Meat Cooking Temperatures and Resting Time in Celsius

Words: Jess Spiro

It can be a little daunting cooking meat correctly when you consider that it needs to be heated to a certain temperature to avoid bacteria growth, while still remaining juicy and tender throughout. That’s why knowing the correct cooking temperatures for meat can make this process a lot easier. There are some things you should know in order to get it right.

Invest in a good meat thermometer

For starters, if you’re serious about your cooking, treat yourself to an instant-read thermometer. You’ll insert this into the thickest part of the meat cut to allow it to accurately read the temperature there.

Don’t test the temperature near the bone

If you’re cooking a joint on the bone, make sure you probe away from the bone as it can run a lot cooler than the rest of your meat. For example, a bone-in ribeye wouldn’t have been cooked long to heat the bone through evenly, so if your thermometer touches it, it will give you an inaccurate reading.

Err on the side of caution – rather undercook than overcook

Always remember that your meat will keep cooking after you’ve removed it from the heat and the temperature can increase as much as 5 ºC. Always err on the side of caution and remove it when you still think it’s slightly underdone, check the temperature and go from there. If it’s still really underdone, you can pop it back on a low heat or in a warm oven.

Always rest your meat

When you’re happy with the temperature, you need to allow the meat time to rest so all the internal juices can be reabsorbed into the meat. Give it about 5 – 10 minutes and then slice it.

Cooking Temperatures for Red Meat

For Beef, Veal and Lamb and venison.

Rare: 50 °C
Medium rare: 55 °C
Medium: 60 °C
Medium well: 65 °C
Well done: 70 °C and above

Try these recipes for Whole Braised Beef Shin and Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder.

Cooking Temperatures for Pork or Ham

60 °C

Try these recipes for Blueberry Chipotle Gammon or Roast Pork Loin On The Crown With Roasted Stone Fruit.

Cooking Temperatures for Fish 

50 °C

Ty these recipes for Whole Baked Thai-style Fish or Sesame Crusted Yellowtail.

Cooking Temperatures for Poultry

Chicken, duck, turkey, geese & game birds (pheasants, guineafowl).

Poultry Legs: 75 °C
Poultry Breast: 65 °C

Try these recipes for Crispy Skin Duck With Cherry & Juniper Jam and Chicken Kiev.

Got your meat temperatures down? Brush up on your knife cutting skills with our Guide to Mise en Place

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