Here Are All the New Services Helping You Not Botch the Turkey This Thanksgiving

Your kitchen assistants: Amazon, Spotify and more

November 19, 2018 9:00 am

In A Christmas Story, Ralphie notes that his father is “a turkey junkie, a bona fide turkicanus freak.” And so, we assume, are most of you — at least come this Thursday.

But Thanksgiving turkeys are wily creatures, more so when being cooked than in life. Even though we fix them up year after year, they always find a way to blacken, burn, dry up and generally disappoint those gathered together to feast.

Thankfully, calling Butterball isn’t your only backup. Below, we’ve highlighted our favorite new (and classic) services that’ll keep you from botching the turkey this year.

From Alexa skills to menu makers to food safety, better bookmark this.

Amazon: The Butterball Turkey Talk-Line on Alexa and Home Delivery

  • Butterball’s famous turkey hotline? It’s now available on any Alexa-enabled device. Simply start by saying, “Alexa, open Butterball…” or “Alexa, ask Butterball…” and then fire away. It’s intuitive, but the video above (adorably) shows you how it works. If you’re not an Alexa person, their turkey experts are also available by text, live chat, email and the ol’ faithful phone. If you use the latter, they now have a callback option — so instead of listening to infuriating hold music, they’ll call back when a turkey expert is available. And don’t forget, the hotline runs until Christmas Eve.
  • There’s a good chance you’ve already ordered Thanksgiving groceries online (16 percent of people will, writes Ad Age). But if you don’t have time to run to the store on Thursday, Amazon Prime members can order groceries from Whole Foods until 2 p.m. on Thanksgiving — with deliveries clocking in under an hour.

Image via Spotify

  • Spotify: The Turkey Timer

    • Tim Allen in The Santa Clause. Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacation. It’s not a lack of cooking acumen that ruined their turkeys, per se. It was timing. To help in that department, Spotify released a Turkey Timer that creates a playlist that’s only as long as it will take to cook your bird. Choose the weight of the turkey, from 5 to 25 pounds, and whether it’s stuffed or not, and Spotify will offer up a length of time and temperature to cook it at. Then select a genre and hit play, but make sure to keep it unshuffled because the last song will remind you to take out the turkey.

Food52: Thanksgiving Hotline, Turkey Whisperer and Automagic Menu Maker

  • Been spurned by Butterball before? Or maybe you need help with more than just the turkey? Food52’s Hotline is staffed by their in-house experts as well as their “community of trusty home cooks.” Head here and type your question — whether it concerns the big bird, decoration ideas or substituting scotch for bourbon in your pie — and get an answer in 10 minutes or less. Plus, they’re available until 8 p.m. EST on Thursday (Butterball is only open until 7 p.m.).
  • The epicurean resource created a landing page for all of their turkey content called The Turkey Whisperer. In the zone and don’t want to talk to anyone? Head there for timeless tips.
  • And if you haven’t planned your courses yet, answer 10 simple questions and their Automagic Menu Maker will pop out a list with recipes attached.

U.S. Department of Agriculture: Meat and Poultry Hotline

  • Yes, there is an ongoing salmonella outbreak linked to poultry. Last week, Jennie-O recalled 91,000 pounds turkey. Even though it was ground, and not whole birds, it’s even more important this year to prepare your turkey safely. In that department, you can’t beat the USDA’s official Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-674-6854. The department’s tips are also cataloged in a tool called Ask Karen. In typical governmental fashion, its practicality far exceeds its aesthetics.

Photo by Alison Marras on Unsplash


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