Butterball's response to viral 'turkey challenge' prank shocks parents even more

Children across the country pulled off heart-stopping pranks ahead of Thanksgiving as they turned to their parents for cooking "advice."

They were participating in a viral prank called the "turkey challenge," which prompts kids to ask their parents whether it's possible to successfully microwave a 25-pound turkey. The "clueless" kids asked how long it would take to cook a turkey in the microwave, noting they didn't want to wait "hours" for it to roast in the oven.

The question drew a variety of responses from confused and concerned elders — the majority agreeing that a turkey doesn't belong in a microwave at all.

Pranksters mocked the responses they received, posting screenshots of their conversations. Some mothers called it a "joke" and said the question "doesn't even make sense," while fathers instructed their children not to "be dumb" and warned it "would turn out badly."

THE 'TURKEY CHALLENGE' PRANK IS FREAKING OUT PARENTS EVERYWHERE

But Butterball's response may have been the most surprising of them all.

The poultry brand said microwaving a 25-pound turkey is "a little ambitious," but a 12-pound turkey would be "no challenge at all."

"We started microwaving turkeys before hashtags even existed," Butterball joked on Twitter. "Give us a call ... and we'll walk you through it step-by-step."

Parents and kids alike were surprised by the news — though many admitted they still would never actually opt to use a microwave over an oven.

"Say what? Butterball claims you actually can microwave a turkey," one Twitter user replied.

"You COULD, but why would you?" another asked.

HEALTH DANGERS OF UNDERCOOKING A THANKSGIVING TURKEY

"Jokes on us," one woman admitted.

"Just because you can doesn't mean you should," a Twitter user suggested.

Butterball confirmed to Fox News via email Tuesday that they weren't bluffing — it is possible, and "safe," to cook a much smaller turkey in the microwave. According to experts at Butterball, here are the steps you should follow to successfully microwave a 9-pound turkey.

  • Thaw your turkey first – don’t put a frozen turkey in the microwave!
  • Place the turkey breast side down on a microwave-safe dish or plate
  • Microwave it 4 minutes per pound on full power (so 36 minutes)
  • Remove drippings
  • Flip it over on its breast and cook at 50 percent power for 8 minutes per pound with 4 intervals, which is about every 18 minutes (checking the turkey temperature at each interval)
  • Baste and add a browning sauce for a golden brown look

However, everyone who cooks a turkey this year — in a microwave or an oven — should be aware of the risks of eating undercooked meat.

“The most common bacteria people tend to associate with undercooked poultry is Salmonella. However, poultry may also carry campylobacter, E. coli and other bacteria,” Dena Champion, a registered dietitian at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, previously explained to Fox News.

Each year in the U.S., roughly 1.2 million people are sickened by the Salmonella bacteria while an estimated 23,000 are hospitalized, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Roughly 1 million cases of Salmonella infections each year are caused by food, the agency noted.

In order to ensure your bird is thoroughly cooked, place a thermometer in the "innermost part of the thigh, the innermost part of the wing and the thickest part of the breast," Champion advised, noting it will be ready to eat when its internal temperature reaches at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Fox News' Madeline Farber contributed to this report.