If you’re concerned about cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, Amazon and Butterball have your back. A new Amazon Alexa Butterball skill lets cooks with questions ask Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line experts for help.
Enable the Butterball skill for your Alexa device and then you can say, “Alexa, open Butterball” or “Alexa, ask Butterball” to connect with Beth, Marge, or Christopher, Butterball Talk-Line experts.
You don’t actually talk with the experts, but the Alexa Butterball uses the voices of these actual experts. The voices are assigned randomly which adds to the skill’s versimilitude – just as when calling a helpline, you never know who will answer.
When Digital Trends called up the Butterball skill seven times, the voices that responded were, in order: Beth, Christopher, Christopher, Marge, Marge, Christopher, and Marge.
You can ask questions such as:
The skill uses interactive chat rather than responding to one question per session. When you ‘talk’ with the experts, you can use scripted questions like the above or just ask what you want to know in your words.
For example, instead of using the first question in the list above, I asked, “How big a turkey do I need?”
Turkey Talk-Line expert Beth’s voice asked, “To calculate how large a turkey you’ll need, how many people will you serve?”
When I answered, “Two adults and one large dog,” ‘Beth’ responded, “To feed two people, including enough for leftovers, you’ll need three pounds of Turkey.” The expert stuck to Butterball’s lane of expertise and didn’t mention that turkey isn’t good for dogs.
The Butterball chat feature doesn’t cover all topics. When asked what kind of wine to serve at Thanksgiving, for example, the expert responded with information about freezing turkey.
The Turkey Talk-Line debuted in 1981 and was one of the first toll-free help lines, according to Butterball. Since that time more almost 50 million consumers have called the Talk-Line. Overall, each year more than four million cooks connect with Butterball for help via the Turkey Talk-Line, email, live chat, social media, and the Butterball website.
More than 50 people work on the Turkey Talk-Line, fielding calls in English and Spanish. Starting in 2016 the Talk-Line began accepting questions in text messages.
The most frequently asked question is, “How do I thaw a turkey?” That question is asked often among the 10,000 calls that come in on Thanksgiving Day.