If you knew your medium rare steak cooked at around 135°F was just as healthy as well done steak cooked at 145°C, would you insist on getting it done the same way every time?
If you did, you’d have every reason to believe you were consuming healthy food, especially after following your own practical meat temperature guide. You’d know how to bring down the cooking temperature while ensuring the steak was free of harmful bacteria and retained all its essential flavors.
People are not always happy with the way food is cooked at home. There is always the lurking fear that food may be undercooked or overcooked. Good taste is something you wouldn’t like to compromise on. So how do you ensure you get tasty food without health concerns? Make sure it reaches the optimum cooking temperature.
It’s customary to choose the kind of steak you like in a restaurant. They will willingly serve a rare, medium rare, medium, or well done steak as per your preference. So why not achieve the same level of perfection at home? What you need is a practical meat temperature guide that removes any doubts you may have about how to avoid undercooked or overcooked meat.
Follow Standard Yet Simple Processes
Overcooked meat may end up tough and difficult to consume; however, it’s more dangerous to undercook food. Meat is stored in stages before it reaches the consumer. The possibility of disease spreading through improperly stored meat, therefore, cannot be ruled out. Power cuts, variation in storing temperatures, and other factors may lead to the meat not reaching the consumer in prime condition.
Consumers must therefore be aware of the proper temperature to cook meat. With the large number of meat thermometers released in the market, choosing a reasonably accurate gauge is not a difficult task. Most manufacturers list out optimum meat-cooking temperatures for their products.
Follow Specified Temperature Estimates
If you were to go by what the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) specifies as safe minimum internal temperature for food, you would have to ensure beef, veal, lamb, fish, pork, and other meats must attain a minimum internal temperature of 145° Fahrenheit.
A rest time of 3 minutes must be added to allow for residual cooking after your grill or oven is switched off. Smoked or fresh ham must cook at 145°F as well. Ground meat must cook at 160°F to remain healthy.
Ham arriving from a USDA-inspected plant is usually cooked meat, so users may reheat this ham before consumption to a healthy 140° Fahrenheit. Packaged meat from the local market may be reheated to 165°F to be on the safer side. Poultry products including stuffed whole bird, ground poultry, wings, legs, and thighs must be cooked until their minimum internal temperatures reach 165° Fahrenheit.
Accommodate Carry-Over Cooking Temperatures
If cooking-temperature recommendations do not include resting time, it’s best to follow a guide that allows users to compensate for carryover cooking temperature after the meat thermometer switches off. Resting time is a vital element of cooking.
It yields delicious meat at optimum temperature. The rest time needed in a grill or smoker is approximately 3 minutes. Just add this to the overall cooking time. Make sure your meat thermometer switches off in time followed by the rest period.
Meat cooked a few degrees beyond the standard recommended temperature will taste better. You are allowing its juices to come to the surface without burning off. The meat comes out of the grill at the right doneness temperature after this resting period. It is the ideal way to cook meat, irrespective of your chosen cooking style.
Opt For Pasteurized Food
As meat cannot be completely sterilized, the safest way to ensure you are consuming healthy food to ensure it is pasteurized. This process increases the chances of eliminating disease-spreading pathogens existing in the meat. Usually, pasteurization of meat products is done without the use of chemicals.
Red meat, poultry, vegetables, and fruits are put through the irradiation pasteurization process wherein small bursts of heat or gamma rays help sterilize these foods to prevent parasitic food-borne pathogens from multiplying during their storage periods.
Look for instructions highlighting how meat and other foods must be heated or stored once they are removed from their sterilized packets. The cooking temperature will be specified, so you have the right meat temperature guide to ensure your meat is cooked at the optimum temperature without losing taste or flavor.