A Guide to Meat Cooking Temperatures

June 9, 2020 9:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

All raw meat harbors bacteria, which is why it’s important to properly cook your meat before eating it. The only way to ensure the meat is cooked enough to eliminate the harmful bacteria is to take its temperature while you’re cooking it. Food thermometers are inexpensive and easy to find, and they can help you prevent foodborne illnesses.

Taking the temperature of your meat is simple—all you need to do is insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat you’re cooking, taking care to avoid fat, gristle and bones. Check the temperature toward the end of your cooking, but before it’s done, and be sure to clean your thermometers in between each use.

Simple thermometers will only cost you a few dollars, but you can also find Bluetooth thermometers in Williamsport, PA that connect to apps on your phone, allowing you to easily track the meat’s cooking temperature while it’s in progress.

Here’s a quick overview of the ideal temperatures for cooking different types of meat:

  • Poultry: The general rule for poultry is that you should aim for 160 degrees Fahrenheit for white meat and 165 degrees Fahrenheit for dark meat and ground poultry.
  • Beef: The temperature to which you cook beef depends on the doneness you want. For steaks, the standards for doneness are 115 degrees for rare, 130 degrees for medium rare, 140 degrees for medium, 150 degrees for medium well and 155 degrees for well done. If you’re cooking ground beef, you should get the meet to 160 degrees.
  • Pork: For pork, you should cook to a doneness of no less than medium for safety. Medium for pork is 145 degrees, and well done is 160 degrees. If you’re cooking ground pork, 160 degrees is also the standard.
  • Lamb: Lamb should be cooked to no less than medium rare. The standards for doneness for lamb are 130 degrees for medium rare, 140 degrees for medium, 150 degrees for medium well and 155 degrees for well done. Ground lamb should be cooked to 160 degrees.
  • Seafood: The standards for seafood are a little looser than with most other kinds of meat. Fish with fins should be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, or until the flesh is opaque and can be easily separated with a fork. For shrimp, crab, lobster and scallops, cook until the flesh is a pearly white. For clams, mussels and oysters, cook until the shells open.

Keep in mind that certain types of meat (especially beef and pork) will continue to cook slightly while resting and tented, so it is a good idea to remove the meat from the grill or oven just before it reaches your preferred doneness, as you can expect it to keep cooking just a bit more once it’s been removed.

To learn more about the levels of doneness you should strive for in your meet and the required temperatures you should watch for, contact Tony’s Delicatessen & Fresh Meats with any questions you have about meat cooking temperatures in Williamsport, PA.

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