Here's how to actually microwave a Thanksgiving turkey

AOL.com Editors

The table's set. The potatoes are roasting and the bottles of wine are ready to be popped. 

There's so much that goes into Thanksgiving (the most stressful holiday IMO!), that it's easy to forget about -- and ruin -- the most iconographic holiday dish of them all: the turkey. 

The bird is so integral to the holiday that last year's #25lbTurkeyChallenge left everyone from parents to grandparents and even celebrity chefs with palpitations. As part of the viral prank, thousands of people texted their parents asking how long it would take to microwave a 25-pound turkey. 


People were so convinced by the prank that they took it upon themselves to contact Butterball's famous turkey talk-line (which has experts on-hand during the holiday to answer any of your wildest turkey questions) inquiring about the truthfulness behind the prank. In fact, Butterball received three times as many microwave-related calls compared to the year prior, the company's representatives told AOL Lifestyle. 

But there are ways to cook a turkey without an oven -- and yes, even in the microwave. Read on to discover Butterball's best preparation tips below.

How to microwave a turkey 

(These instructions are for a 9-pound bird)

  1. Thaw your turkey first – don’t put a frozen turkey in the microwave! 
  2. Place turkey breast side down on a microwave-safe dish/plate.
  3. Microwave it for 4 minutes per pound on full power (so 36 minutes for this 9lb turkey).
  4. Remove drippings.
  5. Flip it over on its breast and cook at 50 percent power for 8 minutes per pound, with 4 intervals (about every 18 minutes, while checking the turkey temp at each interval.
  6. Don’t forget to baste and add a browning sauce for a golden brown look that you are used to.

How to air fry a turkey 

  1. Completely thaw your whole turkey breast.
  2. Using kitchen shears, remove rib cage.
  3. Pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Prepare breast with seasonings. Spray generously with cooking spray.
  5. Place breast in air fryer basket, skin side up.
  6. Set air-fryer temperature to 400° F. Cook 45-60 minutes, about 7-10 minutes per pound, until a food thermometer inserted registers 165°F.
  7. Let stand for 10 minutes before carving.

How to spatchcock a turkey

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Line a large rimmed sheet pan with aluminum foil, extending foil 3 inches past pan on both long sides.
  2. Place wire rack on pan.
  3. Remove giblets and neck. Place turkey on cutting board, breast side down. Using sharp kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone, leaving a 2-inch wide strip, cut along the opposite side and remove.
  4. Press on breast, down and towards outside. Turn the turkey over and press firmly down on the breast bone until the turkey flattens.
  5. Place turkey on rack, tucking legs and wings in to fit and making sure there is foil under any pieces that hang over side of pan. Pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Brush with oil. Prepare with seasonings.
  7. Roast 1 hour 20 minutes or until turkey registers 170° F in breast and 180° F in thigh when tested with instant-read meat thermometer.
  8. Let stand 10 minutes before carving.

For more Thanksgiving info, watch the video above!