Foodie Alert! Watch those temps!

meatI’ve noticed a strange and somewhat disturbing thing happening on a couple of recipe sites I frequent. Incorrect cooking times. Now you might not think this means much, but these temperatures are for meat; something you should always check and recheck. For example, I did a pork roast in the over a while back and used the temperature the recipe gave me. The cut of meat I used was the same as what was called for, and being the trusting person, I didn’t think anything more about it. After all, the person who posted the recipe has tried it and would know if there was something wrong, yet when I took it out of the oven and checked it, it still needed another thirty minutes. Not a problem; I always leave the oven on after I take meat out, just in case something like that happens. Afterward, I chalked it up to me reading the temperature number wrong on the website. When it happened a second time, this time for beef, I went back and looked over the webpage carefully. Turns out I didn’t see wrong at all. There was only one temperature given, and from the way the recipe was worded, it was for all sizes of beef.

I have a meat thermometer and I did use it (I really need to use it more), but what bothered me was there was no disclaimer. How did they know this temperature was right for the size of roast I was using? From the instructions given one could easily assume that the temp was for all sizes, when we all know you gauge the cooking time by the weight of the meat. This is constantly drilled into my brain by my husband (who hovers when I get into the kitchen), but what about new cooks who don’t think about things like this? I can see you shaking your head and saying

“But Darke, everyone KNOWS to use a meat thermometer or gauge the time by weight!”

Not always, and that’s why this bothered me so much.

Please, please, please, as the Holidays are quickly approaching, if you have a recipe for meat and it gives you only one time, check to make sure it’s the RIGHT time for the size of meat you’re using. It takes just a few minutes to go online and look up the right times.

Here, are a couple web pages that can help.

http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html

http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/meatchart.html

 

Happy Cooking!

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About Darke Conteur
Darke Conteur is a writer at the mercy of her Muse. The author of stories in several genres, she prefers to create within the realms Science Fiction and Dark Fantasy. A pagan at heart, her personal goal it to find her balance within nature; exploring the dark through her stories and the light through her beliefs. When not writing or working with crystals, she enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking and very loud music.

4 Responses to Foodie Alert! Watch those temps!

  1. It’s not so much that the temperature was wrong. The problem is ovens don’t always reach the set temperature. Since you use a meat thermometer, I’m going to assume you have also have a thermometer in your oven, so you know it really is at the temperature you set. It’s possible the person who posted the recipe doesn’t have one, especially if he or she is not a professional cook. Yet even an oven thermometer may not be the answer. I have one in my oven and it insists the temperature is what it’s supposed to be. But I’ve never had any luck in getting whole birds or other meat with bones to cook all the way through in the time prescribed. It doesn’t matter where I got the recipe from – my oven just doesn’t get it done. I’ve learned to allow for an extra hour – yep, even for a five-pound roast chicken. I don’t why this happens. It’s not logical, but it’s just the way it is.

    • How old is your oven, Marlene? That might be the problem.

      I thought that too, but when I re-checked the page, and compared it to the web pages that had temperatures, they were way under.

  2. Marlene is right. Ovens vary and they don’t have to be that old either. Gas ovens seem to cook differently than electric too. The few times I’ve used electric I had to let it cook longer.

    Hubby likes to use a thermometer but I’m more a seat-of-your-pants cook.

    • Now that bothers me even more. For the record, we’ve never had a problem with cooking meat, as long as we follow the cooking guide. Not even with birds. Maybe that’s why this caught me off-guard.

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