Internal Temperature for Meats

Most cookbooks or meat thermometers list the various cooking temperatures for meat that have been approved by the federal USDA guidelines. Unfortunately, following these guidelines will yield meats that are much more well done than you intend. I speculate that the USDA is giving you a final temp, but the meat will continue to cook once you remove it to rest - carryover cooking - so you need to take it out at a lower temp than the USDA advises.

I follow these guidelines when cooking meats:

Beef, rare - 125
Beef, medium rare - 130
Beef, medium - 140
Pork - 145
Chicken - 165

All of these temperatures are the internal temp at which I remove the meat from the oven - the meat should be covered with foil to rest at least 5-10 minutes before slicing, which will allow carryover cooking to finish cooking the meat and the juices to reabsorb into the meat.

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