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Grilling Like a PRO

Infographic on Grilling Like a PRO – Place the thermometer, Read the Temp, Off the GrillFather’s Day is right around the corner—time to start looking for a great gift that Dad will enjoy!

Food thermometers are a relatively inexpensive gift (most under $30) and when used correctly, can help keep your family safe from foodborne illness.  Using a food thermometer also helps you to avoid overcooking, giving you a safe and flavorful meal.

There are two types of food thermometers that are great for meat and poultry on the grill.  The dial-instant read thermometer and the digital instant-read thermometer.  Both are not designed to stay in the food during cooking.

When using your food thermometer, follow these three simple steps to cook like a PRO—Place the thermometer, Read the temperature, and Off the Grill!

Place the Thermometer

When you think your food is cooked, check the internal temperature with your instant-read thermometer.  Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat (usually about 1.5 to 2 inches deep).  If you are cooking a thinner piece of meat, like chicken breasts or hamburger patties, insert the thermometer from the side.  Make sure that the probe reaches the center of the meat. 

Read the Temperature

Wait about 10 seconds for an accurate temperature reading on a digital thermometer (increase to about 15-20 seconds when using a dial thermometer).  Use the following guidelines to know the safe internal temperatures of your meat and poultry.

  • Beef, Pork, Lamb, & Veal (steaks, roasts, and chops): 145 °F with a 3 minute rest time
  • Ground meats: 160 °F
  • Whole poultry, poultry breasts, & ground poultry: 165 °F

Off the Grill

Once the meat and poultry reach their safe minimum internal temperatures, take the food off the grill and place it on a clean platter.  Don’t put cooked food on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry.  Also remember to clean your food thermometer probe with hot, soapy water or disposable wipes.

If you have any questions, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) or visit to chat with a Food Safety Specialist. Follow @USDAFoodSafety on Twitter to receive daily tips and information on recalled food.

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Posted in: Events | Food SafetyTagged: Food Safety