With the exception of exotic dishes like Steak Tar Tar and beef Capaccio, most meat dishes need to be cooked to a specific “Safe Doneness” temperature. This is especially important for things like pork and chicken that can make you sick if you eat them below a temperature of 165-degrees Fahrenheit.
At the same time, there are also things like steak and salmon that have different degrees of doneness at specific temperatures. The higher the temperature you grill a steak to, the darker the interior will be and the dryer the meat will be. It’s an especially big deal for people who love a juicy medium-rare steak that’s richly pink in the middle.
What Is The Safe Temperature To Cook Chicken?
Chicken in particular needs to be grilled to a “Safe Internal Temperature.” The USDA defines this as 165 degrees F. This is the minimum temperature needed to eliminate the threat of salmonella and other potentially dangerous bacteria.
What Is The Safe Temperature To Cook Pork?
With pork, the biggest concern is trichinosis parasites potentially hiding in the meat. To prevent this serious pathogen the USDA recommends cooking all pork to a minimum of 145-degrees. Though 165 degrees would be even better to eliminate any bacterial concerns.
What Temperature To Cook A Medium Rare Steak?
Since it’s cut from a large primal steaks can be grilled to varying degrees of doneness based on the temperature.
A Rare Steak is grilled to 125-degrees internal temperature. This gives you a flavorful exterior sear with rich pink and juicy interior.
A Medium Rare Steak Is grilled to 135 degrees internal temperature. This gives you a slightly deeper flavorful exterior, with a thick red, juicy interior. Medium rare is arguably the most popular degree of doneness when it comes to steak.
A Medium Steak is grilled to 145 degrees internal temperature. This gives you a deeper exterior crust with a little ribbon of pink and still a fair amount of juiciness in the meat.
A Medium-Well Steak is grilled to 150 to 155 degrees internal temperature. This is where the steak starts to lose some of it’s inherent juiciness, yet still has a slight ribbon or pink in the middle.
A Well Done Steak is anything over 160 degrees. At this point, there is no pink in the middle, and the meat is arguably tough to chew. Though there are some people who love a well-done steak.
When grilling steaks and other somewhat thin pieces of meat, the temperature range between a juicy medium rare and a dried out well done can be surprisingly narrow over a direct flame. With these, you want a temperature probe that gives you a nearly instantaneous reading.
The Best Grill Thermometer For Steaks & Chops
Instant read probe thermometers are designed to give you a nearly instantaneous reading. You just need to carefully insert them into the thickest part of the meat. If it’s a bone-in cut you want to be near the bone, but don’t actually touch it with the tip of the instant-read thermometer’s tip!
The Best Instant Read Thermometer For Grilling
Grilling Roasts & Smoking Meat For Classic Barbecue
The rules tend to change a little bit when we depart from high-heat and direct flame applications. Dry roasted and smoke meats like roast petite, Boston butt pork shoulders, briskets, and whole turkeys still need to be monitored to the proper internal temperature. If you were to pull one of these large pieces of meat off the heat too early, it ends up being tough or possibly even unsafe to eat.
Yet you don’t want to be constantly poking and prodding the meat all the time. Ultimately, each hole you make is just an open doorway for the meat’s natural juices to leak out. To prevent this from happening, you want to use a probe thermometer that you insert once, into the thickest part of the meat, and leave it in there.
A wire or remote wireless signal then sends the temperature information to a monitoring device. With these thermometers it helps to have a unit that lets you set up an alert. This lets you walk away from the grill or smoker, and not have to worry about the meat ending up overcooked.