How to use a meat thermometer

burger on the grill

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services stresses the importance of using a meat thermometer to accurately gauge whether or not meat is fully cooked for consumption.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends the following thermometer placement when checking the temperatures of meat.

Related: Here’s the scoop on grilling safety

Beef (hamburgers, steaks, chops): Insert thermometer in the center, thickest part of the meat, away from fat, gristle and bone.

Roasts (Beef, pork or lamb): Insert thermometer into the thickest part of the roast, away from any fat, gristle and bone.

Whole chicken: Avoiding the bone, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh.

Whole turkey: Avoiding the bone, insert the thermometer into the innermost part of the thigh, the wing and the thickest part of the bird.

Ground meat and poultry: For patties and meatloaves, insert thermometer into thickest area. If meat is thin, insert thermometer sideways into the dead center of the meat.

Fish: When fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, insert thermometer into the thickest part.

What kind of meat thermometer should I buy?

There are several types of meat thermometers. USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service explains the main types and how to use them.

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Katie Woods grew up in Columbiana, Ohio. Katie likes reading, writing, enjoying the outdoors and DIY projects.



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