Warm weather is perfect for outdoor grilling, whether you choose beef burgers, pork chops or chicken thighs, temperature control is vital. If you are new to grilling meat, you should familiarise yourself with the fundamental temperature guidelines for cooking your favourite meats.
Lamb chops and chicken thighs are excellent for outdoor grilling but, you need to bear in mind that they contain harmful bacteria such as E.coli and salmonella. Avoid food poisoning by getting to know the basics of temperature control when grilling your meat.
Your meat needs to reach a certain temperature to destroy the harmful bacteria and to avoid food poisoning.
There are general temperature guidelines for poultry, pork and varying types of red meat. To eliminate the risk of making costly mistakes, you might want to invest in a high-quality meat thermometer, in fact, these make fantastic grilling gifts for all grilling enthusiasts.
Here are the temperature guidelines for the most popular meats:
For poultry such as chicken, turkey or guinea fowl, the optimum temperature for cooking is approximately 165°F (75°C) This means the internal temperature of the meat should be at least 165°F (75°C). Anything below this temperature point could increase the risk of bacteria retention.
When using meat temperature monitors, you should make sure that your beef steak’s internal temperature reaches 145°F (65°C). For ground beef, however, the temperature is slightly higher at 160°F (70°C).
Lamb chops are best when they are succulent and juicy however, you do need to be mindful of the internal temperature of your lamb cut. The safe and recommended temperature point for lamb chops is 145°F (65°C) and for ground lamb, opt for a higher temperature of 160°F (70°C) when you are grilling your meat.
For a decent-sized pork chop, 145°F (65°C) is a safe temperature point to aim for. Remember it is the internal temperature of the meat that makes all the difference.
Veal has a delicate flavour and a tender texture, the best temperature for a veal cut is approximately 145°F (65°C).
An optimum temperature point for mutton is 145°F (65°C). Remember that mutton is somewhat tougher than lamb so be careful not to overcook it because it might become dry and difficult to chew.
How to Take Meat Temperature
When it comes to grilling or roasting meat, it is quite difficult to determine whether or not the meat is ready to eat. Often people slice the meat to check its appearance however, without knowing the temperature, you could risk poisoning yourself or your guests. Therefore, a meat thermometer is essential.
To get an accurate reading, place the thermometer into the meat at its thickest point. Make sure that you don’t touch the bone or fatty part of the meat. You should check the temperature when the meat is almost cooked.
Once the meat is ready, let it rest for about two to four minutes, this allows the meat to reach its optimum temperature for consumption.
For safe grilling remember to follow these basic temperature guidelines and to avoid contamination, thoroughly wash your hands before and after cooking. Utilizing a meat thermometer is the safest way of preventing unnecessary mishaps when it comes to grilling your favourite meats.