The Top Turkey Mistakes The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line Sees - Exclusive

For many home cooks, putting a perfect Thanksgiving turkey on the table is no easy feat. From the thawing to the brining to the roasting and basting to the carving, there's a lot that can go wrong. However, since 1981, the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line's experts have been working hard to help home cooks overcome all those hurdles, answering questions via phone and, more recently, email, text, and live chat, to ensure your family the best Thanksgiving (or, at least the best Thanksgiving turkey) possible.

In a recentĀ exclusive interview, Mashed spoke with Butterball Turkey Talk-Line supervisor Andrea Balitewicz, who gave us her top tips for cooking your turkey and revealed some of the most-asked questions that the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line receives each year, starting in mid-November and running all the way through the Christmas holiday. She also let us in on the top turkey mistakes she sees home cooks committing. Are your top turkey mishaps among them?

Failure to plan ahead

According to Andrea Balitewicz, the top mistakes that home cooks make when cooking their Thanksgiving turkeys all come down to time management and lack of planning. She said, "If people plan ahead, they make less mistakes." But it's not just planning on the day of Thanksgiving that matters.

Balitewicz told Mashed, "They need to make sure that they plan that extra time for thawing. They need to know how long [the turkey is] going to cook, and if they keep opening up the oven door and letting out the precious heat to check on the turkey or to peek at it because everybody wants to see how it's doing, they're going to extend that cooking time."

Butterball recommends planning to thaw your turkey about a week ahead of Thanksgiving, as it takes one full day to thaw every four pounds of turkey. Butterball even created its own National Thaw Your Turkey Day, which takes place every Thursday before Thanksgiving, to remind home cooks to place their turkeys in the fridge for safe thawing.

Need more turkey advice this Thanksgiving? You can call the Butterball Turkey Talk-Line at 1-800-BUTTERBALL. The Talk-Line is open through December 24.