Why use a Meat Thermometer?
A critical factor in controlling possible bacteria in food is controlling the temperature. Bacteria grows very slowly at low temperatures, multiplies rapidly at room temperatures, and is destroyed at high temperatures. Raw meat can harbor harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli. So, to be safe, meats must always be cooked thoroughly in order to reach an internal temperature capable of killing any possible bacteria. A meat thermometer is the most reliable test available to indicate if bacteria has been eliminated from your meat.
Research has shown that color changes are not a reliable indicator. A brown hamburger may not have reached a high enough temperature to kill all bacteria. But if it is cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F it is safe, regardless of color.
How Do You Use a Meat Thermometer?
What Is Rest Time?
“Rest time” is the period of time between when the meat is removed from the heat source until it is sliced or cut. Three minutes of rest time should be allowed as its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, continuing to destroy harmful bacteria.
Recommended Internal Temperature of Poultry, Meats and other Proteins
|Internal Temperature of Chicken||Whole||165°||Make sure no blood runs in juices|
|Internal Temperature of Chicken||Breast||165°||Opaque throughout|
|Internal Temperature of Chicken||Thigh||165-175°|
|Internal Temperature of Pork||Roast/Chop||145° Medium Rare||Never eat pork less than medium rare|
|Internal Temperature of Pork||Roast/Chop||160° Medium||Never eat pork less than medium rare|
|Internal Temperature of Pork||Roast/Chop||170° Well||Never eat pork less than medium rare|
|Internal Temperature of Ham||Whole/Half||145°||Maximum of 160°|
|Turkey/Duck||Whole||165°||Make sure no blood runs in juices|
|Beef||Steak||Medium Rare 135°|
|Beef||Steak||Medium Well 155°|
|Beef||Steak||Well Done 165°|
|Ground Meats||All||160°||Meatloaf, etc.|
|Fish||All||145°||Opaque throughout and flakes with a fork|
|Clams/Oysters/Mussels||Until Shells Open||Do not eat ones where the shell does not open|
What You Can Do
Which Type Meat Thermometer is Best?
Make sure your thermometer is designed for meat and poultry, not for candy or anything else.
Using the proper tool will ensure you reach the proper internal temperature of chicken, pork or any other meat. For more information on cooking foods properly visit FDA.