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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Internal Temperature Guide

If you've ever cooked any type of meat in your life, you should know (keyword "should") that different types of meat need to be cooked to specific temperatures to kill potentially harmful bacteria.  In order to protect your friends from getting carsick on the drive home from your barbecue, you should consult this guide each time you barbecue.

I know, this entry doesn't have steamy, sizzling photos of succulent barbecue, but it is important.

165 F
**Poultry should always be thoroughly cooked through!  You may occasionally meat raw diet nutcases who claim that quality, organic, free-range poultry can be served carpaccio style or something, but that's crazy.  And it sounds really really gross.

Rare: About 125  F
Medium Rare: About 135 F
Medium: About 145 F
Medium-Well: About 155 F
Overdone: Over 160

160-165 F
**Though some people enjoy burgers on the rarer side, it's not guaranteed safe.  Most bacteria resides on the outside of beef.  When ground, the outside gets put on the inside too.

SAUSAGE (all types)
Above 160 F

PORK (chops, tenderloin, etc.)
Medium: About 145 F
Well Done: Over 160 F
**Pork can, in fact, be slightly pink in the center.  You just don't wanna do it really rare.

Above 160 F
**These standard barbecue fare items are actually the exception in which you need not consult this guide.  If you do think you need to consult this guide when you make a brisket... that means it's not done.

MOST FISH (steaks, fillets)
About 140 F

RARE FISH (tuna, swordfish)
125 F is optimal
**Fish such as tuna, of course, can be fully cooked until flakey, but most seafood fans would consider really high quality expensive tuna to be wasted if cooked that much.

Some types of shellfish, such as oysters, can be served raw.  Others are cooked until they open.  Items such as shrimp and lobster are generally cooked by the minute rather by the temperature.  If you do grill shrimp, just cook it until it's white all the way through.  Quite frankly, grilling whole lobster may not be worth the effort, as it will only steam internally in its shell anyway.

1 comment:

ally said...

I love this guide... I will definitely be printing it out to keep in my kitchen. Thanks!