Meat Temperatures

Following the meat temperature guidelines from the USDA will ensure that the food you serve is safe. Use the temperature chart and a meat thermometer for peace of mind when smoking and serving foods.

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:

Beef, Pork,
Veal & Lamb Steaks,
chops, roasts
Ground meats 160
Ham, fresh or
smoked (uncooked)
USDA Insp.-140
All Others - 165
All Poultry 165

Source: USDA Safe Meat Temperatures

Use the above meat temperature 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!

› Smoked Meat Done Temperatures