November 28th, 2013
09:04 AM ET

Q & A with the Butterball Spokesman

Michaela: ... You have the table all set, the family's on their way over, there's just one little thing left to handle – you have to prepare and cook that turkey! This year, we're going to give you a little help. We have a man staking out brand new territory at the Butterball Turkey company, RJ Jaramillo, he is the first male turkey talk line spokesman OMG! That's an OMG don't you think?

RJ: Thank you Michaela, it is an OMG alright.

Michaela: We connected in Los Angeles, it's so nice to see you again. Let's talk about this, we know that you are the founder of a website called "Cook like a Dad" so your happy and comfortable in the kitchen, but this is a whole new and exciting opportunity for you.

RJ: Believe it or not Michaela, there's a lot of Dad's out there that are involved in the kitchen process and the cooking process and I'm honored to be part of Butterball, this is an American Thanksgiving tradition – what better way to say it than Butterball and Thanksgiving.

Michaela: No pressure, you're the first male. Do you talk to some of the ladies that gave you some tips on how to handle this?

RJ: I went to Butterball University

Michaela: Butterball University?

RJ: Yes, out in Chicago.

Michaela: Do you have a favorite song?

RJ: No but if I don't get the answers right, believe me there is a fight song.

Michaela: There's trouble to be paid. So is their approach – I have a theory, my dad does the honors, actually my mom and dad do it together. My dad's one of the cooks in the house, do men approach the cooking of the bird a little differently than we do?

RJ: You know, I think we're pretty much all the same and we do have our own strategy, we like to make the – in terms of my family – how we cook. It's kind of like a game plan. We have a team, my daughter's involved with the side dishes, my son is my right hand man, my back up quarter back, and we all get involved in the cooking process for Thanksgiving.

Michaela: It seems as though there's an app for everything and I understand there's an app for turking the turkey – did I say cooking the turkey?

RJ: There is, yeah, if you go on itunes you can find the butterball app.

Michaela: Okay, so let's talk about this, I think there's some, I'm gonna talk to you at home, the viewers that are trying to do this bird, maybe for the first time, it's intimidating, I'm terrified of cooking a bird. What are some of the tips that you can give folks that are trying this out for the first time?

RJ: You know Michaela, people get intimidating by the size of the turkey and it's really an easy process. Every Butterball comes complete with directions and I like to use the plain and simple, open roasting method.

Michaela: Oh really?

RJ: Very simple, just follow the directions, we have, they're all spelled out on the Butterball label.

Michaela: Well now it's gotten kind of deep. You can brine, you can deep fry, you can smoke. What do you think of some of those new methods that are new? Well, they're not really new, they've been around a long time. What do you think of them?

RJ: You know across both coasts, everyone has a preference. Smoking it, deep frying it, I prefer the open roasting because it's so much simpler and it comes out with a consistent, moist, Butterball turkey so I enjoy the open roasting method.

Michaela: There's a couple controversies I want to get to you. A turkey controversies if you will – breast up, breast down? I've heard that if you put the breast down it actually allows some of the flavor to go into the breast. Is that right?

RJ: Well, that is true, but I prefer the breast up and 2/3rds through the recipe I use tenting. Now tenting is just using aluminum foil over the breast, that way it shields it from direct heat and locks in the moisture.

Michaela: Cause you don't want a dry – no, we don't want that. Okay, next controversy, or not, I'm making up these – they're not controversy. Stuffing inside or outside of the bird? I believe in stuffing inside because it's called "stuffing" people. What do you think? Inside or outside?

RJ: I like stuffing inside.

Michaela: Okay, but there are some people that are concerned that you're not cooking it long enough, you just have to be careful right? Like even with the temperature of the bird – you want to use one of those meat thermometers right?

RJ: I like to use two meat thermometers. One inside of the stuffing and one at the deepest part of the turkey, which is the thigh- so 165 for the stuffing, have the meat thermometer in the stuffing where you have it in the turkey and then directly on the thigh at 180. So 180 for thigh, 165 for stuffing.

Michaela: It's easy, you can write that down, or the app would have that. Here's another topic – my sister swears by injecting the bird and putting all sorts of flavorings under the skin. What other tips do you have for people that might want to add a little extra flavor to their turkey?

RJ: You know, I like to pack some butter in between the skin and (Michaela says a little butter never hurts) exactly – a little butter never hurts. But the Butterball turkey comes seasoned, so – absolutely, so if you're not full of supplies, just spray a little cooking oil on it, put it in the roaster and you're done.

Michaela: And dad, let's be honest, your often the guy that has to settle some of the battles, often around the kitchen, often at Thanksgiving – what can we do to kind of elevate some of that stress? The family's all gathered, there's pressure to get the meal on the table, help make this a little less stressful for us?

RJ: Enjoy the process, there's no such thing as a perfect turkey, it's a family tradition, enjoy Thanksgiving. That's the best advice I can offer.

Michaela: RJ Jaramillo, he's the first male turkey line, phone, well I guess you're the emergency call. I guess you're the guy that's called when people are feeling like things are not going well.

RJ: The Butterball turkey talk line, call 1-800-Butterball.

Michaela: We might be calling today, really good to see you again and happy Thanksgiving to you darling. Back to you guys.

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