Meat and Poultry Temperature Guide Made Easy for Beginners

Meat and Poultry Temperature Guide Made Easy for Beginners

Cooking perfect meals is very exciting and challenging at the same time especially for beginners. Determining the degree of preparing for meat and vegetables can be difficult, therefore having a fully furnished kitchen is essential. It does not only help you with cooking, but it makes the experience more exciting.

When it comes to meat and poultry, the best way to determine its internal temperature is through the use of a meat thermometer. It makes the determination of the doneness accurate, and it helps in making sure that you follow the recommended temperature for cooking different meats. Among the different kinds, meat thermometers with the probe are considered the best. It allows you to check on the cooking temperature regularly without having to open the oven door or pan repeatedly. For safety and accuracy reasons, meat thermometers with probe should be appropriately placed depending on the meat. For example, for uniformly shaped roasts, you need to put the tip of the probe at the center of the meat since this will reach the ideal temperature last. On the other hand, the tip of the thermometer probe must be on the thickest part of the breast area for poultry. The reason for this is because the piece is easy to overcook and that is not good.

If you are using a meat thermometer, it is best to equip yourself with basic knowledge of the ideal cooked temperature for basic meat and poultry. It is to ensure that you reach the recommended temperature before removing the food from the stove. Knowing the different temperatures for doneness also helps in making sure you achieve the kind of meat you want.

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Beef and Lamb

Since the texture of meat for both beef and lamb are closely similar, the recommended cooking temperature by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the same. For rare done, it is 125 degrees Fahrenheit plus a 3-minute rest to achieve the perfect doneness. Medium rare on the other hand is between 130 – 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Medium done will start at 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit while medium well is between 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The most extended type, well done is achieved when the temperature reaches over 155 degrees Fahrenheit.


When it comes to pork, the recommended cooking temperature is higher than other types of meat. 145 degrees Fahrenheit plus three minutes of rest is ideal for medium well. On another note, you can say it is medium done when the temperature reaches around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat becomes well done when the cooking heat reaches 160. Ground pork is perfectly cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.


The two most popular bird is chicken and turkey. USDA considers the ideal cooking temperature for them the same. Let’s go to the most famous part, the thigh. Whether you are cooking whole or by sections, the recommended internal temperature reading for perfect and safe cooking is between 165 and 175 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the breast part should reach a heat of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The same internal temperature is best for stuffed chicken or turkey. If you consider ground meat, the temperature should reach 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be found safely and perfectly cooked.

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