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Talking Turkey: How much does it cost to cook your Thanksgiving dinner?

Here’s something Walton Gas customers can be thankful for this holiday season: Those priceless memories created around the Thanksgiving table with family and friends come at a low cost. The natural gas energy it takes to cook a holiday meal for 12 guests costs about 42 cents.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says you should cook a thawed stuffed turkey of regular size for 4-4.5 hours. The cost of natural gas needed to operate an oven set at 350 degrees for one hour is about 6¢. So a turkey roasted for four hours costs about 24¢ in natural gas.

The cooking costs breakdown for your Thanksgiving meal:

  • Roast stuffed turkey cooked 4.5 hours: 24¢
  • Large pan of mashed potatoes cooked for 20 minutes: less than 2¢.
  • Giblet gravy cooked on the stove for 10 minutes: less than 1¢.
  • Homemade dinner rolls baked for 30 minutes: 3¢.
  • Vegetable casserole cooked for 1 hour: 6¢.
  • Two baked pumpkin pies: 6¢

TOTAL: 42¢

Cooking Smart

Walton Gas offers these tips to get even more energy value while cooking your holiday meal:

  • Use glass and ceramic dishes. They hold heat well and allow you to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees.
  • Cooking turkey in a roasting bag can reduce cooking time by nearly half.
  • Keep the oven door closed. The temperature drops 25-75 degrees each time the oven door is opened, so monitor cooking time and peek through the oven window, if possible, to check on your food.
  • Plan to bake more than one dish or cook an entire meal in the oven to save energy.

Did you know?

  • Americans eat 46 million turkeys at Thanksgiving, according to the National Turkey Federation. Another 22 million are eaten at Christmas.
  • 34% of Thanksgiving meals are cooked in gas-powered ovens.
  • Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line, which the company has operated since 1981, employs 50+ experts who answer more than 100,000 questions each November and December.
  • You can talk turkey with a Butterball expert by calling 1-800-BUTTERBALL (1-800-288-8372). The company’s experts also answer questions via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, live chat, text and email.
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