It's a Thanksgiving tradition that has become as familiar and comforting as family and football. It's the Butterball hotline, and it's been keeping up with the technological times with advice on social media and even Amazon's Alexa.

Since 1981, experts at cooking up a Thanksgiving turkey have been manning phones to help novice and experienced cooks alike prepare the bird the best way.

In its first year, six operators answered 11,000 calls. Today, Butterball says it has more than 50 experts answering more than 100,000 questions each holiday season from people calling in the U.S. and Canada.

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They like to bring in some star power now and then. This year, actor Freddie Prinze Jr. was handing out turkey advice on the hotline on Nov. 14.

Here's how to reach out for advice.

Last year, Butterball upped its game by adding an Alexa Skill. It's available again this year on any Alexa-enabled device.

"You're going to get about 36 years of experience when you talk to Alexa," said Marge, a Butterball talk-line expert.

You can open the Alexa Skill by saying “Alexa, open Butterball…” or “Alexa, ask Butterball…” Questions you can try are:

  • "How many pounds of turkey should I buy?"
  • "How long do I need to thaw my turkey?"
  • "At what temperature should I roast my turkey?"
  • "How do I know when my turkey’s done?"
  • "Where should I put the meat thermometer?"