chefstemp X10 cooking thermometer

Checking Meat Temps with an Instant Read Meat Thermometer

Most of the time, we tend to check if our food is cooked by sight, taste, or aroma. However, when it comes to cooking meat, then it can be difficult to check if it’s properly cooked by just guessing. The best way you can know if your meat is cooked correctly and as per your liking is by using an instant meat thermometer. This must-have tool will remove any guesswork when cooking your meat.

Sure, a perfectly cooked steak or any meat should be tender and juicy. But you can only be assured that the meat is safe to eat by using a food thermometer. In short, the best instant read thermometer will help you get the perfect meal every time if used correctly.

So, how can one check the meat temperature with a meat thermometer? Continue reading to discover how to properly use an instant read thermometer.

No matter how good you are at telling when your meat is cooked by visual inspection, a thermometer is a very important tool for every grilling session. Even professional chefs know that the only way you can tell if the meat is cooked properly is by checking its internal temperature. If you guess, then you might get confused. For example, undercooked meat tends to be tougher, but so is overcooked meat. Thus, you might get confused in your cooking.

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But if you are using an instant read meat thermometer, then you can get the cooking right. The device will save you a lot of hassle as well as any embarrassment especially if you are cooking for friends or family. It will help you attain the best results and tender grilled meat as well as protect you from uncooked meat that can cause diseases.

How to Check the Temperature Using an Instant Read Meat Thermometer?

Before you serve your meat, you must ensure that it is cooked thoroughly at the right temperature. Keep in mind that undercooked meat, especially poultry, can lead to many illnesses such as salmonella, food poisoning, listeria, etc. It’s also worth mentioning, that it is  difficult to tell the difference between bacteria and germs present in the food. That is why you need to cook the steak at the required temps.

So, to check the internal temperature with an instant read meat thermometer, then use the following steps:

  1. Pick the best food thermometer: If you want the best and accurate results, then you should consider purchasing the best meat thermometers.
  2. Take your thermometer and clean it before use. This is a very important step especially if you were using the device in another food. You definitely do not want to spread the germs from one meal to the other.
  3. Stick the thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Remember that the surface of the meat is always hotter than the internal part and they also cook at different rates. So, it is a wise idea to stick the thermometer inside and not the surface. Also, keep the tool out of the bone to get an accurate reading.
  4. To get the best results, then check the temps when the timing of meat is closer to being done.
  5. Know the ideal temperature required for cooking: If you are cooking different meats, then note that they all require various temperatures. For instance, briskets are one if the hardest meat cuts that can take several hours to cook. The temperature zone can be up to 195 to 203 degrees Fahrenheit for it to be ready.
  6. Check once again and let the meat rest: Check the temperature once again before removing the meat from the grill. Also, note that some thicker meat cuts like pork tenderloin and briskets can continue cooking even after being removed from the heat source. So, you can remove them from the oven and put it to rest a few minutes before reaching its ideal temperature.

Clean the thermometer: Once you are done cooking, do not forget to clean the probe and the stem of the meat thermometer before storing it.

What are the Ideal Temps for Different Meats?

The main aim for using a kitchen thermometer is to get the internal temperature correct, right? However, it is worth noting that different meats are roasted at different temperatures. Not only that, but the meat temperature will also determine the recipe used.

According to the food safety temperature chart by the United States of Agriculture (USDA), raw meat should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 140oF and above.

If you are wondering what is the perfect temps for smoking your meat, then here are the common ones you should know.

Finsihed Lamb
  • For ground chicken, ground turkey, pre-cooked pork, and all poultry, the ideal temperature for cooking is 165 degrees Fahrenheit
  • For ground veal, ground beef, ground lamb, and ground pork, the temperature should be 160 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Fresh veal and beef steaks, roasts, and chops, the temperature should be 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • 145 degrees Fahrenheit also applies for fresh lamb roasts, steaks, and chops

Additionally, keep note that the temperatures for these meats depend on how well done you want the meat to be. For instance, for medium-rare beef, it should be 130oF while for well-done beef should be 155oF. You can refer to more about this in the steak temperature chart.

Tips on How to Store and Reheat Meat Properly

While checking the internal temps of the meat is vital, storing the leftovers is equally as important as well. Bear in mind that food must be stored properly to avoid it from germs and bacteria that might form during storage. Here are a few tips to help you store your leftovers properly:

  1. Do not leave the meat in the open for long: If you have any leftover food, then store it away as soon as possible. Food can become unsafe to eat if left in room temperature for a long time.
  2. Freeze your leftovers: If you have no intention of consuming the food within three days, then freezing might be a good option.
  3. Reheat the food again: Once you want to eat the leftovers, then reheat it again using the same temperature you used when cooking. That is where your meat thermometer comes handy once again.

Make sure your leftovers are out of the temperature danger zone, the danger zone refers to any temperature between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature at which bacteria are known to create toxins that be harmful to the human body.

Wrapping it Up

Checking meat temperatures with an instant read meat thermometer is a crucial step in your cooking process. It will not only keep you from serving and eating dangerous foods, but also allow you to cook tender and tasty meat. Consider getting the best digital food thermometer to get the best results.

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