Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Internal Cooking Temperature Chart

I am always lookin' for this so I'm puttin' it right here! Please note though, the temps listed appear to be minimum safe temperatures, except where I have adapted the charts to expand the definitions. So, if you prefer your beef roast to be more of a medium to well done, take that roast up to between 155 °F to 165 °F. It seems these temperatures here may be averages for safe internal temps.

For steaks, see also this excellent demonstration of the touch test - the way that restaurants and most chefs test for doneness. This is how I do it these days for the most part, but I still use the thermometer sometimes just to double check.


"Is it done yet?" You can't tell by looking. Use a food thermometer to be sure.

USDA Recommended Safe
Minimum Internal Temperatures

Steaks & Roasts - 145 °F
✧ Rare - 140 °F
✧ Medium - 160 °F
✧ Well Done - 170 °F
Fish - 145 °F
Pork - 145° minimum and allow to rest for at least 3 minutes / Well done 170
Ground Beef - 160 °F
Egg Dishes - 160 °F
Chicken Breasts - 165 °F
Chicken Legs - 
Chicken Thighs - 165 °F
Whole Poultry - 165 °F
Veal (Well Done) - 180 °F

Safe Cooking of Chicken

FSIS recommends cooking whole chicken to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F as measured using a food thermometer - I prefer to take it to somewhere between 175 to 180 degrees F. Check the internal temperature in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook poultry to higher temperatures.

For approximate cooking times to use in meal planning, see the following chart compiled from various resources. Table is based on open-pan roasting at 350 degrees F, or covered roasting at 325 degrees F.

Chicken Cooking Times
Type of Chicken Weight Roasting

350 °F
Simmering Grilling
Whole broiler fryer+ 3 to 4 lbs. 1-1/4 - 1 1/2 hrs. 60 to 75 min. 60 to 75 min*
Whole roasting hen+ 5 to 7 lbs. 2 to 2 1/4 hrs. 1 3/4 to 2 hrs. 18-25 min/lb*
Whole capon+ 4 to 8 lbs. 2 to 3 hrs Not suitable 15-20 min/lb*
Whole Cornish hens+ 18-24 oz. 50 to 60 min. 35 to 40 min. 45 to 55 min*
Breast halves, bone-in 6 to 8 oz. 30 to 40 min. 35 to 45 min. 10 - 15 min/side
Breast half, boneless 4 ounces 20 to 30 min. 25 to 30 min. 6 to 8 min/side
Legs or thighs 8 or 4 oz. 40 to 50 min. 40 to 50 min. 10 - 15 min/side
Drumsticks 4 ounces 35 to 45 min. 40 to 50 min. 8 to 12 min/side
Wings or wingettes 2 to 3 oz. 30 to 40 min. 35 to 45 min. 8 to 12 min/side

+ Unstuffed. If stuffed, add 15 to 30 minutes additional time.

* Indirect method using drip pan.

Seeing Isn't Believing.

Many people assume that if a hamburger is brown in the middle, it is done. However, looking at the color and texture of food is not enough—you have to use a food thermometer to be sure! According to USDA research, 1 out of every 4 hamburgers turns brown before it reaches a safe internal temperature. The only safe way to know if meat, poultry, and egg dishes are "done" is to use a food thermometer. When a hamburger is cooked to 160 °F, it is both safe and delicious!

Be Food Safe! Prepare With Care.

Know how to prepare, handle, and store food safely to keep you and your family safe. Bacteria can grow on meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy products, as well as cut-up or cooked vegetables and fruits.

CLEAN: Wash hands and surfaces often.

Wash your hands with warm, soapy water for 20 seconds before and after handling food. Wash your cutting boards, dishes, etc., with hot, soapy water after preparing each food item. Wash fruits and vegetables with cold water before using. There is no need to wash or rinse meat or poultry.

SEPARATE: Don't cross-contaminate.

Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing. Never place cooked food on a plate which previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

COOK: Cook food to proper temperatures.

Use a food thermometer to be sure!

CHILL: Refrigerate Promptly.

Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared foods, and leftovers within 2 hours or sooner.

Thanks to USDA Food Safety Education Is it Done Yet? who I adapted this from.