Meat Temperature Chart

When first starting out cooking on a grill, I ruined a lot of great meat. I was so worried about making  people sick that I overcooked everything. I was reading all of those articles about pushing on the meat to tell it is done and I thought I had it down. I finally realized I wasn’t good at touch and searched up an easy meat temperature chart and purchased a good digital thermometer. After all of these years I still use a thermometer and temperature chart every time I grill. With an instant-read meat thermometer and an easy to access chart showing the correct meat temperatures, there really is no excuse for under (or over) cooking meat. If you don’t yet have one, check out our Thermapen review for what we think is the last thermometer you will ever need for cooking.

When cooking, there are two important things to keep in mind as you target the perfect doneness. First, the internal temperatures for meat are recommended by the FDA. Their focus is food safety, no so much perfect doneness, so the temperatures are on the high side for most people’s preference. Second, remember that most meat is going to keep cooking after you take it off the grill. With that in mind, I always remove my meat from the grill with about 5 degrees to go to my target temperature. For thinner cuts of meat, cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil so it can continue to cook and “rest” before you serve. With those two important points in mind, go ahead and reference this temperature chart.

Easy Meat Temperature Chart

As for the “easy to access temperature chart” part of the equation, I put my software development skills to work. What do I always have in my pocket? My iPhone! I created a really simple app to allow me to quickly look up meat temperatures. The link to the app is at the bottom of this article if you are interested. If you are in a hurry (quick, that steak is burning!) check out this handy chart:

Meat Temperatures Chart
Beef and Lamb Rare: 130ºF
Medium-Rare: 130º to 140ºF
Medium: 140º to 155ºF
Medium-Well: 155º to 165ºF
Well: 170ºF and up
Veal Medium: 145º to 155ºF
Pork (like grilled pork chops or grilled pork tenderloin) Medium: 140º to 155ºF
Medium-well: 155º to 165ºF
Well-Done: 175º to 185ºF
Grilled Chicken and Turkey Dark meat (thigh, leg): 170º to 175ºF
White meat (breast, wing): 160º to 165ºF
Fish Medium-rare: 120ºF
Medium: 135ºF

Don’t Cut Into The Meat to Check The Temperature

Before you go check on that steak, let me cover one more quick tip. No matter what you do, NEVER cut into the meat on the grill to check doneness. Not only are you killing your presenation, but you run the risk of drying out the meat. Practice makes perfect, so head on over to our grilled steak recipes or any of our other simple grilled recipes and just err on the side of rare until you get it right.  You can always throw the meat back on the grill, but you can’t reverse overcooking.

Got an iPhone or iPod?  Click here to visit our FREE meat doneness temperature app on the app store!