Internal Temperature

Internal TemperatureInternal Temperature is the temperature of the cooking meat as measured with a food thermometer before removing the meat from the heat source. Why is the internal temperature important to BBQ?

A. Barbequed meat needs to reach certain temperatures to be considered safe for consumption.

For safety and quality, the USDA recommends the following minimum internal temps as well as allowing the meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming.

  • Cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F.
  • Ground meats: Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F.
  • Poultry: Cook all poultry to an internal temperature of 165 °F.

B. Internal Temp is one key to BBQ consistentcy.

Once you’ve cooked that perfect brisket, pulled pork, or steak the key to being able to repeat that perfectness is knowing what internal temperature the meat was cooked to.

But internal temperature is not always the final word.  For example, brisket is done when a probe goes into the meat easily.  So let internal temperature be your guide but let the meat tell you when it done.