This is a question I receive often by many customers. The only sure way to know in order to prevent overcooking, or worse yet, being undercooked, is to use a meat thermometer.
A meat thermometer is as essential a tool for chefs as their chef knives! In order to prevent food borne illness from bacteria, the most important thing in the kitchen is to cook to proper temperature.
Meat thermometers can be purchased at Kroger stores in the kitchen gadget aisle. They have a stem with point, and dial face for reading the internal temperature of any food item. When you first use your thermometer or if dropped, you should calibrate it by sampling putting the stem into a tight packed ice water bath. The dial should read 32 f. when placed into the ice bath. You can adjust the dial to 32 f. if off by way of turning the hex nut under the dial. When taking the temperature of a food item, it is important to insert the probe into the center of the item into the thickest part and wait for the dial to stabilize – this will give you the correct internal temperature of the item. The following are the correct cook temperatures of items to prevent foodborne illness: All Poultry, Ground Poultry, and stuffed meats – 165 f. for 15 seconds / Ground Beef, Mechanically Tenderized meat, Ground Pork, and Ground Game – 155 f. for 15 seconds / Eggs, Fish, Meat and Pork ( other than Roasts ) – 145 f. for 15 seconds / Meat Roasts – 140 f. for 12 minutes.