Special Report

The Right Temperature for 20 Kinds of Meat and Poultry

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Poultry breasts (chicken, duck, goose)
> Internal temperature: 165º

Chicken breasts should probably be cooked to an internal temperature of 165º for safety, though Michelin three-star British chef Heston Blumenthal cooks his to about 150º. Commercially raised goose, like duck, is not as likely to be contaminated with bacteria as chicken, and the flesh is more like that of red meat than fowl. Some cooks prefer duck breast pink, which means at 130º to 135º (which is commonly how restaurants serve it). Goose breast will stay pink and juicy up to 140º to 150º.

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Poultry legs (chicken, duck, goose)
> Internal temperature: 165º

This temperature is commonly accepted as correct for chicken, duck, or goose legs.

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Poultry thighs (chicken, duck, goose
> Internal temperature: 165º

This temperature is standard for chicken, duck, or goose thighs, though the Food Network Kitchen extends the range to between 165º and 175º.

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Poultry wings (chicken, duck, goose)
> Internal temperature: 165º

As with other poultry parts, the USDA prefers wings to be cooked to 165º. Wings have so little meat on them, however, that it’s hard to know where to stick the thermometer without hitting bone — and in any case, they’re so small compared to other poultry parts that by the time they’re well-browned on the outside they’re almost surely cooked through.

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Pork, ground
> Internal temperature: 160º

Ground pork, like any other ground meat, is at more risk of developing bacteria than whole-muscle cuts like chops and roasts, so it should be brought to 160º.

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