Butterball hotline gets male advisors on how to cook a turkey

November 27, 2013 (NAPERVILLE, Ill.)

In a first for the service that's answered Thanksgiving questions for decades, men are now serving up advice on cooking your holiday bird.

A rare bird - a male Butterball Talk Line expert. In its 32-year history, the all-ladies club is no more; Butterball is adding men to the mix after a survey concluded that more than 40 percent of men cook the Thanksgiving turkey.

"A lot of people are very appreciative, there are males on the talk line and ladies commented that way," said Stan Gershenson, Butterball Talk Line expert.

Moving ahead with the times also includes a social media table, where experts answer questions on chat lines and Facebook, but the traditional 800 number remains the most popular way to get advice Wednesday and Thanksgiving. Some Naperville-based turkey experts will field thousands of calls from all over the country.

"I love taking calls, because you are walking right into the people's kitchens," said Carol Miller, Butterball Talk Line expert.

Miller is a veteran; she has been giving advice for 29 years. Miller also trains the experts.

"I do teach at Butterball U. And the staff learns how to prepare the turkey 10 different ways," she said.

Experts also rely on a huge notebook, but no matter how much they know about a turkey, the questions continue to surprise them.

"I had a man who called me and wanted to thaw turkey and set the dial. I said, 'What dial?' He said, 'I have a turkey wrapped in an electric blanket,'" said Marty Vanness, Butterball Talk Line expert.

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