hotline with a sad turkey story. The kids were playing in the kitchen with their toy cars and parking was scarce (you know how it gets with parking on the holidays). But they were able to find nice covered parking for their prized vehicles. It wasn’t until hours later when the caller discovered where the cars were parked: firmly inside the bird. You’ll have to imagine for yourself whether she found the cars after pulling the turkey from the oven, or if they were uncovered during carving, but suffice it to say that there was a special new kind of garnish baked inside the bird.

The Barks Are Coming From Inside the Turkey

Toys aren’t the only things that will fit inside a turkey. You know you’re fully initiated into hotline history when a caller calls to get help getting a dog out of their Thanksgiving turkey. The owner of a Chihuahua called when their dog climbed inside the raw turkey. The poor pooch wasn’t able to get out of the opening through which it had just squeezed. The Butterball expert explained how the owner could make the opening larger without injuring the dog. Interestingly, the hotline has also fielded calls from owners of small rodents and house cats. When pets and kids are around, you really can’t turn away for a second.

Did You Really Have to Ask?

And finally, here is a short list of some other questions that we’re a little sad people even had to ask:

  • “Should I remove the plastic wrap before I cook my turkey?”
  • “I don’t want to touch the giblets. Can I fish them out with a coat hanger?”
  • “The turkey in my freezer is 23 years old. Is it safe to eat?”
  • “I don’t want to cook the whole turkey, so I cut it in half with a chainsaw. How do I get the chainsaw oil out of the turkey?”
  • “I scrubbed my raw turkey with a toothbrush dipped in bleach for three hours. Is that enough to kill the harmful bacteria?”
  • “Can I cook the turkey on the engine block of my semi while I’m driving? If I drive faster, will it cook faster?”

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