Special Report

The Right Temperature for 20 Kinds of Meat and Poultry

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Goose, whole
> Internal temperature: 165º

Goose is not a common meat on American tables these days, but when it is, the whole bird should be roasted to a temperature of 165º. (See below for goose breast.)

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Ham, precooked
> Internal temperature: 140º

Though Foodsafety.gov gives 140º as the ideal temperature when reheating a ham that’s already cooked, the USDA specifies that this applies only to those packaged in USDA-inspected plants (some ham is repackaged outside USDA supervision and may be contaminated with pathogens). If there is a question as to where the ham was packaged, it should be brought to 165º.

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Ham, raw
> Internal temperature: 145º (rest for 3 minutes)

Whether smoked or fresh, any uncooked ham should be baked or roasted to 145º, then allowed to rest for a few minutes before serving.

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Lamb, ground
> Internal temperature: 160º

As with ground beef, 160º is the preferred safe cooking temperature for ground lamb. Also as with ground beef, though, some sources believe that 155º is a safe internal temperature, while, if you’re living dangerously, you’ll want to stop it at 140º for medium, 130º for medium-rare.

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Lamb steaks, chops, roasts
> Internal temperature: 145º (rest for 3 minutes)

As with beef, this recommended temperature will result in medium-well meat. If you like your lamb rosy or beyond, figure 135º to 140º for medium, 130º to 135º for medium-rare, and 125º plus a three-minute rest period after cooking for rare.

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