The optimal cooking temperature of the meats

Cooking time and cooking temperature are very important factors in preparing all meats (because they may also affect their taste). To know the optimum cooking temperatures of each food is essential for to always get good results in the kitchen, and in our case at the barbecue.

Generally the most commonly used stratagems to see if a high enough piece of meat is cooked to the point are so many: pierce it with a knife or with a toothpick, to observe her the color, touch it with your fingers. But these are all quite ineffective techniques and it's only through accurate temperature control using a kitchen thermometer that you can safely get cooked meat at the right point.

The temperature of the meat is measured to the heart, or to the center, in the farthest point from the outer crust. It is at this point that you have to monitor the temperature until you reach the desired cooking degree.

There are six types of reference cooking:

BLUE
With Bleu cooking, as the French call it, externally the meat is brownish but the inside is definitely raw because it is cooked only one minute per side. What matters, however, is that regardless of the type and the height of the cut, the heart temperature reaches at most 30 °C. This is a great degree of cooking to taste flavor and succulence of the flesh.

RARE
If you let to brown the slice of meat one more minute (so 2 minutes in total for side), you can get a baking: 75% red and browned externally. The heart temperature in this case must oscillate between 40-50 °C. At this cooking level the meat offers the most flavor.

MEDIUM RARE
This is an intermediate cooking, which is obtained by heating the meat from 3 to 4 minutes per side. In this way you get a browned steak about 50%, with an extremely tender inner heart. There the temperature will be around 56-63 °C. With these temperatures the proteins begin to transform and the fats dissolve well: the exterior will feature crunchy traits while the inside will be very juicy.

MEDIUM
If the internal temperature is brought to 64-68 °C the meat will have a "medium" cooking. Soft and juicy center, crisp and tasty exterior. It must brown approximately 4 minutes per side. A clearer tone will be evident at the cut, pinkish in the center and slightly browned to the edges.

MEDIUM WELL COOKED
This degree of cooking consist in to brown the meat cut for about 5 minutes per side. The heart temperature ranges from 73 to 77 °C, the interior is deliciously pinkish and with a crispy exterior, this degree of cooking exalts the flavors and melts the fat well, provided to have a meat that holds the high temperatures, such as a thick cut of well marbled beef.

WELL COOKED
Finally, here is the extreme degree of cooking. With a timing that can reach 6 minutes per side and a heart temperature up to 78 °C, this degree of cooking allows you to obtain an internally uniform, externally browned, crispy meat and a strong aroma of braziers. At cut the meat must be soft and humid anyway.

It is important to consider that in addition to the temperature there are considerable differences even in the cooking times depending on the type of meat and the cut chosen. For example, in the case of pork or chicken, the only possible cooking is that well cooked, because they can be potential carriers of pathogens such as parasites, bacteria and viruses.

Below are the recommended heart temperatures for different types of meat.

40 degrees: red meat, au bleu cooking
50 degrees: red meat, rare cooking
60 degrees: red meat, medium rare cooking
65 degrees: medium cooking for thigh and loin of lamb, liver, duck, game
70 degrees: red meat, well cooked. Thigh and loin of lamb.
72 degrees: first-class calf cuts, lamb shoulder, chicken breast, game, salmon, pig

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