Ok, my memory is not what it used to be. Last night, I am grilling chicken breast and could not remember the proper cook temperature – uggg. So, I decided to make a user friendly chart for me and my fellow home cooks.
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The best way to test for doneness is using a reliable instant read thermometer. I highly recommend
ThermoWorks Super-Fast Thermapen (Red) Professional Thermocouple Cooking Thermometer
The thermapen is reliable and gives an accurate temperature reading in less than 3 seconds. I own 3 of these. One of which we use during barbecue competitions, Smokin J’s Barbeque. You might think the Thermapen is expensive, however, it is very dependable and eliminates “guessing” what level of doneness your filet Mignon, that you spent a lot of money on, is at. When I purchase a steak, I buy high quality and I want it cooked medium doneness.
Most cooks do not get sick from under-cooked meat…if someone gets sick from a home-cooked meal, it is usually due to cross contamination of food. Cross-contamination is the physical movement or transfer of harmful bacteria from one person, object or place to another. There are few tips to avoid this from happening.
- Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery-shopping cart.
- Place these foods in plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods.
- It is also best to separate these foods from other foods at check out and in your grocery bags.
When refrigerating food:
- Place raw meat, poultry, and seafood in containers or sealed plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping onto other foods. Raw juices often contain harmful bacteria.
- Store eggs in their original carton and refrigerate as soon as possible.
When preparing food:
Keep it clean:
- Wash hands and surfaces often. Harmful bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, and counter tops. To prevent this:
- Wash hands with soap and hot water before and after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers; or handling pets.
- Use a different cutting board for prepping raw foods. Do not use the same cutting board for vegetables, as you do for raw proteins.
In my home I have one designated plastic board, used exclusively for raw chicken, beef or pork. It is a dishwasher safe, large cutting board with non-slip silicone edges. It also has a drip juice groove, so raw juices do not run all over the counter during prep. It is white with lime green edging, so it stands out in my cupboard.
This one is available for under $20, well worth the investment. Acrylic Polypropylene White With Lime Green a Beautiful Cutting Board by Dutis Kitchenware
Temperatures in the dishwasher will kill any residual bacteria.
Please print the protein temperature chart and keep it on your refrigerator for quick reference.