Notice anything "funny" about the thermometer above?
The thermometer above, like many found in stores across America today, have high readings to ensure the safety of meats. But compare the temperatures on the thermometer above with the USDA recommended temperatures on the right.
Conclusion? If you cook your Thanksgiving turkey until the thermometer reads 180 degrees and then take it out of the oven (as many cooks do), your turkey will be dry and you'll be left wondering why, if you did things just right, your turkey is always dry.
Start using the temperature charts to the right and you'll see a world of difference -- and your Thanksgiving guests will be duly impressed!
TIP! Buy and use a Digital Thermometer like this:
Perfect Meat is cooked to the Perfect Temperature. Use a Digital Thermometer to get it JUST RIGHT every time.
Use a food thermometer to ensure that meat, poultry, seafood, and other cooked foods reach a safe minimum internal temperature. Remember -- you can’t tell whether meat is safely cooked by looking at it. Any cooked, uncured red meats (including pork) can be pink, even when the meat has reached a safe internal temperature.
Why the Rest Time is Important After you remove meat from a grill, oven, or other heat source, allow it to rest for the specified amount of time. During the rest time, its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which destroys harmful germs.
USDA TEMPERATURE GUIDE RECOMMENDATIONS Category Food Temperature (°F) Rest Time Ground Meat & Meat Mixtures 165 None Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb 160 None Turkey, Chicken 165 None Fresh Beef, Veal, LambSteaks, roasts, chops 145 3 minutes PoultryChicken & Turkey, whole 165 None Poultry breasts, roasts 165 None Poultry thighs, legs, wings 165 None Duck & Goose 165 None Stuffing (cooked alone or in bird) 165 None Pork and HamFresh pork 145 3 minutes Fresh ham (raw) 145 3 minutes Precooked ham (to reheat) 140 None Eggs & Egg Dishes Eggs Cook until yolk and white are firm None Egg dishes 160 None Leftovers & Casseroles 165 None Casseroles 165 None Seafood Fin Fish 145 or cook until flesh is opaque and flakes None Shrimp, lobster, and crabs Cook until flesh is pearly and opaque None Clams, oysters, and mussels Cook until shells open during cooking None Scallops Cook until flesh is milky white or opaque and firm None Baking Water for activating Yeast 105-115 degrees Bread 180 degrees to 212 degrees Miscellaneous Boiling Temperature of Water 100°C or 212° F (at sea level)