When was the last time you had a nice juicy pork chop? Pork chops are easily dry and or overcooked. Pork is very important to ensure you don’t serve your meat undercooked because you can get sick. Keep reading this article to get some simple and handy tricks to help with your cooking process.
Undercooked pork has a few different tastes. If the pork is undercooked, it will be chewy or red inside. It is very easy to see if the pork is undercooked. By cutting into the pork or using a digital thermometer, you will check on your pork on the grill more efficiently.
Can I Eat Pink Pork?
If the pork has some pink inside, does that mean you cannot eat it? You can eat the pork with some pink inside; it will not harm you. Most people like their pork with a little pink.
Undercooked pork will read 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 127 degrees Fahrenheit. This will mean that the outside of the pork has grill marks, but you will want to place it back on the grill to cook longer. It is recommended to get a digital thermometer to check the inside of the pork or any meat on the grill.
Fully cooked pork will read 145 degrees Fahrenheit on the thermometer. The United States Department of Agriculture recommends that pork be cooked to 145 degrees. When done cooking, allow your pork to sit for at least three minutes off the heat.
When removing the pork from the grill, why do you need to wait three minutes? The reason behind the madness is that the temperature will most likely rise 10 to 15 degrees in those three minutes. Pork will be overcooked and dry when the inside temperature reaches 160 degrees. This means the pork will be overcooked when it reaches your dinner table. Cooking the pork to 145 degrees will mean it’s perfectly cooked, and most importantly, it’s safe to eat.
Overcooking pork in the past was usually a bad problem, but now it is different. The meat is leaner, which means if it is overcooked, it will likely be tough or unappetizing. Your target range for juicy pork is 145 degrees. When asked by a restaurant, a good answer to how would you like your pork cooked would be medium-rare.
Is it Safe?
When talking about undercooked pork usually the parasite trichinosis will be brought up. This was in the past, but this organism has been almost eliminated. The most concerning problem with undercooked meat is salmonella or E. Coli. Over the last couple of years, there have been bacteria outbreaks due to undercooked meat. This is why you will want to follow the USDA guidelines discussed in the previous sections to ensure your meat is safe to eat for everyone.
Ways to Check If Pork is Still Good
Have you ever gone to the grocery store and looked at the meat sections and wondered if the meat is still good in the reduced price section? Keep reading, and you will find out.
One of the best ways to make sure your pork is still good is to look at the color. Once you get home and you thaw the meat, check the color if the meat is colored light pink or white. Then it is safe and fresh to cook. However, if the meat is starting to turn gray or black, then definitely throw away the meat.
Once the meat is thawed, you have three to five days to cook it before it goes bad. If you have to refreeze the meat, it’s okay if the meat is still frozen. If the meat is thawed completely, you will not want to refreeze the meat because it will go bad. Freezing the meat a second time could cause freezer burn to happen. The condensation that forms on the packaging will freeze. This is what causes freezer burn.
What is Trichinosis?
Trichinosis is a parasite caused by roundworms and is usually found in undercooked meat. Some symptoms of this parasite are:
These symptoms will show after one or two days of eating the undercooked meat. There are more symptoms, the further you leave the condition untreated. They are:
- Abdominal Cramps
- Swelling Around Your Eyes
- Joint Pain
These are most commonly found within two to eight weeks after eating the undercooked meat. If you eat undercooked meat and feel any of these symptoms, it’s important that you contact your doctor right away.
When cooking meat at any time, it is important to make sure that it’s cooked properly. You do not want to serve bad meat to anyone because you do not know how bad their symptoms can be. Just making sure the meat stays on the grill for an extra couple of minutes can be the difference between enjoying their food or becoming sick in the next couple of days. Hopefully, this article has helped you understand the importance of not consuming meat that is very undercooked.