Meat Temperatures

Following the meat temperatures guidelines from the USDA will ensure that the food you serve is safe. Using the temperature chart and a meat thermometer will keep your meat safe for all to eat.

Most chefs cook foods to five or ten degrees under the recommendations, since it's generally accepted that food temperature rises after removing it from the oven, smoker or grill. The exterior temperature of the meat is several degrees hotter than the interior, so as the temperature equalizes, the interior temperature rises.

Here are the USDA recommendations for red meat and poultry:

Ground Meat and Meat Mixtures
Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb 160
Turkey, Chicken 165
Fresh Beef, Veal and Lamb
Medium Rare 145
Medium 160
Well Done 170
Chicken and Turkey, whole 180
Poultry Breasts, roast 170
Poultry thighs, wings, legs 180
Duck and Goose 180
Fresh Pork
Medium 160
Well Done 170
Fresh (raw) 160
Pre-cooked (to reheat) 170

Use the above meat temperatures table as a guide to safe cooking. If you remove the food from the oven, grill or smoker before it reaches the recommended temperature, cover it and let it rest. The internal temperature will rise a few degrees, and the juices will redistribute, making the meat safe and tasty!

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Meat Temperatures