• Steak being cut to reveal a warm pink center.

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    How to Tell When Meat is Done

    Simply put, the only way to truly be certain that meat is done is to use a meat thermometer. You may have heard of a few other methods — like cutting the meat open to check its color or looking at the clarity of juices — but food isn’t completely safe for consumption until it has reached an internal temperature hot enough to kill bacteria. Perhaps the most popular myth is comparing the exterior of the meat to the firmness of certain parts of your hand. However, this tactic is unreliable because everyone’s flesh is different, and bounciness varies among every cut of meat. See the chart below for USDA specifications for food doneness (and a few expert recommendations for different cooks of beef).

  • Steak being cut to reveal a warm pink center.
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