Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post your recipe requests and cooking questions in this setion. Not for general discussions.
urbangriller
Posts: 9453
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: Perth WA

Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by urbangriller » Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:32 pm

MEAT COOKING 101


Meats fall into a couple of basic groups.

Red meats: beef, lamb, goat, etc. can all be eaten rare, even raw with a little care.

White meats: Pork in particular, rabbit, etc., should not be eaten rare as there is an issue with bacterial contamination. Poultry should also not be eaten rare.

Most people will know their preference for how they like their meat cooked – rare, medium rare, medium or well done. This is largely a visual response and a blindfolded subject will most often prefer a rarer sample to what they would normally order.

Some individuals get quite upset if their meat is not prepared how they like it and of course, we all know that you can over cook the roast beef to a point where it is so dry as to be inedible and we all know girls who turned a funny greenish grey colour and become vegetarians at the slightest sign that the chicken is "pink" in the middle.

So how do we make sure the chicken is no longer pink on the inside without over cooking it, or how to know that the rare roast beef (or steak) is actually rare on the inside?

We could use one of those guesstimation chants – you know the kind – “half an hour for every kilo of meat and an extra half hour if it is the third Thursday of the month”. While this gives a rough guide, every oven, cook and BBQ is different and the ‘time’ will vary considerably.

Luckily science (lovely science) has a simple answer – every state of the cooking process has its own internal temperature regardless of the external or oven temperature!


So here is a basic chart of the internal temperatures for common meats :
  • Beef, Veal & steaks
    Rare 49-52°C (120°-125°F)
    Medium-Rare 55°-57°C (130°-135°F)
    Medium 60°-63°C (140°-145°F)
    Medium Well 66°-68°C (150°-155°F)
    71°C + (160 °F +)

    Lamb
    Rare 57°C (135°F)
    Medium 60°-66°C (140°-150°F)
    Well-Done 71°C (160 °F)
    Well-Done 74°C + (165 °F +)

    Pork – Chops, Roast, Ribs
    Medium 71°C (160°F)
    Well-Done 77°C (170°F)

    Ham, fully cooked and reheated
    60°C (140°F)

    Ham, fresh
    71°C (160°F)

    Sausage, fresh
    71°C (160°F)

    Poultry (Turkey & Chicken)
    Whole bird
    83°C (180°F)
    Breast
    77°C (170°F)
    Legs & thighs
    83°C (180°F)

    Minced Meat :
    Beef, veal, lamb, pork
    71°C (160°F)
    Chicken, turkey
    74°C (165°F)

    So; whip down to the BBQ shop or kitchen shop and get a good digital temperature probe. There are two kinds, digital and analogue (with a dial and pointer). The digital ones are more accurate and quicker to read, whatever you get don’t get one with words like “medium” or “well done” on them, this kind of temperature information is useless. If you get one that doubles as a BBQ fork, make sure the prongs are thin enough to go inside the meat!

    When you test the temperature make sure you are in the centre of the meat, not touching the bone or grill.

    Now cook a piece of beef or lamb or something to your liking, checking the internal temperature before you start and every 10 minutes (or every beer) until it is done. Write all this down on a chart. Do the same thing next week, checking every 20 minutes (this will take a little less time as you are not letting the heat out all the time). Write this down! Keep going like this and soon you will have a chart of how long your BBQ or over takes to cook any given cut of meat. The next time someone asks “when will the roast be ready?” you can quickly check the temperature and know that your BBQ will take seven minutes and 40 seconds to finish the roast to the “doneness” (technical term) you like! Add this to the minimum 15 minutes to ½ hour resting time and you’ll know exactly when dinner will be served.

    Always rest the meat before carving, wrap it in foil and keep it warm with a towel (for a roast, rest at least 20 min, steak at least 5 min) – this is vitally important as it allows the meat to re-incorporate the juices and relax a little. This will ensure you meat it as tender as it can be, if you wanted to you could move the cooked meat from one house to another in this time by wrapping it in towels and putting it in an esky (ice chest).

    There is more to it than just this of course, but a basic understanding of internal temperature will serve you well.


    Rule No 13 of great BBQ

    Check the internal temperature!
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!


paulr
Forum Administrator
Posts: 713
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:46 pm
Location: Sunshine Coast
Contact:

Post by paulr » Mon Oct 06, 2008 10:05 pm

Great list, excellent comments.

One question on poultry you reckon it's 180F??? seems a bit high.. :?:
I use 165 and get nice juicy (not pink) chicken...

I cook my lamb up to 140 an no further (is that medium rare?) and as it rests it usually goes up another 5 degrees anyway...

Digital is the way to go just make sure it measures quickly (like a thermapen / http://www.thermoworks.com/products/the ... _home.html)
http://aussiebbq.info/wp - my blog
https://lifesafeast.com.au/cookingclass ... criptions/ - great cooking classes
See Me, Feel Me, Touch Me, Beer Me.

Captain Cook
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:49 am
Location: Melbourne

Post by Captain Cook » Tue Oct 07, 2008 12:38 pm

Paul
Try brining the chicken first and then cooking it to 83 C it will be moist and cooked properly.

Chris is spot on (of course) with his tips and temps. I use a Weber digital temp probe. I leave it in the meat and when it gets to withing 3 degrees of the target temperature it beeps three times and when it gets to the target temp it gives a continual beeping. The unit has a reciever that will work up to 100 meters away, you can set and forget. I actually have 2 and am goint to order a thermapen which has a 3 second response time.
Try and keep away from those forks with the temp probe all they do is poke holes in the meat and let the juices drain out. This is why I prefer the probe type that you can put it in the meat and then cook leaving it in. The meat seals around it and no juices drain out. It also works well in an oven.

Regards
Captain Cook

urbangriller
Posts: 9453
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: Perth WA

Post by urbangriller » Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:53 pm

Good Afternoon lads,

It is important to remember that with both Chicken and Pork it is Bacteria which force you to take the temperature to these levels, the temperature is less for the breast because of the lack of connective tissue and fat. At BBQ School I demonstrate that the "Juices will run clear" a lot before 83, but that does not mean it is cooked, no body wants salmonella, typhoid or any of the other colourfull manefestations of the charming bacteria farm in Chicken or Pork.

I hope to find time on the weekend (Ha) to finish my fact sheet on the Cellular structure of meat and the way it responds to heat, but here is a preview:

When meat is heated the liquid in the cells expands and at 66 degrees C ( the upper end of "Medium" for Steak) the walls of the cell burst and the liquid escapes into the cavity between the cells and you risk loosing the juices, beyond 66 it is essential to "Rest" the meat to allow the juices to be reabsorbed into the cellular structures. Of course with Chicken and Pork you have no choice.

Cheers
Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!

johnfleming

Re: Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by johnfleming » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:49 pm

I've read that the internal temperature will also continue to rise 5 or 10 degrees during the resting period after you remove the meat from the grill. So perhaps it's ok to take it off a few degress lower than the target temp?

Another 101 topic could be indirect grilling - I recall it being a big shocker that you could NOT have something right over the flames, and thus cook it longer than 10 minutes without it being charred. In fact, that is where you really start to barbeque i think; following that discovery I moved from burgers into roasts, whole chicken, pulled pork, cornbread, ribs and even a whole turkey! Not to mention getting into smoking and other tricks.

Bentley
Posts: 2549
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:18 pm
Location: Culpeper, Virginia USA
Contact:

Re: Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by Bentley » Tue Oct 06, 2009 3:19 pm

Great info Chris...The chicken at 180* F is what the USDA says here in the states, but I am like Paul, even brined, if you try and smoke it and not grill it, it is just to over cooked! I like the 165-170* on chicken.

Chris I have always wrestled with the whole "resting" meat. You will see a lot of the teams swear by it. They will foil their briskets and add broth or juices back into the foil, some will go 1,2 even 3 hours. I guess I have never seen a difference, whether it was a 12oz rib-eye or a 10lb roast. I liked your comment about the meat "relaxing", I think I know what you mean there... Do you think the meat reabsorbs juices or just redistributes them after it is pulled from heat?
Burnt By The Best
Competition BBQ Team

Fresno State University
Go Dogs!

Image

Captain Cook
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:49 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by Captain Cook » Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:33 am

Hi Bentley
I am a firm advocate of resting the meat after cooking.

From my observations the meat "relaxes" and the juices re-distribute that is they reach an equilibrium throughout the meat. You will find that some of the juices will leach out of the meat while resting but when you carve you lose a lot less than what you would do if you were to forgo the rest period.

Adding liquid when foiling/resting will add some flavour to the surface of the meat but will dilute the flavours that you developed with the rub. When I foil I brush with water only and use about 1 1/2 teaspoons of water maximum. I don't use any when resting.

When resting a steak I will make a foil tent and put 1 teaspoon of butter on the steak and let it put a buttery glaze on the steak. The butter also melts into the juices that leach out and create a wonderful gravy.

Cheers

Phil aka Captain cook

urbangriller
Posts: 9453
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by urbangriller » Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:27 pm

Bentley wrote:Chris I have always wrestled with the whole "resting" meat. You will see a lot of the teams swear by it. They will foil their briskets and add broth or juices back into the foil, some will go 1,2 even 3 hours. I guess I have never seen a difference, whether it was a 12oz rib-eye or a 10lb roast. I liked your comment about the meat "relaxing", I think I know what you mean there... Do you think the meat reabsorbs juices or just redistributes them after it is pulled from heat?
If a cell is heated above 66 Cc (151 F) the moisture in the cell expands to the point that the cell bursts and the meat juices are now "loose" inside the meat, if you cut the meat the juice will be squeezed out because the meat fibres are tensed up. Allowing the meat to relax reduces the squeezing effect, its not really reabsorbtion or redistribution, reducing the muscle fibre tension lets the juice stay where it is. In addition resting lets the meat become more even in doneness, that is instead of a rare roast beef being red and bloody in the centre and grey at the edges, the whole thing, if you rest it long enough, will become an even pink all the way through. This means you can serve almost anyone a rare (juicier) cut because it is not leaking onto the plate and doesnt look raw.

Have a read of Meat Cooking 201.

Cheers
Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!

FirePlay
Posts: 297
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: Perth, WA

Fresh Fish?

Post by FirePlay » Mon Dec 09, 2013 1:55 pm

Bump!

I know it has been a long time for this thread but it probably deserves a bump for the newbies and I've been searching the forum without much luck for advice on the safe internal temperature of fish.

My dilemma over the weekend was with fresh salmon, which tastes really moist and lovely cooked indirect to about 45C IME but I'm concerned I might have given my wife some tummy problems. Having said that, our toddler was vomiting etc last week so that is the more likely culprit...

I have always just cooked fish until it flakes all the way through but salmon is a bit different - it flakes relatively early and stays a darker colour while moist at around 40-45C but then dries out as it goes higher.

Googling around I can see US health dept advice to take all fish to 62C (145F) but I'm hoping that's not the proper answer cos I find fish gets pretty dry by then...

Anyone know anything? I'm not talking about sashimi / tuna here or cold smoking / curing etc - just cooking regular fish, which we are doing a lot of lately.

Nath
Posts: 2095
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:15 am
Location: Perth WA

Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by Nath » Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:41 pm

Not too sure with regards to cooking, but I like my fish slightly underdone in the middle, as long as it is fresh and correct handling is followed prior to cooking I can't see a problem.
Bit hard to control if you are purchasing from a fish monger though.




Nath
Nath

Captain Cook
Posts: 3965
Joined: Sat Jun 14, 2008 11:49 am
Location: Melbourne

Re: Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by Captain Cook » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:34 pm

It is sometimes a hit and miss, cook salmon to the general safe temp and it will dry out a bit.
I always check the fillets and smell them, wash them then salt them before cooking.
I cook my fish until it is just going opaque I the middle, that's how my mum and dad taught me and I have been doing it that way for about 45 years. I used to by my fish from the local market when I lived in Malaysia - no problems.

Cheers

Captain

Smokey
Posts: 5961
Joined: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:47 pm
Location: Terranora- Tweed

Re: Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by Smokey » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:48 pm

You never know, It may of had a bug, Some bugs(spoilage) dont get killed at cooked temps so its not your cooking style.
And she would have got really sick instead of belly rumbles.
Id say the child passed it on. (All those hugs and kisses and Mum sharing the toddler spoon)

A short brine is always a good thing with fish but as the Captain said, Give it a good smell. If it aint quite right, Freeze it and take it back.
Coles and Woolies dont ask questions.
Last edited by Smokey on Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If trees screamed when we cut them down, We wouldn't. If they screamed all the time we would.
http://www.aussiecue.com.au

Nath
Posts: 2095
Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:15 am
Location: Perth WA

Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by Nath » Mon Dec 09, 2013 3:54 pm

Gastro has been doing the rounds in Perth apparently. I've had stomach cramps for the last day or so. Nothing a bit of bbq won't sort out.


Nath
Nath

urbangriller
Posts: 9453
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2008 8:46 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: Meat cooking 101 (Internal Temperature)

Post by urbangriller » Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:43 pm

I do Salmon in BBQ School to 60C.

At 45C bacterial growth slows but does not stop.

And even going over 75C (which will kill bacteria) won't get rid of the toxins the bacteria have manufactured....it's the toxins not the bacteria that are the issue.

Cheers
Chris
Common Sense is so rare these days it should be a Super Power!

Bentley
Posts: 2549
Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 2:18 pm
Location: Culpeper, Virginia USA
Contact:

Re: Fresh Fish?

Post by Bentley » Tue Dec 10, 2013 7:53 am

That is the magic number in this household for those that eat salmon...It seems to stay real moist, but I always brine before I cook the evil fish! I have gotten pretty good at cooking a piece of meat I would never consider eating! I pull when it hits 140°F IT and it seems to be a perfect 145° when they eat!

FirePlay wrote: Googling around I can see US health dept advice to take all fish to 62C (145F) but I'm hoping that's not the proper answer cos I find fish gets pretty dry by then...

What I forgot ta ask all those years ago is Duck...not trying to be funny here, serious...is it considered fowl? I see it served med rare and I just think, man that has to be nasty. I aint eating it so who cares, but always interested me. Would never think of serving a chicken breast that way!

I sure do like the looks of that Peking Style duck though, (or whatever the one that has the pink popcorn color look is) might have to try that some time...
Burnt By The Best
Competition BBQ Team

Fresno State University
Go Dogs!

Image


Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest