How to Use a Meat Thermometer

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There are two types of thermometers; one is oven-proof, and you can stick the thermometer into the food at the beginning of the cook time. The second type of meat thermometer is called instant-read and is not intended to be in the food during the cooking process. Instead, you pull the food from the oven, insert the thermometer, wait about 15 seconds to get a reading, then pull the thermometer before reinserting the food into the oven (if additional cooking is necessary). The type of thermometer used is a matter of preference. All temperatures shown below are in degrees Fahrenheit.

Ground Meat and Ground Poultry

The proper way to insert a meat thermometer into meat loaf or a burger is to poke the thermometer into the thickest part of the loaf, or when it comes to burgers, insert it on an angle. The minimum cooked temperature should be 165 degrees for ground turkey and 160 degrees for meat (beef, veal, lamb, pork).

Poultry

When it comes to cooking poultry, poke the meat thermometer into the thigh. When you push the thermometer in, make sure it doesn’t touch the bone. The minimum cooked temperature should be 180 degrees for a whole bird; 170 degrees for breast; 165 degrees for ground chicken or turkey.

Four-legged Meat: Beef, Ham, Lamb, Pork

Push the thermometer into the center of thickest part. The minimum temperature should be 125 degrees for medium rare; 160 degrees for medium; 170 degrees for well done; and 160 degrees for ground.

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