Safe Internal Meat Cooking Temperatures
Meat Hacks: Safe Internal Meat Cooking Temperatures
Learn what internal temperature to cook meat to for a safe meat product with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
The guidelines to use when cooking meat products comes from Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in what is known as Appendix A or their Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart. Appendix A from FSIS gives us a temperature to cook meat to and how long the meat needs to stay at that temperature to kill a certain amount of bacteria. 160 degrees Fahrenheit is what is typically offered as the suggested cooking temp for many meat products because at 160 degrees, lethality of a bacteria like Salmonella is instant. However, you can still safely cook to a temperature of only 140 degrees, but you must maintain that temperature for 12 minutes. There will be a link in the description below to the full chart in Appendix A from FSIS.
FSIS and the USDA also has a Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart, which gives us very simple recommendations for a variety of products. We should cook beef, pork, ham, veal, and lamb that is in steaks, chops, roasts, and other whole muscle cuts to 145 degrees and let rest for 3 minutes. For all ground meats (and things like hamburgers, brats, and hot dogs), you should cook to 160 degrees. Switching gears to poultry, all chicken, turkey, or other birds should be cooked to 165 degrees. A minimum of 165 degrees also applies to reheating and cooking leftovers. If you are cooking eggs, they only need to be cooked to 160 degrees, and finally, fish and shellfish only need to be cooked to a 145 degree temp.
People do have a tendency to under-cook beef and over-cook pork and chicken, but if you follow the guidelines from FSIS and the USDA, and use a meat thermometer when cooking, you can make sure you are making a safe product and you are doing it consistently every single time!
FSIS Appendix A
Safe Minimum Internal Temperature Chart
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I believe the recommended curing time is 12 hours but can I go less than that? I was expecting my order to be here tonight and it won’t be here till tomorrow morning now.
I was going to mix up my batch of jerky tonight but will have to do it tomorrow on my lunch break. Just wondering if tomorrow evening would be long enough to let the meat cure.
Your recipe calls for 1. Sure Cure, 2. Sure Gel Meat Binder, and 3. Smoked Meat Stabilizer. I have all but the Sure Gel Meat Binder. Can I get by without using this? Second question- Is Excalibur’s Cure Excellerator the same as Sure Cure?
@andyman Great question, Carrot Fiber holds up to 26 times its weight in water, and while the 80 oz is still well inside that I have never done that before. I max out (even with Carrot Fiber) at 64 oz which is 2 qts. My only fear with doing 80 is that it might take a lot longer to cook as it will have more water content that will be trying to evaporate. Most of that water should be bound up in the carrot fiber though so it wouldn’t really be available to be cooked out. Hmmm, my recommendation, to be safe is to stick with 64 oz of water.
Now, as to should you add more seasoning, some people will taste the difference if you did not add additional seasonings and some (most) will not. Your water and your seasoning is technically part of your meat block (anyone who is reading this who doesn’t consider this don’t worry!) so adjusting your meat block to include your water is sometimes done. If you do decide to add more spices or seasonings I would add aromatics and things like Rosemary and Basil, don’t add more salt as that is formulated specifically for the meat block.
Hope this helps and if you do decide to go with 80 oz of water then I would be very interested in the results!
i use denuded round. higher cost, less waste, cleaner eating
@jonathon I enjoyed this line of questions and comments, it made me think. Here is my related question: Assume I use 25 lbs. of meat to make summer sausage and add one package, 4 oz., of Carrot Fiber and 80 oz. of water. The ratio is 20 times the weight of water to the weight of CF. In other words, I am adding 5 lbs. 4 oz. of water/CF paste to my meat dough. Should I adjust the amount of salt and spices, I add to the dough? I am concerned that the flavor will be weaker if I don’t add spices for the new total, 30 lbs. curious as to what y’all thinking.