Monday 27 February 2012

BBQING meat temperature guide and safety tips.

Lots of us Backyard BBQer's keep guessing the proper safe internal meat temperatures while cooking. Well I decided today to talk about the proper safe temperatures for various meats while cooking. One of the most important safety tool that each BBQers's should have is a good quality meat thermometer. The one I highly recommend to use is the Thermapen from ThermoWorks do to its ruggedness, accuracy and its reliability! Also the meat thermometers from Maverick are pretty good!

How to choose a thermometer:

A good practice to do ounce in a while is to test your thermometer in boiling water to ensure that still read accurately and function properly. Water boils are 212°F, right? Not at all elevation! What's your boiling point? Find out here:  Boilling Water Temp Calculator

·        Regular, Oven/BBQ-proof types go into the food at the beginning of the cooking time and can be read easily. Most have a dial and thick stem which senses the temperature of food at least 2 inches thick.

·        Instant-read types cannot go into the BBQ, but give you a quick reading when inserted into the food on the BBQ. These may have a dial or digital readout. Most digitals can read accurately when inserted into the food only ½-inch.

·        Microwave-safe types are designed ONLY for use in microwave ovens.

·        Thermocouple thermometers are considered the fastest and most precise, thus they are the thermo-meter of choice for , food service, and food inspectors. A thermocouple uses thin wires in the tips of the probe. These are use on thermometer like the Maverick ET-732 or on BBQ temperature controller like the stoker or BBQ guru.

Here's a good chart for cook meat internal temperatures that I got from

Here's the pdf version: Temp Guide pdf

Here's a chart for smoking meat that I got from MRBBQ.

Thaw Safely

Completely thaw your meat and poultry before grilling so it cooks more evenly. Use the refrigerator for slow, safe thawing or thaw sealed packages in cold water but keep changing the cold water every 30 minutes. If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment could be introduced into the food. Also, the meat tissue may absorb water, resulting in a watery product. This is why I place my meat for unthawing in a good zip lock bag. For quicker thawing, you can microwave defrost if the food will be placed immediately put on the grill but this is not the best option for BBQing.

Keep Everything Clean

It is very important that you, don't use the same platter and utensils for raw and cooked meat and poultry. Harmful bacteria present in raw meat and poultry and their juices can contaminate safely cooked food and can make you and your guess very ill!!! Always ensure the work surface is perfectly clean before putting food on it. Also wash your hands often when handling raw meats!!


Another over look items is vegetables lots of people don't wash their vegetables. It is very important to always wash your vegetables! Also keep the vegetable away from raw meat work area so that you don't cross contaminate them! Lots of people got sick these days due to improper handling of vegetables! Also never use the same cutting board as the one used for your raw meat to cut vegetables!

Happy Grilling!

Sources for some of the materials: amazingribs, mrbbq, and

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