How Do I Know the Proper Temperature for Cooking Meat?
When you cook meat, roast chicken, fry up a porkchop or barbecue a steak, it’s always tough to know when you’re done. You don’t want to undercook a chicken. Similarly, you do not want to burn your barbecued tri tip. So how do you know when you’ve hit the perfect spot?
Using a Meat Thermometer to Judge When Meat Is Properly Cooked
I haven’t always done it, but using a Meat Thermometer is really a life-saver. You insert the thermometer into a properly fleshy part of the meat, for instance the bulk of the breast of the chicken or turkey, and leave it there long enough to see the needle on the thermometer come to rest on the current temperature.
This way, rather than slicing your steak in half, you leave the juices inside of the meat where they belong until you’re sitting at the dinner table. Further, if the meat isn’t quite ready when you test, you’ve only made a small hole and won’t dry out half the roast when you put it back in the oven or on the grill.
Other Secrets When Cooking Meat
Remember that the majority of cooked meats continue cooking some time after being removed from the heat of the grill or oven. This means that smaller cuts of meat, or hamburgers, for example, might rise an additional five degrees in temperature, and this should be factored into your read of the thermometer. To an even greater degree, large cuts of meat such as roasts tend to continue cooking after removal from the heat, rising as much as an extra ten degrees.
That being said, feel comfortable removing your meat from the heat source shortly before they reach the desired cooking temperature, and leave them standing on the counter top for a short while before slicing and serving.