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What's up with this trend toward rare?

jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
edited 2:56AM in EggHead Forum
Just read Alton Brown's turkey recipe. Now, I like almost everything of Alton's that I've tried, but 161 degree turkey breast doesn't even sound appetizing to me, and I can promise you that my wife won't even touch it. I don't like dry turkey, and the window between "food safe" and "over-cooked" can be narrow, but come on, 161? I thought 165 was the low safety threshold for poultry, and from experience I know that my family will be much happier at 175.


A similar trend in recipes both here and on Food Network can be seen in pork. Pink pork (center, not smoke ring) turns my stomach, both in presentation and texture.

What's wrong with cooking meat until it's done?
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Comments

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,333
    ive seen that poultry is safe in the 150's somewhere, then its cooked to your desired doneness for texture and flavor. pork needs to be in the high 130's for safety. cook til safe then more more preference, i like pink pork and turkey is off the grill beteen 155 and 160 depending on how big and how hot im cooking, but if you like it overcooked :laugh: go ahead and overcook it, its your food
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,333
    heres a chart i like that explains when to take the food off the grill and what internals your shooting for with a rest. its not perfect but if your using roasting temps of about 350/375 its pretty close. place near me still serves raw ground lamb, its delicous, depends or your likes and dislikes and what you grew up with ;)

    http://www.reluctantgourmet.com/doneness_chart.htm
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    161 isn't "rare". and by the time you serve it, it is probably cruising more toward 165.

    most folks eat what they know, and have a hard time considering it any other way.

    i know that, when i was a kid, turkey in my house was served when the little thing popped up out of the breast, which we know now to be around 180 or so.

    if you grow up eating breast meat that flakes apart as you carve it, it's going to be unnerving to eat it with a tinge of color and very moist.

    you could even say that 140 is "safe", anything beyond that is based solely on texture and how "done" you like it. sure, there are idiosyncracies re: bacteria in turkey, and "safe" temps, but for the most part, the bacteria are toast around the 140 temp.

    after that, it's personal preference. i'd say 155-160 is a typical temp for us. 155 it comes off to rest, and is served aftre coasting to maybe 160-165 MAX.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    a good example of the "personal preference" issue staring us right in the face, and almost never questioned, is that most quoted temps for legs/thighs verus the breast are different by as much as 20 degrees. does that mean it isn't safe to eat thighs that aren't 185 degrees? no. it means that although it is safe at much lower temps, the meat doesn't have the texture and firmness that most prefer. so generally thighs/legs are taken higher.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,333
    turkey as a kid, the salt would bounce off it, you really had to work it in with a spoon :laugh: was still dry if you reheated it in a pot of gravey :laugh:
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    i used to dunk it in the glass of water we had. i thought that was what it was for because dad never let us drink anything during dinner most times. (he figured we'd fill up on milk or water).

    at thanksgiving we got water. thought it was for the turkey :laugh:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Yeah but it was still more moist than the roast beef. :laugh:

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • HossHoss Posts: 14,600
    Even the USDA now says pork is DONE at 145.They are known to be overly cautious.
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    Just to be clear, my issue is not food safety. I'm going to say that Stike is right, it's all in what you're conditioned to. I just have a real hard time enjoying poultry that fights to stay on the bone.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    if you are talking about "fighting to stay on the bone" then you are talking wings/thighs/legs, which none of us here probably eat at 155-160 anyway.

    breast meat, to me, is perfect around 160 or so, but i think most of us would agree that the legs and bony stuff need to be taken to around 180
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    20 degrees? I take my legs and thighs to 200. -RP
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    good for you :laugh:
    how many different ways do i need to say "personal preference" before folks realize i'm talking about our own personal preferences?

    :unsure:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • Carolina QCarolina Q Posts: 11,674
    "Rare" saves on lump! :laugh:

    I usually wind up cooking things beyond the temps I see recommended here. As often as not, chicken breasts are 180° or more. Still plenty juicy. For me, pork roasts, chops and tenderloins should be white. Pink pork is too cold for me, safe or not.

    As for some of the bloody beef pics I've seen here, you might as well not have cooked it! Med rare is fine... med RAW, not so much!

    I hate it when I go to the kitchen for food and all I find are ingredients!

                                                                …Unknown

    Michael 
    Central Connecticut 

  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    No, I'm talking about breast meat. I section off the breasts and slice across the grain. I can tell when I'm sectioning the breast off the ribs whether I've achieve turkey nirvana or not.

    Brining has been an epiphany for me. I can get the bird done enough to please my wife without making it so dry that I can't enjoy it.
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    Carolina Q wrote:...
    As for some of the bloody beef pics I've seen here, you might as well not have cooked it! Med rare is fine... med RAW, not so much![/quote]

    Filets are about the only cut that I like rare. I think a strip has more flavor and isn't quite so chewy if it is cooked a bit more toward medium.
  • SundownSundown Posts: 2,964
    While they were prepping the chicken for roasting they opened the joint between the leg and the thigh and did the same with the wing.

    Tried it and the legs came out perfectly and the breast was just the way we like it.
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,539
    I've read that when Nathan Myhrvold finally gets "Modernist Cuisine" into publication, there will be statements that show the "safe" temperatures are far higher than they need to be.

    Also, I've read that there has been some restaurant industry pressure to get concessions on poultry temperatures, because restaurants are required to take chicken to temps that will dry it out.

    So I guess there are a fair number of folks who are promoting recipes that will yield moister meats.

    FWIW, I've cooked some pork loin that came from a farm and butcher that I trusted to be quite sanitary, and I took it from the Egg when the interior was still just a little pink. Yes, my wife would not have touched it, but I found it to be the tenderest and juiciest pork I'd ever had. It was a pleasant novelty.
  • I prefer, as does my family, (not to include my mother-in-law) meats of all types on the rarer side, but to each there own.
  • I've never heard nor considered anything else for poultry than 160 for the white meat and 180 for the dark. So, I'd say there is no new trend to begin with.
    The Naked Whiz
  • A lot of it has to do with cook temperature. The lower the temp the less "cooked colour". Restaurants do beef roasts at very low temps, 250* and less so if someone orders rare they can serve a piece of red meat that is probably medium well in temperature. I did chickens last night and the thighs were still quite red but were well over 180*

    Steve

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 21,333
    for the roast beef we had the cheap serrated knives that would actually make beef dust on the plate sawing its way thru, put the salt down on the plate then put the slice on top and really smash it in. i wonder if good cooking skips every other generation :laugh: ma had one recipe for an eye round, 400 for an hour then add whatever time was necessary to finish watching her show on tv, didnt matter if it a big roast or small
  • My Mom broke the mold, she loved stuff cooked medium rare and lower. I spent summers at my grandparents and grandma would put a roast beef on right after breakfast for dinner at six. As you said...didn't matter how big. :laugh:

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Just the way I like them Dr. Lecter!

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Michael,

    This was 125* Ignore the ones on the right cause my wife put them in the oven.

    DSCF1093.jpg

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    the red meat from chix is usually immature birds. immature bones means red coloration when cooked...

    i don't think you can have red beef that is truly medium well. even cooking at 250 will overcook beef ti the point where it will brown.

    pot roast never gets over 212, and it is dark brown or grey
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • You can. If you cook at lower temps you can still have red meat at at least 150*
    With the chickens last night, well let's say my egg could use a cleaning :whistle :whistle: , so it cooked at about 275*, the meat itself was still quite red in the thighs and legs well away from the bone.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • WessBWessB Posts: 6,937
    I've got a documented turkey cook on my website from 2003 and 160 breast 180 dark meat was what I was shooting for (162 breast is what I ended up at).... so I gotta agree with the others....no new trend at all...and the meat wasn't pink either.
  • AZRPAZRP Posts: 10,116
    What does open the joint mean? -RP
  • jeffinsgfjeffinsgf Posts: 1,259
    AZRP wrote:
    What does open the joint mean? -RP

    Thanks for asking, I was wondering, too.
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