Portrait of young man frying sausages and talking to his son in the countryside at weekend

Meat Temperature Guide for Safe and Tasty Cooking

 

Joonas, from GrillSmokeLove.com, a site where he posts information related to barbecue and healthy cooking, shared with Healthy Lombard that one of the most underrated tools in your kitchen drawer is the ordinary meat thermometer. When paired with a detailed meat temperature guide, the thermometer becomes your best friend.

You never have to worry about cutting into an undercooked turkey or charring your steak until it’s dry and unappetizing. That thermometer is your key to reliably cooked food that is both safe and tasty.

 

Safe Meat Temperature and Doneness

Many home cooks associate meat thermometers with food safety. Indeed, cooking to a specific internal temperature ensures that harmful bacteria are killed off.

The USDA specifically recommends that all cooks heat foods to recommended temperatures before consuming.

Below is a table with our cooking temperature recommendations for different types of meat. The table also includes USDA minimum temperature recommendations for food safety.

Our recommended temperatures for each doneness for beef, lamb, and pork can also be found on the table. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide if you want to leave your steak medium rare even the temperature is below USDA recommendation.

Our Recommendation USDA Recommendation
Beef & Lamb
Rare 120-130°F (49-54°C)
Medium rare 130-140°F (54-60°C)
Medium 145°F (63°C) + 3 minute rest 145°F (63°C) + 3 minute rest
Medium well 150-155°F (66-68°C)
Well done 155-160°F (68-72°C)
Ground 160°F (72°C) 160°F (72°C)
Pork
Medium 145°F (63°C) + 3 minute rest 145°F (63°C) + 3 minute rest
Medium well 150-155°F (66-68°C)
Well done 155-160°F (68-72°C)
Ground 160°F (72°C) 160°F (72°C)
Chicken & Turkey
Whole & Parts 165-170°F (74-77°C) 165°F (74°C)
Ground 165-170°F (74-77°C) 165°F (74°C)

To see the entire guide, click here.

1 reply
  1. Devesh
    Devesh says:

    What useful information provided by this blog! It’s remarkable. I had no idea that hamburgers should be 106 degrees internally and most poultry needs to be 180 degrees. I have been thinking about making BBQs more because we have more people in the home to feed and everyone can agree that Barbecue is the best dinner. It could be really fun to get a special sauce from a professional that I could surprise them with so that it tastes better.

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