10 Things You Should Know Before Eating Stove Top Stuffing
The story of this savory side doesn’t even start with turkey …
Stuffing is as ubiquitous on Thanksgiving tables across America as the turkey itself, and the Stove Top brand is one of the best-selling boxed stuffing mixes in the country. The simple, all-in-one package is a go-to for holiday dinners—but would you believe that those buttery breadcrumbs were originally eaten along with a different bird? You’ve got a lot of stuff to catch up on.
- Stove Top stuffing was invented by a baker.
A woman from Indiana named Ruth Siems developed the stuffing while working on flour and cake mixes for General Foods (now Kraft Heinz) in Tarrytown, NY.
- The breadcrumbs are key.
A patent for the stuffing in Siems’ name involved using a very specific size of breadcrumb. The particular size allows the bread to be properly rehydrated with the addition of water.
3. Stove Top was a revelation in the 70s.
When Stove Top was introduced in 1972 it was the first stuffing mix containing all the ingredients needed to typical dressing in one box. The mixture of vegetables, seasonings, herbs, spices, and baked stuffing crumbs came together in 15 minutes.
- It wasn’t meant to be served with turkey.
The early ad campaigns for Stove Top marketed the stuffing as a replacement for potatoes in a typical chicken dinner. The original flavors were Chicken (made with chicken broth) and Cornbread.
- It’s designed to complement different meats.
Following the chicken flavor, the brand’s stuffing mix for pork was released in 1976, and the pairing for turkey didn’t come to be until 1982. The seasonings are switched up slightly between those flavors so they taste best when paired with each protein.
- It eventually became a Thanksgiving staple.
With the introduction of turkey-specific stuffing, the boxed mix quickly became an easy side option for Thanksgiving dinner across the country. The slogan in the brand’s commercials even changed to “If it’s not Stove Top, it’s not Thanksgiving.”
- There used to be regional styles.
Back in the 80s you could try out stuffing as it’s eaten in areas around the country. The “Americana” line of mixes included New England-style with white and rye bread, onion and bell peppers and San Francisco’s take with a mixture of white and sourdough.
- You don’t need a stove to make it.
In 1991, the recipe was tweaked slightly so that it can be made in the microwave rather than in a pan on the stovetop, and the prep time has been cut down from 15 to 5 minutes over the years.
9. Lots of new flavors have been released.
There have been plenty of changes to the classic over time, keeping things interesting with flavors like broccoli & cheese, mushroom & onion, cranberry, savory herbs and sage.
- Pilgrims are big fans.
The brand’s 2013 ad campaign featured perturbed pilgrims who couldn’t believe their friends would serve anything but Stove Top on Thanksgiving, and the 2015 commercials took an even sillier turn with appearances by an Artisanal Hipster Pilgrim … with a pet turkey.