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What is the safest internal temperature for my food?

Figuring out the safe internal temperature of your food when grilling can be tricky. If you’re hungry, you might be tempted to take your food off the grill well before it’s done cooking. Lucky for you, our internal temperature guide has all the details you need to make sure your food is both safe and delicious when you’re ready to chow down.

Having a meat thermometer handy when you’re grilling will also go a long way to making sure your food has the right amount of doneness too. Knowing the internal temperature can help ensure your steak, chicken, and all other meats are cooked just how you like it. Don’t rely on the grill’s built-in thermometer, a thumb test, or the color of the juices to determine doneness, as these can often be misleading or inaccurate.

To achieve the right level of doneness, check the proper temperatures below. Note that doneness levels only apply to certain foods, like steak. Ground meat and poultry are generally not safe to eat when not cooked to a done temperature.

Rare: If you’re a fan of rare meat, take your food off the grill when it reaches an internal temperature of 120°F to 130°F. Note that some meats will continue to cook after being taken off the grill.

Medium Rare: To achieve a medium rare doneness, remove your meat from the grill once it reaches an internal temperature between 130 and 135°F.

Medium: Medium is the sweet spot that most grill enthusiasts aim for. To get your steak, or other meats to have a medium doneness, it must have an internal temperature between 135°F and 145°F.

Medium Well: For a medium well doneness, your food should have an internal temperature between 145°F and 155°F.

Well Done: An internal temperature above 155°F will result in your meat being well done. Be sure to avoid cooking too long, however, as this could make the meat too crisp or tough to chew.

Consult our Meat Temperature Guide for the minimum internal temperatures of meats. Five to ten degree increments can mean a lot when you’re grilling. Be sure to check out our recipes page for more delicious, grill-friendly dishes.

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