How Do I Know When My Meat Is Done?
|Meat Thermometer||Every oven, roasting vessel and cut of meat is different. So, having a meat thermometer handy takes the guesswork out of knowing when your meat is done. Most thermometers come with temperature guides printed right on the face. Insert the thermometer into the middle of the meat, avoiding bone to get an accurate reading.|
|Cooking By Touch||With experience, you'll know when your meat is done by touching it. Rare feels soft like an earlobe, medium feels like the flesh between your thumb and forefinger, and well done feels like the tip of your chin.|
|Peeking||Making a small cut in the middle of a steak, chop or breast to check the colour at the center will tell the tale. Remove pork or beef from the heat when the colour is just slightly darker than the preferred doneness. For poultry, the juices should run clear when pierced with a fork or knife.|
|Fork Test||Use this method when checking slow cooked items such as stewed or braised meats. If the meat grips the fork when inserted, it needs more cooking. If the fork slips out easily, it is done.|
|Rest the Meat||After removing meat from the heat, cover it with a lid or foil to let it rest for 5-10 minutes (steaks, chops and breasts) before serving. Larger cuts such as roasts and whole birds can rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. The meat will actually gain 5-10 degrees for smaller cuts and up to 20 degrees for larger cuts while resting and will continue cooking. This also give the meat time to absorb interior juices making it more tender and flavorful.|
How Do I Cook Ground Meat?
Ground meat requires extra attention. Because the meat is ground and therefore more exposed to air, ground meat carries more potential for food-borne illness. All ground meats (beef, pork, poultry, lamb) should be well cooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 F (71C). Just remember, "Burger's done at 71!" Wash your hands and cooking utensils well after handling and preparing raw meat.