May, National Barbecue Month, is behind us, but that’s just the kickoff for the season of outdoor cooking.
Next time you’re getting ready to grill (check out this video for some expert grill preparation tips from P. Allen Smith), take a little time to review your grilling food safety procedures.
Getting all of your grilled foods to the proper internal temperature is key for summer food safety. Here’s a quick list for some grilling favorites:
- Hamburgers: 160°F
- Hot dogs: 165°F or until steaming hot
- Chicken: 165°F
- Bratwurst: 160°F to 165°F
- Pork (Ribs, Chops or Roast): 145°F
- Uncooked, Ground Beef, Lamb, Pork or Veal 160°F
- Uncooked, Turkey and Chicken 165°F
- Precooked 165°F
The most accurate way to determine the internal temperature of your grilled delights is by using a food thermometer.
For the record, you can’t tell if your burger is done by looking at it. [Click to share this morsel of grill wisdom on Twitter.] One out of every four hamburgers turn that delicious-looking deep brown before it’s been cooked to a safe internal temperature. Your food thermometer is your friend – use it!
- When you think your food is cooked, place the food thermometer in the thickest part of your burger, chop, roast, breast, or sausage. Make sure the tip doesn’t touch bone, fat, or gristle.
- Give the thermometer time to make an accurate measurement (see the manufacturer’s instructions for their recommendation).
- Compare the internal temperature to our list above or your copy of the Safe Grilling Guide (PDF).
Once your food has reached the proper internal temperature, remember to remove it from the grill and let it rest for about three minutes before eating (for most of us, it’ll take at least that long to gather everyone around the table). That resting time ensures any harmful germs are destroyed by residual heat.
After enjoying your safely grilled meal, be sure to wash your food thermometer with hot, soapy water so it’s ready for your next meal.