There’s really only one sure way to know if meat, fish or poultry is fully cooked and that’s to use a thermometer to measure it’s internal temperature. Of course, with experienced cooking, we can also tell in other ways.
Here are some ways to tell if your protein is done:
- Beef: Rare has a bloody red center (125 F internal temperature), medium rare has a reddish-pink middle (130 F), medium has a thin light pink center (145 F) and well done is cooked all the way through (165 F).
- Pork should be fully cooked before serving. Pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F and you shouldn’t see any pink in the meat.
- Poultry should also be fully cooked. The internal temperature should be 165 F, the juices should run clear and there shouldn’t be any reddish pink areas.
- Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 F. For most fish, you can tell if it’s done if it’s opaque in the middle and still retains its moisture. Fatty fish like salmon or tuna can be cooked with a more translucent center.
* Note, any ground meats need to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 F.
Now you’ll always know the answer to, “Is dinner ready, Mom?”