Meat Cooking Temperatures And Meat Temps

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There are many ways to cook meat and poultry but we can all agree on one thing, the meat and poultry has to be tender and juicy. Even if you are a seasoned chef, cooking meat can be overwhelming because you want the meat to be tender, juicy and cooked to perfection.

When cooking meat or poultry, several factors will determine the outcome of your rustic steak or that juicy chicken breast. The four basic principles are the right meat temperature, timing, cuts and cooking techniques.

 

meat cooking temperatures and meat temp

 

Let’s talk about temperatures and timing.

For large cuts of meat or poultry such as turkey, you want to keep the temperatures low. Using lower temperatures, the center of the meat will cook to desired temperatures without overcooking the outside. Also, by using lower temperatures, the meat will take longer to cook. However, the meat will be juicier because it will retain more moisture. The slow cooking method is excellent for large roasts or poultry such as turkey because it preserves moisture.

How to get extra flavour when cooking meat?

A simple answer – browning! By browning meat, you will get a thick crust all over, which will give you extra flavour. To do this, the meat has to be thoroughly dry before you start to sear the meat. The best way to do this is by using a paper towel. Pat the meat all over until it is super dry. If you are using previously frozen meat, you will have extra moisture, so be sure to pat it dry thoroughly. When searing meat, it is vital to have the pan super hot before you add the meat. If you are browning small cuts like stewing beef, make sure not to overcrowd the meat in the pan.

Don’t overcook the meat!

The best way to avoid overcooking the meat is by using a good meat thermometer. Meat should be removed from the grill, pan or the oven 5 – 7 degrees before you reach the desired internal temperature. The temperature of meat will continue to rise as it rests. However, this doesn’t apply to poultry and fish because they don’t retain heat the same as the meat.

 

chicken cooking temperatures and chicken temp

Crispy Chicken a l’Orange

 

Rest the meat before you carve it.

The meat or poultry need to rest because, during cooking, the juices flow to the center of the meat. When the meat rests, the juices will distribute evenly throughout the meat, thus keeping the meat or poultry juicy. The larger the roast or turkey, the longer you need to rest the meat. For large roasts or turkeys, the resting time is about 40 minutes before carving. For smaller cuts like a steak or pork chop about 5 – 10 minutes and a good-sized roasting chicken for about 20 minutes. And finally, always use tongs to turn the meat, never something sharp like a fork, or you will drain the meat of flavourful juices.

Clean up.

When handling raw meat, poultry or fish, always thoroughly clean your hands before and after and sanitize the tools and working surfaces such as cutting boards and knives before using them again.

 

Meat Cooking Temperatures, Meat Temps

 

BEEF

Standing ribs –

  • RARE ~ Weight 3-7 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 25 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 135 F
  • MEDIUM ~ Weight 3-7 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 30 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 155 F
  • WELL DONE ~ Weight 3-7 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 35 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 170 F
  • For rolled or boned roasts, increase cooking time 8 to 15 minutes

Meat Cooking Temperatures And Meat Temps;

PORK

Rib and Loin ~Weight 3-7 lbs. Cook at 375 F for 20-25 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 145 F

Leg ~ Weight 5 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 25-30 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F

Picnic shoulder ~ Weight 5-10 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 40 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F

Shoulder, butt ~Weight 3-10 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 40-50 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F

Boned and rolled shoulder ~ Weight 3-6 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 60 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 160 F

 

POULTRY

Chicken ~ Weight 3-5 lbs. Cook at 350 F for 30 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 185 F

Stuffed ~ Weight over 5 lbs. Cook at 350 F for 25 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 185 F

Turkey ~ Weight 8-12 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 185 F

Turkey ~ Weight 18-20 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 15 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 185 F

LAMBĀ 

Shoulder

WELL DONE ~ Weight 4-10 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 4o minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 170 F

Boned and rolled ~ Weight 3-6 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 40 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 180 F

Leg

  • MEDIUM ~ Weight 5-10 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 40 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F
  • WELL DONE ~ Weight 3-6 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 40-50 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 175 F

Crown

WELL DONE ~ Weight 3-6 lbs. Cook at 325 F for 40-50 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 175 F

 

For more information

 

Safe Internal Temperature

Pork cooking temperatures lowered

Food safety tips for barbecuing

Food Poisoning

Causes of food poisoning

Food safety tips

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Ingredients

  • *As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. Please check out my sponsorship and disclosure policy page for more details

    Instructions

  • All cooking times are approximate
  • Always rest the meat 5 - 40 minutes before carving, depending on the size


  • Leave a Comment

    3 Responses to Meat Cooking Temperatures And Meat Temps

    • kiki August 23, 2020

      This is most helpful, I never know how long or at what temperature I should be cooking the meat. Thank you!

      • Kristina August 23, 2020

        I know exactly what you mean, it is always good to have a chart to follow

    • Samantha R. August 23, 2020

      Thank you, very helpful information!

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