How to Use a Food Thermometer

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Using an instant read thermometer to make sure meats are at the correct temperature is safer than using the meat color as a guide. Use a digital instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature toward the end of the cooking time, but before the food is expected to be done. The food thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the food and should not be touching the bone, fat, or gristle. Compare your thermometer reading to the USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures to determine if your food has reached a safe temperature.

  • Steak and Roasts: 145°F – higher for medium well or well done.
  • Ground Beef: 160°F
  • Chicken Parts or Ground Chicken: 165°F
  • Whole Poultry: 165°F
  • Pork: 145°F
  • Fish: 145°F
  • Egg Dishes: 160°F

Make sure to clean your food thermometer with soapy water before and after each use. There are many types of food thermometers. Follow the instructions for your food thermometer.