Turkey is a staple for a delicious holiday meal.
But they can be tough to cook!
So having pop-up timing can be handy!
Do you know how they work?
Should you use it?
Or maybe you plan on buying a Butterball frozen turkey.
And want to know if it has a pop timer.
Let’s find out!
Butterball Turkeys – What You Should Know
Butterball LLC is the largest turkey producer in the U.S.A.
They have been producing turkeys and other poultry products since 1954.
In their years of expertise, Butterball has continually improved.
From convenient pre-brined turkeys to sustainable packaging.
Butterball LLC leads the way…
In providing the consumer with an easy and tasty cooking experience.
The reason I’m telling you this will become clear further in this article.
Did you know? Butterball is American Humane Certified.
Worry about the cruelty to animals or forms of animal abuse?
You don’t have to.
Do Butterball Turkeys Have Pop-Up Timers?
To get straight to the point and satisfy your turkey questions.
Butterball LLC has never developed a product with a pop-up timer.
And for good reason!
What Is a Pop-up Timer?
So what is a pop-up timer?
Let’s explore how they work before getting into why Butterball turkeys don’t have them.
Like most things in life, a pop-up timer is a good idea on paper.
There will be a red plastic indicator stick that is held in a plastic funnel.
The plastic funnel is inserted into the breast meat of the raw turkey.
How Do They Work?
The mechanism of action in the timer works when the soft metal melts.
The metal holds down a spring.
Upon melting, the spring will release the red indicator.
When the indicator stick pops up, it aims to highlight the internal temperature.
The melting point of the metal is 165˚F.
Why You Shouldn’t Rely on a Pop-up Timer for a Butterball Turkey
There are multiple reasons why you shouldn’t rely on a pop-up timer for your smoked turkey.
These are highlighted below.
I want to add that Butterball LLC does not condone their usage.
I mentioned some product innovations from Butterball.
The largest manufacturer in the turkey business doesn’t use them.
So you shouldnt either!
The Different Internal Temperatures for Turkey Meat
My first issue with a pop-up timer (if it works) is that it only monitors the breast meat.
Did you know that a turkey has 2 different types of meat?
The white breast meat is done at 165˚F.
But what about the darker meat?
Dark Meat (Thighs & Legs)
Leg and thigh meat is darker and rich in flavor.
It contains more fat and interconnective tissue.
It takes longer to cook and has to have a higher internal temp before eating.
The safe-to-eat temperature for dark meat is 180˚F.
The timer pops to indicate the breast is 165˚F.
What about the leg or thigh temperature?
You will seriously risk food poisoning from an underdone turkey.
The Timer Is Made of Plastic
I oppose using unnecessary plastic, especially if it’s going to be in my dinner!
The Timer Can Be Inserted Wrong
Would you gamble the risk of food poisoning on
If the timer is inserted just a few more inches deep it can hit the breastbone.
If any temperature probe or monitoring device is on a bone it will give a false reading.
Don’t risk it!
The Timer Is Not Reliable
There are so many reports of these timers not popping at all.
This is because they are cheaply made and rely on multiple factors.
Which are generally out of your control.
What’s the point of using one for it to not work and ruin a beautiful turkey?
My Turkey Came With a Pop-up Timer – Do I Disregard It?
You don’t need to remove the timer unless you care about it being plastic.
You can always take it out a few minutes before carving.
The Right Ways to Know if Your Butterball Turkey Is Done
Below are the correct ways to monitor your Butterball turkey.
During the whole cooking process.
Use a Meat Thermometer
For an accurate and proper temperature reading use a couple of probes.
You can easily insert them into the dark and white meats and monitor them.
Making it easy and simple to remove.
Without the plastic!
Work Out a Rough Cooking Time
Having a rough guideline to how long your turkey will take is another effective method.
Cooking a whole turkey can sometimes take the whole day.
You don’t always want to be waiting around.
Remember that this is a cooking guideline.
You will still need to use a meat thermometer.
At a temp of 275°F, the meat will cook at 15 minutes per pound of turkey.
So a 14-pound turkey will cook for 210 minutes.
If your using an oven and want to get crispy skin, you want to roast your turkey at 350°F.
Final Thoughts- A Summary of Using Pop-up Timers
– Do not use a pop-up timer as the only way of monitoring the internal temp.
– There are 2 types of turkey meat with different internal temperatures.
– Use probe thermometers for accurate temperature readings.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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