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|
|Fresh Beef, Veal and Lamb|
|Chicken and Turkey, whole||180|
|Poultry Breasts, roast||170|
|Poultry thighs, wings, legs||180|
|Duck and Goose||180|
|Pre-cooked (to reheat)||170|
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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!