Preparing and cooking meats can be intimidating. This Printable Meat Temperature Safety Chart will help you determine if your meat is cooked to the correct temperature. It includes cooking temperatures for safely cooking poultry (chicken, turkey, etc.), beef, lamb, veal, pork, fish, other seafood and eggs.
I've been cooking for a very long time and feel pretty confident in my cooking abilities, but sometimes I need to remind myself what temperature different meats need to cook to, because they are all so different! I don't ever remember my mother checking the temperature of any meat she ever cooked, she just seemed to know when it was ready. I just don't feel that confident in guessing with some things, especially when meats come in all different sizes now. So, if you want to err on the side of caution, grab a good meat thermometer and my Meat Cooking Temperature Chart to be sure your meat is cooked to the safe temperature!
To print my free Meat Temperature Safety Chart, click HERE! It's the perfect way to keep track of meat temps, and it's pretty too, so you can stick on your refrigerator if you like ;)
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What kind of thermometer should you use to check meat temperatures?
I like to use a thermometer with a probe that can easily be used in an oven, on a grill, stovetop or smoker. THIS ThermoPro Digital Thermometer is great and actually includes correct cooking temps for each meat, has a digital timer and can withstand heat up to 716°F. You can also use an Instant Read Pocket Thermometer to check meats manually.
How do you check the internal temperature of meat?
To check the internal temperature of meat, insert a meat thermometer in the middle thickest part of the meat, making sure not to touch the bone. The USDA has a great guide for checking the internal temperature of each kind of meat HERE.
What is the safe internal temperature for chicken?
Chicken should be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165°F or the juices run clear. You can find my easy recipe for Air Fryer "Grilled" Chicken Breast HERE!
Safety Tips for Handling Raw Chicken
To avoid cross contamination, you should never rinse or wash chicken before cooking it. You should always use a plastic cutting board when handling and cutting chicken, and never use the same cutting board to prep other foods. Always wash hands well using soap and warm water after handling raw chicken.
What is the safe internal temperature for cooked beef?
According to the USDA, beef should be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F. Different folks like their beef cooked at different temperatures though. For instance, I like my steaks medium-rare and my burgers cooked to medium. To see the different beef temperatures, check out THIS guide that my friends from BEEF IT'S WHATS FOR DINNER put together! You can find my recipe for this delicious Reverse Seared Tri Tip Steak HERE!
Ready to get cooking? Check out all of my recipes HERE! I've got tons of recipes, including some that use an air fryer, Instant Pot, smoker and so much more!
Where do you find a list of recalled foods?
With all of the recent issues with foods that are being recalled because of listeria and e coli, I've been a bit more proactive about checking the Federal Food Safety website for food recalls and making sure that there isn't anything in my refrigerator or pantry that may be unsafe...you just can't be too careful these days! If you'd like to stay up to date on recalled food items, you can find the most recent Recalls and Outbreaks HERE on the Foodsafety.gov website.