Real Stories From Butterball’s ‘Turkey Emergency’ Hotline

Have you ever wondered if you could brine your turkey in a washing machine? No? Well, believe it or not, there are some that do. Just ask the good folks operating the Butterball ‘turkey emergency’ hotline—and yes, it is a real hotline that accepts calls 24/7.

The number, predictably, is 1-800-BUTTERBALL. Poultry experts stand by to answer questions and guide people through the arduous task of crafting that picturesque Thanksgiving bird. Oh, and they’re open through December, too. We’re not sure if they have any experience with Christmas Ham, but it couldn’t hurt to ask, right?

The 50 phone operators who field the calls have gotten a lot of unusual questions over the years, including the aforementioned idea to brine a turkey along with the delicates. Here are some more fantastic turkey emergencies, courtesy of Mental Floss:

Dog’s Day Afternoon

One caller’s dog apparently got stuck INSIDE the Thanksgiving turkey. The operator was eventually able to help them remove the family pooch from the bird. It was a Chihuahua, by the way.


Seeking a Friend for Thanksgiving Shopping

One Butterball operator recalls staying on the phone with a caller while he browsed his local grocery store buying ingredients for Thanksgiving dinner. Their job requires a level of patience we can’t even begin to comprehend.

The Bird Also Rises

One caller, who we’ll presume has never cooked poultry before, was worried that the turkey wouldn’t come out of her oven because she figured it would rise like bread does.


Maybe she had just seen these things on Pinterest.
Maybe she had just seen these things on Pinterest.

WTF, Dad?

Finally, one operator recalls hearing from a wife who came home to find her husband giving the kids a bath… with the frozen turkey. Amazingly, since the bird was still in its packaging, they were able to salvage it. But that’s the last time dad does bath salts.



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Timothy Bertrand
Writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas area. Follow me for breaking news, editorials, pictures of cats doing human activities, and other such content from around the web.


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