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Beware the Butterball!

Posted Tue February 12, 2008 8:40 pm, by Venice G. written to Carolina Turkey

Write a Letter to this Company


I recently attempted to cook a frozen Butterball Boneless Turkey Breast, and my experience was one of the worst ones I can remember in the history of my kitchen.

The following is a list of problems I encountered from the time I took the turkey out of the freezer:

1. There were no cooking instructions on the outside of the package, so there was no way of knowing the cooking time required or when to put the turkey in the oven. I did find the instructions online, but not everyone has a computer or internet access.

2. The product states "From Freezer to Oven", so I expected to simply unwrap the turkey and cook it according to the directions I found online. Much to my dismay, when the packaging was removed, I found a plastic gravy packet frozen solid to an indentation in the turkey, making it impossible to dislodge. I had to turn off the oven and let the turkey defrost for almost an hour before being able to pry off the packet, which I'm sure affected the cooking time.

3. When the turkey was done, I covered it with foil for ten minutes so the netting would be easier to remove, according to the directions. I then discovered the netting was so deeply embedded into the meat and skin that it was impossible to remove. Also, the netting had elasticity to it, so as I was pulling it away from the meat, it was snapping back causing hot liquid to splash in my face. At this point, I was so disgusted, I just wanted to throw away the whole thing and take my family out to eat. The only thing that stopped me was a snowstorm.

This product is a complete disaster, and an expensive one. I have never been so frustrated with anything as I was trying to cook and serve this turkey. If you can't develop a better way to package this product, please remove it from your line, so other people do not have to go through the same experience.

I hope you take these issues seriously because I can tell you without hesitation that no one will ever buy this product twice.


Reply



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by Nancy M. Posted Thu April 14, 2011 @ 6:30 PM

I was interested in your experience because I just cooked my first
breast. I have done regular complete turkey roasts for years, but am
having a luncheon at work to serve 20 people and thought this would be
an easy way to have a healthy entree. (Wanted to go with the precooked
Breasts but they are not available in this area.) Due to work duties,
I followed microwave instructions that were on the package as I have a
microwave close to my work station. Total disaster! Dried out and the
net was deeply embedded in the meat. I have 2 more in the freezer and
am going to try the traditional oven roast with the next one, but have
created a plan B in case the oven roasted version matches Venice's
experience.

Reply

by Dana C. Posted Wed February 25, 2009 @ 4:38 PM

That is a shame. I buy these exact turkeys consistently and I have
never had an issue. The gravy packet has never been indented into the
turkey. Seems like maybe there was a bad batch where things just
weren't 'quite right'.

Reply


As someone suggested... by ♫Venice♫ Sun March 22, 2009 @ 12:05 AM
by Melissa O Posted Sat February 23, 2008 @ 11:52 PM

I have to say I remember the commercials and the advertising bragging
this up and they say "from freezer to oven" no defrosting.
So which is it?

Reply


It can definitely be cooked frozen by ♥Venice♥ Sun February 24, 2008 @ 3:47 PM

by Rhet Canter Posted Fri February 22, 2008 @ 7:40 PM

Really. I needed a good laugh. I'm not sure, but I really don't
think you're supposed to cook any meat or poultry frozen. Even if it
says that you can. I'm a fairly decent cook, and I would never do
that. It's not correct basic culinary procedure. Most know that.
I'm sure you don't cook very often, so A for effort. But in the
future. Thaw the sucker first. It takes much less time to do as
well. You can thaw it in your fridge for a half a day to a full day
without worry that it will go bad. It won't.

Better luck next time. And again, thanks for the laugh!

Reply


Sorry by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 22, 2008 @ 8:26 PM

Sorry but I disagree. by T. C. Sat February 23, 2008 @ 1:19 AM

by inanna68 Posted Mon February 18, 2008 @ 9:56 AM

I made one of these for dinner last night. I love them and I have
made them before but I took special care to see if the problems you
had could be common.

"1. There were no cooking instructions on the outside of the
package, so there was no way of knowing the cooking time required or
when to put the turkey in the oven. I did find the instructions
online, but not everyone has a computer or internet access."

I can see how this might have been a problem. There are no cooking
instructions on the package its self but there is a small folded up
paper wrapped in the outer netting in a plastic bag that has the
instructions, it isn't obvious it just says Butterball on the outside
so if you didn't open the plastic bag you wouldn't have seen the
instructions.

"2. The product states "From Freezer to Oven", so I
expected to simply unwrap the turkey and cook it according to the
directions I found online. Much to my dismay, when the packaging was
removed, I found a plastic gravy packet frozen solid to an indentation
in the turkey, making it impossible to dislodge. I had to turn off the
oven and let the turkey defrost for almost an hour before being able
to pry off the packet, which I'm sure affected the cooking time."


The only place I saw freezer to oven mentioned was in the instructions
packet so this comment confused me. I didn't see anything on the
outside of the packaging but maybe you had different packaging. I
never saw that the instructions packet had cook times for frozen
turkey before so I had always defrosted it.

"2. The product states "From Freezer to Oven", so I
expected to simply unwrap the turkey and cook it according to the
directions I found online. Much to my dismay, when the packaging was
removed, I found a plastic gravy packet frozen solid to an indentation
in the turkey, making it impossible to dislodge. I had to turn off the
oven and let the turkey defrost for almost an hour before being able
to pry off the packet, which I'm sure affected the cooking
time."

As I stated before I never attempted it frozen so I can't comment
although the turkey being defrosted and then refrozen before you
purchased it sounds like a good explanation.

"3. When the turkey was done, I covered it with foil for ten
minutes so the netting would be easier to remove, according to the
directions. I then discovered the netting was so deeply embedded into
the meat and skin that it was impossible to remove. Also, the netting
had elasticity to it, so as I was pulling it away from the meat, it
was snapping back causing hot liquid to splash in my face. "

The netting can be a problem but after letting it rest for ten minutes
(loosely wrapped in aluminum foil) I was able to pull it away easily
by using a fork and some kitchen shears. The netting problem you had
could have been cause by either the fact that you've never removed
netting from a roast (it can be tricky if you don't know the tricks)
or the product being defrosted and refrozen prior to purchase as
mentioned earlier.

Please give Butterball another chance. Try defrosting it first. Spray
with butter spray, salt and pepper it and roast at 325 for 1 3/4 - 2
hours. Let rest at least ten minutes with aluminum covering (don't
wrap it too tightly as it will continue to cook) then carefully use a
fork and kitchen shears to remove netting.



Reply


Thank you for taking so much time to explain by ♥Venice♥ Mon February 18, 2008 @ 7:07 PM
by Timothy Crawford Posted Sat February 16, 2008 @ 11:41 AM

I can't believe there was no cooking instructions anywhere? You
probably overlooked it. It is usually found near the back on safe
handling practices but I assure you they were there on the packaging
somewhere. That being said cooking meat is not rocket science!!!
Learn to cook! OMG! It was only a boneless frozen turkey. USE
COMMON SENSE! After the turkey was cooked. Try rubbing the turkey net
with a bit of margarine and let sit for a few minuts. Then instead of
using a dull knife to cut the net in a manner that brings it snapping
juices onto your face...try snipping the net with a pair of kitchen
scissors. The gravy packet could have been dislodged by running water
over it a few minute and then prying it loose...or even worse case
scenario like you did (but I wonder why you had to turn your oven off
and defrost the turkey?) and removed after 10 or 15 minutes of baking.
When cooking a frozen meat product the temperature of the oven must
be turned down to allow for proper thawing before the bird actually
starts cooking otherwise you run the risk of burning the outside of
the item (including that net) and the inside being raw. All that
being said...I am sorry your Turkey was ruined. How was the rest of
your dinner? lol

Reply


Thanks for the advice, Timothy by ♥Venice♥ Sat February 16, 2008 @ 1:58 PM

Apologies by Timothy Crawford Thu February 21, 2008 @ 12:13 PM


Timothy by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 22, 2008 @ 12:11 AM

by Keith S. Posted Fri February 15, 2008 @ 10:44 AM


I can't believe there's an actual complaint on this product!! I get
these things all the time, and I love them.
Common sense dictates that you defrost the thing before cooking, which
makes taking the packaging off easy enough for any child to do, and of
course, since we're talking about the boneless breast, it has been
de-boned and the meat has been rolled up and netted so it doesn't all
fall apart when you take the package off. When fully cooked, use a
large 2-prong fork and a small knife to cut the net away. You can cut
it in a straight line either length or width-wise, and it isn't
difficult!!

Reply


Common sense does NOT dictate that you defrost it first by RedheadwGlasses Fri February 15, 2008 @ 11:18 AM

Freezer to Oven means.... well, Freezer to Oven. by Keith C Fri February 15, 2008 @ 3:41 PM


Butterball is owned by Carolina Turkey by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 15, 2008 @ 4:39 PM

Carolina? by Keith C Fri February 15, 2008 @ 9:52 PM


You said by ♥Venice♥ Sat February 16, 2008 @ 3:28 AM


Wrong Keith, Venice by RedheadwGlasses Sat February 16, 2008 @ 11:31 AM

by Melissa Savelloni Posted Thu February 14, 2008 @ 2:08 PM

I'm glad my kitchen-hazardous self read this before trying it. I think
the netting part would have put me over the edge - to the point of
breaking things.

Now reading some below responses, I'm kind of grossed out by the
thawing-refreezing of it all. I just want to go back to imagining the
meating being magically made in the back 100% completely clean and
fresh.

Reply


My first reaction by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 15, 2008 @ 12:19 AM

by StoicGrrl Posted Thu February 14, 2008 @ 10:14 AM

I see a lot of people saying that the problem was probably thawing and
refreezing, and that sounds logical. But a frozen product can be
expected to thaw a little in transit or due to the annoying customers
Rowdy describes (I hear you, Rowdy), and I'd think Butterball would
know that and design packaging that would prevent the problems you ran
into.

I'd also think that some cooking instructions would be a good thing to
include in a product you have to...I don't know...cook? LOL Having
them available online isn't a bad idea but like you said, what about
people without internet access?

This doesn't sound like a very well thought-out design at all. I hope
they fix it! Good letter, of course, but we expected nothing less
from Venice. :)

Reply


The netting by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 15, 2008 @ 12:19 AM

Nets are for fish, not turkeys. by Keith C Fri February 15, 2008 @ 3:46 PM


by Harleycat Posted Thu February 14, 2008 @ 9:40 AM

Great letter. I've never cooked one of these. Turkey is not high up
on hubby's list. I do agree with Rowdy, it sounds like there was some
degree of thawing and then refreezing.

Reply


Either Rowdy is right by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 15, 2008 @ 12:19 AM

by LadyMac Posted Thu February 14, 2008 @ 6:59 AM

Is it me, or is there something inherently wrong with Butterball
selling a boneless piece of meat that has netting around it to retain
its shape? Otherwise it's like lunchmeat. :)

Good letter, Venice. I'm glad you weren't hurt by the splattering
turkey juice. That could have been really painful.

I think I will be sticking with my good ole regular bones-in turkey
breast. Thanks for the warning.

Reply


It's real meat by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 15, 2008 @ 12:19 AM

by Gino Posted Thu February 14, 2008 @ 3:42 AM

I think you wrote an excellent letter! The title, appropriately,
sounds like a horror movie. I can't imagine a product meant to go from
freezer to oven being such a hassle.

I like the option of not having to cook a whole turkey, it makes sense
for a lot of families, and to read what happened to you makes me
wonder what, if any, research they did before producing this product.

I hope you get a response.

Reply


Attack of the Killer Turkey! by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 15, 2008 @ 12:20 AM


by lj Posted Thu February 14, 2008 @ 12:50 AM

I just wanted to tell you that your letter is very well written. Also,
you would not want me to help you with any cooking issues! I am a
terrible cook, I have never even cooked a turkey! I hope you find
some help! :)

Reply


Aww, thanks by ♥Venice♥ Thu February 14, 2008 @ 1:34 AM


Thanks! by lj Sat February 16, 2008 @ 9:40 PM


That raw chicken memory by ♥Venice♥ Sun February 17, 2008 @ 1:35 AM
by T. C. Posted Wed February 13, 2008 @ 11:13 PM

I wonder if it was a Butterball problem or could have thawed slightly
during shippinf or hadling at the store. I've never had a problem
with the netting on these, but there is a first time for everything.

Reply


That's what Rowdy said by ♥Venice♥ Thu February 14, 2008 @ 12:36 AM

by Bill R Posted Wed February 13, 2008 @ 11:57 AM

Did you try 1- 800 - Butterball?

Reply


Outside of the holidays, that number is more limited by RedheadwGlasses Wed February 13, 2008 @ 1:39 PM


Truthfully... by ♥Venice♥ Wed February 13, 2008 @ 4:13 PM


by inanna68 Posted Wed February 13, 2008 @ 10:40 AM

I have one of these in my freezer and was planning to cook it for
Valentines Day diner. I've made them before but I never had these
problems, maybe they made some changes to it. I'll let you know how it
turns out. (Oh and besides the onion try putting a few cloves of
garlic and celery in the turkey cavity also, makes for great flavor)

Reply


Garlic and celery sound great! by ♥Venice♥ Wed February 13, 2008 @ 4:13 PM


Update by inanna68 Fri February 15, 2008 @ 8:38 AM


I'm glad you didn't cook it for Valentine's Day by ♥Venice♥ Fri February 15, 2008 @ 4:39 PM

by RowdyRetailer Posted Wed February 13, 2008 @ 10:24 AM

From what you described it sounds like you got a thaw/refreeze
product. If that happened the gravy packet would be stuck to the
outside of the turkey and the netting would be further in the turkey.

I work retail grocery and people throw steaks, frozen food, produce,
whatever where it doesnt belong, just so they dont have to put it
back.

Return the packaging to the store and ask to speak to the manager.
Describe what you stated here. I would give you a refund just to
satisfy you. I will have to look for this product at work. I havent
seen it.

Reply


That makes perfect sense by ♥Venice♥ Wed February 13, 2008 @ 4:13 PM

by Jeffrey Posted Wed February 13, 2008 @ 10:00 AM

The from "Freezer to Oven" part would have thrown me.

I'd always assumed that you had to totally defrost a turkey (breast)
before cooking. I've shortcutted too many times (putting a partially
frozen bird in the oven) to know that the results are not pretty.

Therefore, if the package claimed "freezer to oven," I'd
assume that this was some new technology that allowed the bird to cook
up nicely when frozen.

Sounds like the reality didn't live up to the promise.

Reply


You CAN cook a frozen turkey by ♥Venice♥ Wed February 13, 2008 @ 4:12 PM


by RedheadwGlasses Posted Tue February 12, 2008 @ 9:27 PM

My first instinct was to say: A cookbook would tell you everything
you need to know about how to cook a turkey. I'm an avid cook, but
I've never heard of cooking a turkey that wasn't completely thawed
first. The interior would take so long to cook, meanwhile, the outer
portions would be overcooked.

But it sounds like this turkey came with not only no instructions, but
misleading labeling. "From Freezer to Oven"? Then there
shouldn't have been a netting on the turkey at all, and there
shouldn't have been a bag of gravy "attached" to the turkey.
Thank goodness there wasn't a frozen bag of giblets in the cavity!
What was touted as a turkey that could be prepared as easy as one
could imagine obvious didn't turn out that way.

I hope they not only give your comments serious thought, but give you
some coupons/certificates for a couple of free turkeys.

Excellent complaint letter. Well written, reasonable... and you
conveyed your disgust politely. Of course, I expect nothing else from
Venice. ;)

Reply


Thanks by ♥Venice♥ Tue February 12, 2008 @ 10:34 PM


Interesting points! by RedheadwGlasses Tue February 12, 2008 @ 11:27 PM


You can shove an onion in there too by ♥Venice♥ Wed February 13, 2008 @ 12:12 AM


Forgot to say by ♥Venice♥ Wed February 13, 2008 @ 2:10 AM




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