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Cooking Times for Beef

Cooking Times For Beef Click Here For Beef Table

The following table is true for all beef products with the exception of ground beef as noted below. These temperatures are somewhat subjective, and various tables published in cookbooks or in restaurant menu descriptions will vary a bit.

The United States Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency seem to vary the most from tables published by people looking for best taste, and if you choose to be extra safe you may wish to follow their recommendations.

The USDA for example states: "For safety, the USDA recommends cooking hamburgers and ground beef mixtures such as meat loaf to 160 °F on a meat thermometer. However, whole muscle meats such as steaks and roasts may be cooked to 145 °F (medium rare), 160 °F (medium), 170 °F (well done)."

Click here to access this USDA Fact Sheet.

Click here for information from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency

We do agree that ground beef should be cooked to 160 degrees F. This is because bacteria on the surface of the meat is distributed throughout the meat as it is ground. The exception to this rule is if the ground meat is irradiated. If it is irradiated it can be cooked to whatever doneness you prefer.

If a whole cut of meat is cooked the surface is heated first and most so the bacteria are exposed to high heat and killed.

Bacteria associated with beef include: salmonella spp., and listeria monocytogenes.

Some sources such as the USDA and the CFIA do not recommend that any beef should be cooked to less than 145 F (63 C). The call is yours.

Doneness Fahrenheit Celsius USDA and CFIA Recommendations For safety
Very rare < 120 < 49  
Rare 120 - 125 49 - 52  
Medium Rare 125 - 135 52 - 57

145 F (63 C)

Our Medium Well but Called Medium Rare

Medium 135 - 140 57 - 60

160 F (71 C)

Our Well Done but called Medium

Medium - Well 140 - 155 60 - 68  
Well Done 155 - 160+ 68 - 71+ 170F+ (77 C+) Off our scale but called well done

 

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