People are pranking their parents by asking them how to microwave a whole turkey, but experts say it's actually doable

gkrphoto/ShutterstockIt’s possible to cook small turkeys in the microwave, according to Butterball.
  • Before Thanksgiving on Thursday, people have been pranking their parents by asking them how to cook a whole turkey in the microwave.
  • Almost always, parents reply to the seemingly earnest question with some variation of, “Don’t do that.”
  • The viral “25-pound turkey challenge” surfaced online as early as 2016.
  • Experts from Butterball say it’s actually possible to cook a whole turkey in the microwave.
  • But this cooking method is only safe to use on turkeys that weigh 12 pounds or less, a representative for Butterball told INSIDER.

Ahead of Thanksgiving this year, people have been trolling their parents by asking them how to microwave a whole turkey. But, according to experts, this cooking method is actually more sound than you’d think.

The viral ’25-pound turkey challenge’ surfaced online as early as 2016

The premise of the prank is simple: Text your parents and ask them how long it would take to cook a 25-pound turkey in the microwave. Then, post their responses online. Almost always, parents reply to the seemingly earnest question with some variation of, “Don’t do that.”

According to meme database Know Your Meme, the prank dates back at least two years ago, when it first spread on Facebook before Thanksgiving in 2016.

It resurfaced on Twitter over the past week, fooling even renowned chef José Andrés and Simone Biles’ mum.

Experts say it’s actually possible to cook a whole turkey in the microwave

Butterball, which is known for its fresh and frozen turkeys, weighed in on the viral “25-pound turkey challenge” on Monday.

Speaking to Today Food, experts from the company shared specific instructions for cooking a turkey in the microwave – although they only recommend doing so for smaller birds.

According to Butterball, you first have to thaw the turkey before putting it in the microwave. Then, place the turkey breast-side down on a microwave-safe dish or plate, and microwave it for four minutes per pound “on full power to get the cooking process started.” For a nine-pound turkey, for example, you’d set the timer for 36 minutes.

Microwave dirty clean homeZynatis/ShutterstockNever put a frozen turkey in the microwave.

After that, take the partially-cooked turkey out, remove any drippings, and baste it with natural juices or browning sauce to get golden-brown skin. Then, flip the turkey over and cook it at 50% power for eight minutes per pound. Make sure you stop cooking every 18 minutes to check the turkey’s temperature with a meat thermometer and baste it.

According to Butterball, the turkey is ready and safe to eat when it reaches a temperature of 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit in the thigh and 170 to 175 degrees in the breast.

Read more: This simple hack will prevent your Thanksgiving turkey from being dry

But if you’re going to microwave a turkey, make sure it weighs 12 pounds or less

In an email to INSIDER, a representative for Butterball confirmed that it’s possible and safe to cook a small turkey in the microwave following the instructions experts from the company shared with Today Food.

However, this cooking method is only safe to use on turkeys that weigh 12 pounds or less, the representative said. According to Butterball’s Turkey Talk Line experts, it’s also crucial that you check the temperature of the turkey as it’s cooking and before it’s served.

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