Meat Temperature

Knowing the temperature of meat you’re cooking is very important for two reaons. First, saftey: cooking your meat to a certain temperature ensures prevention of foodborne illness from bacteria or other microbes. Second, doneness: temperature helps you quickly and accurately guage how “done” your meat is. Knowing your meat’s internal temperature is the surefire way to ensure you aren’t undercooking or overcooking it.

When is meat done?

Extra-rare very red, cold 115–120°F 46–49°C
Rare cold red center, soft 125–130°F 52–55°C
Medium rare warm red center, firmer 130–140°F 55–60°C
Medium pink, firm 140–150°F 60–65°C
Medium well small amount of pink in center, firm 150–155°F 65–69°C
Well done Grey-brown throughout (no pink), firm >160°F >71°C

USDA Recommendations*

Here are the minimum internal temperatures the USDA considers “safe”. Note that some rarer temperatures above aren't considered safe below, although it doesn’t stop people from eating their steaks rare!

Steaks & Roasts 145°F 63°C
Fish 145°F 63°C
Pork 160°F 71°C
Ground Beef 160°F 71°C
Chicken & Poultry 165°F 74°C

Source: USDA

Pull your meat slightly before it’s done

Meat continues to cook even after it has been removed from the heat, so it is common for it’s temperature to increase 5°F (3°C) or more once removed from the Big Green Egg (or any oven/grill). If you are cooking larger cuts of meat, you should pull your victuals prior to reaching your desired internal temperature.

Resting meat

Resting the meat before serving or cutting allows it’s temperature to stabilize and it’s juices to distribute. Allow you meat to rest for at least several minutes after you take it off of the grill.

The Best Meat Thermometer

A good meat thermometer is an essential tool for the barbeque and grilling enthusiast. Knowing the exact internal temperature of your meat helps you cook it to perfection while keeping your family safe from foodborne illness. The USDA recommends always using an instant-read thermometer.

ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen is probably the most widely praised thermometer by chefs and eggheads alike. It instantly and accurately reads your meats internal temperature making it easy to cook to perfection. It may seem expensive at first, but the general consensus is: the Thermapen will outlast and out-perform cheap digital thermometers. You don’t have to take my word for it. Read the reviews at Amazon.com.

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