How to tell if food is done -- both for food safety and personal preferences.
The great taste of food hot off the grill is a reward to be savored. Knowing when to pull it off the grill is important for a great eating experience and also to ensure safety. Determining "doneness" in terms of texture, appearance, and juiciness is often a matter of personal preference. However, in terms of safety, foods are "done" when they are cooked to an internal temperature high enough to eliminate harmful microorganisms. The best way to measure internal temperature is with a food thermometer.
The most accurate and safe way to determine doneness is to use a thermometer. To achieve an accurate reading, use the following guide to determine where to insert the thermometer.
Source: USDA FSIS
-To ensure perfectly cooked meat everytime and to avoid the consequences of undercooked meat, it's important to learn how to use a meat thermometer. No one wants a day after surprises. There are 2 basic kinds of meat thermometers; Oven-going and instant read. Let's start with Oven-going. For larger meat such as roast, use this type of thermometer before roasting. Get it. Oven-going means it goes in the oven. Stick it at least 2-inches and at the center of the thickest portion of the meat avoiding fat and bone. Put your roast with the thermometer in the oven to bake. When the thermometer reaches 145 to 155 degrees, it's dinner time. There's another type of thermometer that works just as well-- instant read. Tuck the sky in when the cooking is done. Place this thermometer in the same way giving him 15 to 20 seconds to register the temperature. No matter which way you measure using a meat thermometer is a must-do food safety step.