Approximate Internal Meat Temperatures
|Fahrenheit||85 to 120||
Used exclusively for preservation. We do not
|Centigrade||30 to 49|
|Very Rare||Fahrenheit||130||Red Cool Center. Beef primarily.|
| Fish Done
||Fahrenheit||130 to 135|| Fish will begin to flake and turn opaque. Best determined by testing fish for flaking.
|Centigrade||54 to 57|
|Rare||Fahrenheit||140||Red Center. This is your basic rare cut of meat suitable to steaks and lamb. Pork should not be cooked rare.|
||Fahrenheit||145 to 150
||Red Center. Medium rare is good for all beef.|
|Centigrade||63 to 66
||Fahrenheit||155 to 160|| Pink Center. Medium done temperature is good for pork, beef and lamb. Hamburgers should be cooked to 160 degrees.
|Centigrade||68 to 71|
|Medium Well Done
||Fahrenheit||165|| Light Gray Warm Center. Pork will be all white center.
||Fahrenheit||165 to 170
||Turkey, chicken, etc done. Check near the thigh and breast bone to verify temperature.|
||Fahrenheit||170 to 180
|| With beef and lamb it's done! (and dead!) Pork is just done. Hot gray center. No pink.
|Centigrade||77 to 82
|Approximate Grill and Smoker Temperatures|
|Type of Cooking||Degrees||Comments|
|Barbecuing||Fahrenheit||225|| Extended cooking over many hours time. Often confused with the term smoking which occurs at much lower temperatures.
|| Great for fish and vegetables or other delicate foods.
|| Not intended for cooking to acquire a smoke flavoring. The meat will be done before significant smoke flavor is acquired. 1 to 3 hours usually.
|Fahrenheit||450 to 500
|| Most common grilling temperature.
||232 to 260
|| 550 +
|| Great for mesquite cooking where wood is strongly flavored. Steaks should be cooked at around 700 degrees (385 degrees C.)
|| 288 +
Easy Degrees of Doneness
Cooking times and temperatures vary with the method of preparation used, the size and shape of the cut and the desired degree of doneness.
Degrees of Doneness
Rare 140° F
Medium Rare 150° F
Medium 160° F
Medium Well 165° F
Well 170° F
To ensure food safety in cooking hamburgers, a temperature of 160° F is recommended, or until the middle is no longer pink and the juices run clear.
Test roasts for doneness using a meat thermometer placed so the tip is in the center of the roast, not touching bone or resting in fat. Remove the meat from the oven when the thermometer registers 5-10° F lower than the desired doneness, as the temperature will rise after it comes out of the oven. A quick-read thermometer can also be used in roasts and is often used in testing steaks for doneness.
The doneness of steaks can also be checked using the "firmness to touch" method in which the steak is compared to the human hand. For rare, the steak would feel about the same as the muscle between the thumb and the index finger of the hand in a relaxed state. For medium, feel the same muscle of the hand when it is stretched out as shown in the diagram. And, for well-done firmness, feel the muscle when the hand is clenched into a fist.
Cook Like You Mean It!