Friday, March 8, 2013

A post about internal temperature of cooked meat and poultry deserves a photo, don't you agree? Searching for just the photo a ran across this one. I was going to title the post, "How Hot is Hot?" or "Hot Chicks" but landed this photo with numerous title possibilities. One wonders, why this man is holding two, I'll call them roosters? I guess it's art. I added the heart although he was wearing a bit of something down there.

ANYWAY, you come up with the appropriate title and I'll continue on with my original thought. I posted a recipe for Balsamic Chicken. Get your eyes off the photo and follow me.

A good friend/food science guy (official title I believe) Mike posted on my COOK with COOK LLC face book that he goes by internal temperature rather than the school of "poke it with your finger, it should feel springy and somewhat firm." Well, I've touched a lot of poultry and beef over the years and I trust my index finger. But, it's best to take the guess work out of the equation if you're not sure, feeling apprehensive, experience symptoms of anxiety such as night sweats and uncontrollable trembling, or you're just plain terrified. Get it wrong, and you could get sick.

Poultry should be cooked to the internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
Ground meat (beef, pork, veal, lamb) = 160 
Ground chicken or turkey = 165
Fresh beef, veal, lamb = 145
Pork and Ham = 145
Precooked Ham = 140
Leftover and Casseroles = 165

These temperature come directly from Sounds important so it must be important.

So, get yourself one of those handy meat thermometers. You can find them at the grocery store. They can be calibrated to guarantee accuracy. Take a class and I'll teach you how.
There is such a thing as "carry over cooking." You take the meat out of the oven or off heat and let it rest for awhile. Take beef out when it registers say 139.8 and as it rests the temperature will creep up to 145. Resting times vary. Take a class, I'll tell you about it.

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