Grilling 101: Safe Temperatures for Meat and Other Tips from Grilling 101: Safe Temperatures for Meat and Other Tips

Grilling 101: Safe Temperatures for Meat and Other Tips

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Grilling 101: Safe Temperatures for Meat and Other Tips

Grilling can be a lot of fun, but it takes some skill and experience to get meat cooked right on an unevenly heated grill. Getting a meat thermometer is an easy way to make sure that you're not serving undercooked burgers to your backyard cookout guests.

It's also important to observe other basic food safety practices while grilling. Make sure you have seperate containers for bringing raw meat out to the grill and for cooked meat once it's done. You should also make sure that you are finishing meat on the grill, rather than cooking it partially on the grill and finishing it later.

As long as you make sure to cook your meat thoroughly and safely, your next barbecue should be a success.

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Poultry

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends cooking turkey, chicken and duck to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Fish

Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, according to the USDA.

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Steaks and chops

Whole cuts of pork, beef, veal and lamb should be cooked to 145 degrees F, and then should be allowed to rest for three minutes, according to the USDA. 

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Ground meat

Ground pork, beef, veal and lamb should be cooked to 160 F, according to the USDA.

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Hot dogs and precooked sausages

Since hot dogs are already cooked, you just need to grill them until they are warmed through. Grilling can also be a great way to add texture, color and char flavor to hot dogs.

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Clams, oysters and mussels

Cook clams and other bivalves until the shells open, and discard any that have not opened, according to the USDA.

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Scallops

Cook scallops until the flesh is white or opaque, and the scallop is firm.

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Rare steak

Although the USDA recommends cooking steak to 145 degrees Fahrenheit to stay on the safe side, if you want your steak rare, cook it to an internal temperature of 125 degrees, according to Ceritified Angus Beef.

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Medium rare steak

For a medium rare steak, cook it to 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Well done steak

If you would like your steak a little more done than medium, cook at 145 degrees. You can gook it medium well at 150 degrees, or well done at 160 F. 

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Foil

Weber, a company making grill thermometers, does not recommend lining the top grate or bottom of your grill with foil in an attempt to make clean up easier, as this can restrict the flow of air and grease. However, sealing food in a foil packet can be a great way to cook on the grill. Medium-heat is recommended, and food wrapped in foil can be cooked directly on top of coals or on the grill grate.

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Fully cook food on the grill

It can be hazardous to your health to partially grill meat and then finish cooking it later, according to the USDA. Make sure to finish cooking what you are grilling.

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Plates for raw and cooked

It is important to store cooked meat seperate from raw meat to avoid contamination. Have two pans or plates near the grill, one for raw and one for cooked.

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Get a thermometer

If you are unsure if you’re cooking your meat to the right temperature, use a food thermometer to avoid serving undercooked meat to your guests. When trying to find the internal temperature of meat, stick the thermometer in the thickest portion of the cut of meat.

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Let meat come to room temperature before grilling

If your meat is still refrigerator-cold when you place it on the grill, it will be hard to get the inside to a safe temperature before the outside overcooks and burns. The external appearance of meat is not a good indicator of whether the inside is cooked.

Grilling 101: Safe Temperatures for Meat and Other Tips