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DEFINATIVE information on safe temp to cook pork

Seattle ToddSeattle Todd Posts: 227
edited 11:02AM in EggHead Forum
I know this has been bantered about a bit lately and even with this info there are still a lot of folks that won't try it out of fear or habit but ...[p]From a friend attending the C.I.A.:[p]"The USDA recommended minimum cooking temperature for pork is now down to 145 degrees. This is considered to be 'medium' and will be pink in the middle on an average chop, just like medium steak. The last U.S. documented case of trichinosis (a disease resulting from infestation with Trichinella Spiralis, occurring in humans, caused by ingestion of infested, undercooked pork, and characterized by fever, muscle weakness, and diarrhea) was in 1979."[p]Cooking pork chops to just above 145 I find changes the flavor altogether from the 165+ pork I was used to as a kid. Much more juicey and almost a bit more like chicken.[p]I'm sure the USDA recommended temperature for a to-die-for South Carolina pulled pork Boston butt is still ~200*. ;)


  • Char-WoodyChar-Woody Posts: 2,642
    Seattle Todd, 100% correct, but pulled pork is another meal!

  • Tim MTim M Posts: 2,410
    Seattle Todd,
    Interesting about the 145 deg temp for pork. I usually do mine to 150-155 - but then I don't like rare meat either. I agree that 150-160 deg pork is more tender and juicy than 165-175 pork -- big difference.[p]The reason the pulled pork goes to 200 deg has more to do with getting some of the "extra" juices out rather than just cooking to a safe temp, some have gone to 170 on the butts and lived to tell about it, but it seems it would be way more greasy/juicy that way. Actually I did one to 205 once and I like it alot.[p]However Mike O fixed that PP at Eggfest -- thats how I will do mine from now on - it was the best![p]Tim

  • Seattle ToddSeattle Todd Posts: 227
    Tim M,[p]I love to do pork shoulders! Remind me of baked potatos. Once they hit the minimum cooked temp you want you can leave 'em on for quite a bit past that without ruinin' them. I've never had PP below 190 and had it almost 210 and both were great.[p]Seems to almost take a life of its own depending on the cook and cut. I've prepared PP with the same methods and same cook temps/times and I swear they've turned out differently. Always great most often stupendous!
  • GfwGfw Posts: 1,598
    Seattle Todd, check out the link, it will tell you all you ever wanted to know - except that PP needs about 200 degrees.

    [ul][li]PORK PREPARATION[/ul]
  • MaryMary Posts: 190
    Seattle Todd,
    Those are resasonable guidelines for today. As I've posted before, the pork industry worked really hard over the last 30+ years to rid the pigs in this country of trichinoses and pork is now much safer than beef. At the same time, practices in the beef industry have deterioriated to the point now where there's a risk of trichinoses in beef, not to mention salmonella and e. coli. That's why they insist on irradating beef in a attempt to get rid of the bacterial and parasitic contaminates. But the pork industry shows you can do it the old fashioned way - by hygenic practices in the raising and slaughtering of the meat animals.[p]What with the leaner pigs, I much prefer the taste of pork to beef anyway. To my taste, the flavor of beef has greatly deteriorated, and I think its because of the crummy way they raise it now. This didn't used to be the case 20 years ago. But I'm with Tim M. on this one; after taking a college microbiology course, I don't eat undercooked meat of any sort.[p]Egg on.[p]Mary

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