Cooking Turkey: Master the Art of Butterball

Thanksgiving is simply incomplete without a delicious turkey on the table. But, cooking a turkey perfectly is not as easy as it sounds. There are many factors to be considered like the weight of turkey, cooking time, temperature, seasoning, etc. If you want to master the art of cooking turkey, then Butterball can be your best friend. Butterball is America’s most trusted turkey brand and has been helping families create perfect turkey dishes since 1954. Whether you are a beginner or a pro in the kitchen, Butterball has everything you need to cook a juicy, tender, and delicious turkey for your Thanksgiving feast.

Cooking Turkey: Master the Art of Butterball | Eat Urban Garden
Cooking Turkey: Master the Art of Butterball

What is Butterball Turkey and Why is it Popular?

Butterball is a brand of turkey that has gained immense popularity, thanks to its flavorful and juicy meat. The brand has become synonymous with quality, which has attracted loyal customers to Butterball turkey over the years.

The Origin of Butterball Turkey

Butterball turkey has been around since the 1950s and has been a staple for families during holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas ever since. The company is headquartered in Garner, North Carolina, and is known for its high-quality meat and innovative packaging.

What Sets Butterball Apart from Other Turkey Brands?

Butterball turkeys are known for their juicy and flavorful meat, which is due to the company’s unique process of raising and preparing their turkeys. The company has a turkey farm in a small town in Missouri where they use a state-of-the-art breeding program to develop the perfect turkey. They also use a special feed blend to ensure that their turkeys are healthy and well-fed.

Butterball also has a reputation for innovation, which has helped them stay ahead in the market. For instance, the company introduced their turkey breast roast, which is a boneless and skinless turkey breast that comes fully cooked and ready-to-eat. They also developed an oil-free electric turkey fryer, which allows people to fry their turkeys indoors without the risk of fire

Aside from the quality of their meat and innovation, Butterball has become popular for their exceptional customer service. The company has a turkey talk-line, where customers can call in and get answers to their turkey-related questions from seasoned turkey experts.

How Should I Prepare a Butterball Turkey?

If you’re planning to prepare a delicious and succulent Butterball turkey for your next meal, there are various ways to prepare it from roasting to grilling and smoking. Here are some helpful tips to prepare a Butterball turkey.


Roasting your Butterball turkey is a straightforward process that ensures evenly cooked poultry with crispy skin. Here’s how to do it:

  • Ensure the turkey is completely thawed before cooking.
  • Preheat your oven to 325°F.
  • Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey’s cavity.
  • Place the turkey on a roasting rack in a deep baking pan, tucking the wings under the body.
  • Brush the turkey with melted butter, herb butter, or olive oil for a tasty and crispy skin.
  • Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the bird (not touching the bone).
  • Cook the turkey for about 15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Baste the turkey every 45-60 minutes with the drippings to keep it moist.


Grilling your Butterball turkey is a great way to bring a smoky and slightly charred flavor to your bird. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat.
  • Prepare a drip pan by lining a disposable foil pan with water.
  • Rub the turkey with your preferred seasoning mix, such as garlic, rosemary, oregano, and paprika.
  • Place the turkey over the drip pan, breast side up.
  • Grill for two to three hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, turning it occasionally.
  • Baste the turkey with melted butter or oil for a crispy skin.
  • Let the turkey rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.


Smoking your Butterball turkey is a fantastic way to add smokey and wood flavor to your bird. Here’s how you can do it:

  • Submerge the turkey in brine for at least 12 hours to keep it moist.
  • Meanwhile, prepare your smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Add wood chips to the smoker box and preheat it to 225°F to 250°F.
  • Inject the turkey with melted butter or olive oil to add flavor and keep it tender.
  • Place the turkey on the smoker, breast side up, and smoke for about six to seven hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  • Keep the temperature steady by adding more wood chips and charcoal as needed.
  • Remove the turkey from the smoker and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.

Whichever method you choose, using a butterball turkey to cook is a great choice, you will get that perfect soft and succulent turkey for your dinner that will be loved by everyone.

What Temperature Should I Cook a Butterball Turkey and for How Long?

When it comes to cooking a Butterball turkey, the recommended temperature and time will depend on the weight and the method of cooking. Follow these guidelines for a perfectly cooked turkey:

In the Oven

If you’re roasting your turkey in the oven, preheat it to 325°F. Place the turkey breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan and roast until the thickest part of the thigh registers at least 165°F on a meat thermometer. Use the following chart as a general guide:

Turkey Weight
Cooking Time (Unstuffed)
Cooking Time (Stuffed)
6-10 lbs.
1½-3 hrs.
2-3½ hrs.
10-18 lbs.
3-3½ hrs.
3½-4½ hrs.
18-22 lbs.
3½-4 hrs.
4½-5 hrs.
22-24 lbs.
4-4½ hrs.
5-5½ hrs.
24-30 lbs.
4½-5 hrs.
5½-6½ hrs.

In a Deep Fryer

If you plan on deep frying your turkey, preheat the oil to 375°F. Use the chart below to calculate the cooking time based on the weight of your turkey:

Turkey Weight
Cooking Time
8-10 lbs.
2¼-3¼ mins./lb.
10-12 lbs.
3¼-3¾ mins./lb.
12-14 lbs.
3¾-4¼ mins./lb.
14-18 lbs.
4¼-4½ mins./lb.
18-20 lbs.
4½-5 mins./lb.
20-24 lbs.
5-5¼ mins./lb.

On the Grill

For a grilled turkey, preheat your grill to medium-high heat, around 350°F-400°F. Use indirect heat to cook the turkey, placing it on a rack in a roasting pan on one side of the grill while the other side remains unlit. Cook until the thickest part of the thigh registers at least 165°F on a meat thermometer. Use the following chart as a general guide:

Turkey Weight
Cooking Time
10-12 lbs.
1¾-2¼ hrs.
12-14 lbs.
2¼-2¾ hrs.
14-18 lbs.
2¾-3¼ hrs.
18-20 lbs.
3¼-3¾ hrs.
20-24 lbs.
3¾-4¼ hrs.

Remember to always use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of your turkey, regardless of the cooking method used. This will prevent overcooking or undercooking, and ensure a juicy and delicious Butterball turkey.

What Tools and Ingredients Do I Need to Cook a Butterball Turkey?

If you’re planning to cook a Butterball turkey for the upcoming holiday season, you must have all the necessary tools and ingredients to ensure your turkey is cooked to perfection. Here is a list of essential equipment and ingredients that you will need:

Equipment and Tools:

  • A roasting pan large enough to fit your turkey
  • A meat thermometer
  • A basting brush or bulb baster
  • Foil
  • A sharp carving knife


  • A Butterball turkey (size of your choice)
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


Make sure all equipment and tools are clean and dry before using them. Allow the turkey to sit at room temperature for about an hour before cooking. Preheat your oven to 325°F before placing the turkey in the oven. Cover the turkey with foil if the skin becomes too brown during cooking. Remove the turkey from the oven when the internal temperature reaches 165°F. Allow the turkey to rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

How Do I Properly Thaw a Butterball Turkey?

Before cooking a Butterball turkey, it is important to properly thaw it to ensure that it will cook evenly and be safe to eat. Here are some techniques for thawing your turkey:

1. Thawing in the Refrigerator

The best way to thaw a Butterball turkey is to place it in the refrigerator. This method is the safest because it prevents the growth of bacteria. Allow approximately 24 hours of thawing time for every 4-5 pounds of turkey. Be sure to put your turkey in a container to catch any juices that may run out. It is important to keep the turkey well below 40°F.

2. Thawing in Cold Water

If you don’t have enough time to thaw a Butterball turkey in the refrigerator, you can thaw it in cold water. Place your turkey in its original wrapping or re-wrap it in a leak-proof plastic bag. Completely submerge your wrapped turkey in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Allow approximately 30 minutes of thawing time for every pound of turkey.

3. Microwave Thawing

If you’re in a rush, you can also use the microwave to thaw your Butterball turkey. Be sure to remove all packaging and place the turkey on a microwave-safe dish. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for defrosting, and stop every few minutes to check the progress of the thawing. Be sure to immediately transfer your turkey to the oven once it’s thawed.

4. Room Temperature Thawing

Although it is not recommended, you can also thaw a Butterball turkey at room temperature. Be aware that this method is a risky option because it allows bacteria to grow. Place your turkey on a tray and allow it to thaw for only a short time, do not leave it out for more than 2 hours. Do not use this method if you are not able to cook the turkey immediately after it is thawed.

5. Brining a Butterball Turkey

Brining refers to soaking the turkey in salt water. This can add flavor to your turkey but also acts as a way to thaw the turkey. This technique might be difficult to control, so it is best to follow a recipe or guidelines to ensure that the turkey is brined safely.

What are Some Delicious Butterball Turkey Recipes?

Butterball turkeys are a staple for many special occasions, especially during Thanksgiving and Christmas. They’re easy to work with and delicious, making them a favorite of many home cooks and professional chefs. Here are some mouth-watering Butterball turkey recipes that will surely impress your family and guests.

1. Classic Roast Turkey

This recipe is perfect for those who are new to cooking turkey. The Classic Roast Turkey recipe is easy to follow and will result in a succulent, juicy, and perfectly cooked Butterball turkey. All you need is some butter, salt, and pepper to bring out the turkey’s natural flavors.

2. Turkey Pot Pie

If you’re looking for a way to use leftover turkey, try making a buttery and creamy pot pie. This recipe combines Butterball turkey with vegetables and herbs for a comforting and filling dish. The flaky crust adds an extra layer of texture and flavor, making it a perfect comfort food during the colder months.

3. Turkey Chili

Spice up your turkey with this hearty and flavorful Turkey Chili recipe. It’s made with ground Butterball turkey, beans, tomatoes, and chili powder for a satisfying meal. You can top it off with some sour cream, cheddar cheese, or avocado for extra flavor and creaminess.

4. Turkey Parmesan Sub

This recipe puts a spin on the classic Italian dish by using Butterball turkey instead of chicken. The Turkey Parmesan Sub features breaded and pan-fried turkey cutlets, marinara sauce, and melted mozzarella cheese on a toasted sub roll. It’s a quick and easy sandwich that your family and friends will surely love.

5. Turkey Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try making a Turkey Salad with Cranberries and Pecans. It’s a refreshing and flavorful salad that combines the sweetness of dried cranberries and the crunch of pecans with the savory taste of Butterball turkey. You can use it as a sandwich filling, a side dish, or a main course.

6. Turkey Gumbo

This rich and flavorful Turkey Gumbo recipe is perfect for those who love spicy and hearty dishes. It’s made with Butterball turkey, smoked sausage, okra, peppers, and spices, and served over rice. This dish takes some time to prepare, but the end result is a mouth-watering bowl of goodness that’s worth the effort.

Cooking a Perfect Turkey

Thank you for reading our guide on how to master the art of preparing Butterball turkey. We hope you found these tips useful and that they help you prepare a mouth-watering turkey for your next occasion. Remember to thaw your turkey well in advance, use a flavorful brine, and cook it low and slow to perfection. Happy cooking!

Cooking Turkey: Master the Art of Butterball | Eat Urban Garden

Cooking Turkey: Master the Art of Butterball

Learn how to prepare a delicious Butterball turkey with this easy-to-follow guide. From selecting the right bird to cooking it to perfection, we'll cover everything you need to know.
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 1 day 4 hours
Course Main dish
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 350 kcal


  • 1 12-14 lb Butterball turkey
  • 8 quarts water
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp allspice berries
  • 1 tbsp juniper berries
  • 1 tbsp candied ginger
  • 1 gallon ice water


  • Remove the turkey from the freezer and allow it to thaw in the refrigerator, allowing 24 hours of thawing time per 4 pounds of turkey.
  • In a large pot, bring the water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice, juniper berries, and ginger to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Place the turkey neck-side down in a large stockpot or small cooler. Pour the brine mixture over the turkey and add enough ice water to cover the turkey completely. Let the turkey brine for 12 to 24 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 325°F (160°C).
  • Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck the wing tips under the body of the turkey and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
  • Roast the turkey for approximately 4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C) in the thickest part of the bird, not touching the bone. Baste the turkey every hour with melted butter or pan drippings. If the turkey begins to brown too quickly, cover it with foil.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving. Enjoy with your favorite side dishes!
Keyword Butterball turkey, turkey recipe, Thanksgiving recipe

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