Naperville’s Butterball Turkey Talk-Line experts are ready to help this holiday season

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When it comes to talking turkey, Michael Maddox is a certified expert.

Though by trade he’s a full-time chef instructor at the College of DuPage, come the holiday season, he’s manning the phones at Naperville’s Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.

Butterball Talk-Line experts 

The call center to help those across the country in a bind with their holiday bird has been running for 42 years now and is housed in Naperville. 

Maddox has been on the job there for four years, brought into the fold by his wife, Susan, who’s also an expert at Naperville’s Butterball Turkey Talk-Line.

“She told me after she had done it the first year that she loved it and had fun and loved helping people. And that’s kind of what we do when we cook in general, right, if you’re hosting Thanksgiving or if you’re attending Thanksgiving, you know, it’s bringing people together, making that connection and enjoying that time,” said Michael Maddox, Butterball Turkey Talk-Line expert. 

The two are among the roughly 50 experts manning the Butterball phones between the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, helping home chefs who are in charge of tackling the turkey duties. 

Frequently asked questions on the Turkey Talk-Line

Maddox says the two top questions asked are typically about thawing the turkey, and making sure that it’s done. 

Though a frozen bird takes one day for every four pounds to thaw in the fridge, cold water thawing in the sink can help speed the process for those getting to it late, changing the water and rotating the turkey every 30 minutes. As for proper cooking…

“We’re looking for three key temperatures. In the breast without touching the bone is 170 degrees. Probe that into the thigh without touching the bone is 180 degrees. And then if you’re going to have it stuffed, It’s 165 degrees minimum in the stuffing,” Maddox advised.

Call the talk line for turkey help

Those looking for help can find it in a number of ways whether by phone at 1-800-BUTTERBALL, or through chat, video, or social media. Maddox says he gives advice out to those of all ages and abilities.

“I think it’s interesting to see as that day goes along where they’re calling from and that people are happy to share with us and say, my gosh, this is my first time, or I made it last year and I made a mistake,” Maddox said. “We even get the people who are kind of hiding in the kitchen calling us because they don’t want to admit that they’re asking for help.”

Butterball helping the community this holiday season

Though Butterball has made it a long-time practice to help chefs in this crunch time, this year they’re also making it a point to make the holidays merrier for all in another way. 

They’ve teamed up with Bumble for Friends to help people who may be apart from loved ones find a group to share the holiday.

“It’s bringing people together and making that connection as far as putting food and people together for great cuisine,” Maddox said.

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