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Finished temps.
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phatch Offline
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Post: #1
Finished temps.
Oh, one more thing on temps for chicken. All the bad boys are dead at 160. Whether you think the meat is done, is a different question. A thigh at 160 is safe to eat, but pink. James Beard once commented on this to the effect that whoever started the idea that pink poultry meat is automatically bad was nuts. I think it was a little hysteria and public fear of illness that's unfounded. As no one wants to get sued, they cook it till it's not pink. And a chicken thigh only needs to go to 170 to stop being pink. Chicken isn't as well bled as it used to be IMHO so more people are going to 180 now, but I think that dries it out too much.

Commercial kitchens also have different standards for temps than home kitchens. They'll cook chicken to 155 in the breast because 10 mins (or so) at 150 also kills all the bad bugs and they have the properly calibrated equipment to test it consistently. The FDA thinks home cooks are sloppier and so sets a higher standard.

Trichinosis dies at 137, so I usually cook my tender pork cuts to 145ish so they're still moist and just slightly pink in the center. A ground meat of any sort gets cooked to 160, and a well marbled tough pork cut is probably going to over 200 (pork shoulder) which I want to be super tender and fall apart.

Simple answer, Get a digital instant read thermometer and use it well.

Phil
05-02-2006 09:56 AM
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Gumbo Offline
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Hey Phatch, when you say you "cook to" 160, are you then removing it at 150 and allowing it to rest, during which time the internal temp will rise to 160? Or are you removing it from the heat at 160 so that the internal meat temp will rise to 170 during the rest period?
05-03-2006 07:56 AM
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phatch Offline
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It depends.

Small cuts (chicken pieces, pork cutlets, steaks, burgers, suasage )don't have carry over cooking worth worrying about, but they do benefit from some resting time after cooking.

I usually only worry about carry over temps when I want a rare piece of meat, or with a pork loin type roast which is tricky to keep from drying out unless it was brined.

With a whole chicken I'll take it from the oven at 160 for white meat. I usually cook whole chickens butterflied so the thighs are cooking fast enough to not be pink. The thighs are usually 170ish at this point. I do want to have the thighs not pink so the juices on the plate are clear. This keeps people from worrying about an undercooked bird.

One note on white and dark meat. Bird meat is dark where it has an extra oxygen holding compound. This helps the bird use those muscles for prolonged periods. So a flying bird has dark breast and wing meat, such as a duck, and the breast is what you want to cook to the higher temp then. But a ground bird has dark legs. Now yes, many ground birds fly, but not much, it's mostly leg work for them.

Phil
05-03-2006 08:06 AM
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