Keep your friends and family safe this grilling season by making sure food is cooked to a high enough internal temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause illness.

You cannot determine if food is fully cooked just by looking at it. The only way to make sure your food has reached a safe minimum internal temperature is to use a food thermometer. Before using any food thermometer, read the manufacturer's instructions!

The best types of food thermometers for grilling are:

Digital Instant-Read (Thermistor) 

  • Reads in 10 seconds
  • Place at least 1/2" deep
  • Can measure in thin and thick foods

 Thermometer-Fork Combination

  • Reads in 2-10 seconds
  • Place at least 1/4" deep in the thickest part of food
  • Sensor in tine of fork must be fully inserted
  • Can be used in most foods -- convenient for grilling

 Tips for Using a Food Thermometer:

  • These thermometers are not designed to remain in food while it is cooking.
  • To ensure safety and prevent overcooking, check the internal temperature of the food toward the end of the cooking time, before the food is expected to finish cooking.
  • The food thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the food and should not be touching bone, fat, or gristle. Check the temperature in several places to make sure the food is evenly heated.
  • Clean your food thermometer with how water and soap before and after each use!

Be sure to include safe food handling in your cookout plans!

  • CLEAN -- Wash hands and surfaces often.
  • SEPARATE -- Don't cross-contaminate!
  • COOK -- Cook to proper temperature.
  • CHILL -- Refrigerate promptly!