Cooking Tip Thursdays: The Heat of Meat

Cooking Tip Thursdays is dedicated to making time in the kitchen quicker, easier, and just plain better…

I can’t believe it’s officially November.  Even more so, I can’t believe that my local drugstore is already selling Christmas candy.  Looks like it’s time to start plotting and planning this years holiday menu.

Roasted herb chicken, smoked turkey, beef brisket, glazed ham, broiled salmon, whatever your family tradition, don’t go through this holiday season without a meat thermometer.  This little lifesaver takes all the guesswork out of cooking as it measures the exact internal temperature of any protein.  And trust me, there is nothing worse than pulling a beautiful roasted chicken out of the oven to serve your family on Christmas day, only to find out it’s still cold inside.

Here is your foolproof cheat sheet for the appropriate, safe, and perfect temperatures at which any meat/poultry/fish should be served – whether for the holidays or a random Tuesday night.

Internal Temperatures:

  • Poultry (Chicken, Turkey, Duck): 165 F
  • Beef and Lamb: Medium Rare-135 F, Medium-145 F, Medium Well-155 F, Well Done-above 160 F
  • Beef Brisket: 160 F
  • Ground Beef, Pork, and Lamb: 160 F
  • Pork (Roast, Steak, Chops): Medium-145 F, Well Done-160 F
  • Pork (Ribs, Shoulder): 160 F
  • Ham: (Raw – 160 F) (Pre-Cooked – 140 F)
  • Fish (Steaks, Fillets and Whole): 140 F (except Tuna: 125 F)
  • Egg Dishes: 160 F

* After desired cooking time is reached it is always important to let your protein rest (taking it off the heat source and letting it sit at room temperature).  Depending on the size and cut, this typically ranges from 5-20 minutes, or longer for a massive turkey.  Letting the protein rest will allow it to raise in temperature slightly and most importantly, it allows to the juices to redistribute throughout.



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