How do good cooks get that way? They know whom to ask for help.

This year, as always, help is a dial tone away as the holiday hot lines kick into gear.

New this year is a Spanish-language option for those calling the Crisco pie and baking hot line at 1-877-367-7438. The hot line also is expanding beyond pie crusts to offer advice in more baking categories such as cakes and cookies. The automated system is available 24 hours a day, with live experts available weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Twin Cities time. Visit for more.

Here are the most popular hot lines:

The Butterball Turkey Talk Line: This mainstay is open Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 1-800-288-8372 or visit for videos, tips and recipes. For all sorts of recipes and advice, visit and type “Thanksgiving” in the search field.

USDA Meat and Poultry Safety info: For a wealth of food safety advice, visit here.

Martha Stewart: She comes through, of course, with info at

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: She will host her annual “Turkey Confidential” live call-in show on Thanksgiving Day from 10 a.m. to noon on MPR, 91.1 FM. Scheduled guests are Lidia Bastianich, David Leite, Melissa Clark, Carla Hall, Francis Lam and Henry Alford. E-mail a question now via

Star Tribune Taste: See our videos on how to carve a turkey, how to make a pie crust, and how to make a pumpkin roulade or biscuits at For baking ideas, go to