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Internal Temperature of Meatloaf

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
New Year Greetings, everyone.

What would you suggest as the ideal internal temoerature for the various kinds of meatloaf, i.e., turkey, all beff, beef with other meats, and so on?
Lance
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Lance
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post #2 of 16
I really shouldn't try to post a answer after being up until 4AM the night before :lol: I agree with the rest, 160 for beef/pork, 165 for poultry.

It is going to vary somewhat by how much meat you start with. For a 2 pound meatloaf I cook at 375. 1 pound I lower it to 350 but anywhere in that range will work.
post #3 of 16
Internal temp, not oven temp. 160 for ground meats for a home cook. Other slightly lower temps can be food safe but they usually require some time at temp measurements that are not particularly practical in the home setting.

Phil
post #4 of 16
165 if the ground meat is chicken or turkey
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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post #5 of 16
I believe ground beef can be cooked to 155 internal. But chicken and all poultry should be 165 to 170.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
That makes no sense at all. What has the internal temp got to do with the cooking temp other than how long it may take to reach the desired internal temp? Am I missing something? And what does the weight of the meat have to do with determining the internal temperature? Would you cook to a different internal temp id the meat weighed more or less?
Lance
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Lance
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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
These temps seem awfully high ... I did a pork roast recently and read the internal temp @ 150 and the roast was too dry. But, all the replies suggest the higher temp, so maybe I'll give it a try and see what the results are like. Thanks.
Lance
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Lance
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post #8 of 16
Proper internal temps have lots of factors that enter into them.

A lean pork roast will be dry at 150, true. A fatty pork shoulder will be tough at 150, dry at 170 and moist and tender at 190.

So first, food safety.

Trichinosis dies at 137
Salmonella dies at 160. As mentioned earlier, 155 if held for a particular length of time also kills salmonella but that's not a practical matter for home cooking.

Surface bacteria on whole intact cuts of meat are killed when the meat is browned or roasted. So you only have to worry about internal badness.

In beef, internal pathogens are rare and it is generally safe to eat many cuts of beef at rare temps, about 125. This is not always a desirable level of doneness depending on the particular cut of beef, but more on that later.

In pork, trichinosis is the main internal baddie and that dies at 137. I cook most lean tender cuts of pork to about 140, no more than 145. They're still just a bit pink at that stage but are usually moist. You can add moisture with a brine if you have a recurring difficulty getting moist results. Again, this is not always a desirable level of doneness depending on the particular cut of pork.

Chicken/turkey is considered dirty through and through with salmonella. So it needs to reach 160. However, dark meat will still be pinkish at that temp. Dark meat loses pinkness about 170-175. Still safe to eat at 160 but will make most diners uncomfortable from simple fear of pinkness. So usually some extra roasting convolutions are added to get the dark meat to finish about the same time as the breast.

The big kicker on temps is any ground meat. You've mixed the dirty outside of the meat with the clean inside and so the whole issue of lower safe temperatures goes right out the window. You are safe at 160. The FDA recommends HIGH temps 170, 175. This is usually a disaster of a temperature for ground meat generally and yields dry unpleasant meat.

Meatloaf uses extra ingredients to ensure a moist result. Lean ground beef makes a dry burger at food safe temps. So most serious cooks use at ground beef of 15-20% fat content to keep the meat moist for burgers.

Ground meat also includes sausages so cook them well.

With food safety out of the way, now consider the cut.

Tough cuts of meat for braising/stewing/pot roasting have to be cooked to food safe temperatures of course. However, it's often desirable to cook them beyond food safe temperatures to break down tough tissues for tenderness. These broken down tough tissues give the meat a moist succulence and their break down makes the meat tender.

Again, this is not a universal rule. Consider barbecue ribs cooked until they're falling off the bone. In competition, this is considered an overcooked rib though many eaters like it. Tastes vary.
post #9 of 16
>>>>In pork, trichinosis is the main internal baddie

when was the last documented case of human trichinosis from commercially produced / slaughtered / marketed pork?
post #10 of 16
It's been a long time to my knowledge. Still, I'd rather be safe than sorry and pork is pretty good at 140.

I've been doing the cold/flu muscle aches the last two days. A lifetime of muscle pain sounds pretty bad right now. Not to mention a trichinosis cyst in the heart muscle!

Phil
post #11 of 16
quick search found no data newer thatn 1995. There were 29 cases in America that year. Somewhere else said only 3 were from commercially prepared pork, the rest were from wild boar and other game.

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm4453.pdf
post #12 of 16
A lot of our domestic pork today is iradiated and the risk of trichinosis is very slight. I would sooner eat medium rare pork then chicken.turkey or duck anyday.
CHEFED
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CHEFED
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post #13 of 16
detailed msg got eaten, user error? who knows.

Trichinellosis Surveillance --- United States, 1997--2001
has data through 2001; thought I'd seen something more current, but not finding it.

not many issues with commercial products. many reasons; see the lit.
a "commercial" product is also that from MouldyMel at the farmer's market.

it is difficult to envision how a 'production plant' putting out tons of pork /pork products per per day could be responsible for 1 or 3 cases in four years. your mileage may vary.
post #14 of 16

I looked this up because I have been having problems with my oven temp and the last time I made meatloaf, I set the oven to 350 and cooked the meatloaf (3#) for an hour. Obviously the oven wasn't up to temp because it was nearly raw inside. I will use the probe now to get to 165 for meatloaf.

 

As for pork, I usually cook a pork tenderloin, browning it in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil, and then finishing it in the oven, with a garlic/olive oil paste on it. I bake it at 400 for about 15 minutes, to an internal temp of 150, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. It comes out perfect every time... tender and juicy!

post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cwarriner View Post
 

As for pork, I usually cook a pork tenderloin, browning it in a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil, and then finishing it in the oven, with a garlic/olive oil paste on it. I bake it at 400 for about 15 minutes, to an internal temp of 150, and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing. It comes out perfect every time... tender and juicy!

That's about what I do when it comes to temperature for cuts of pork.  I take it off the heat at 145 degrees and let it rest for 10 minutes or so.  We just grilled pork tenderloin last night.  I used a marinade of garlic, lemon juice, soy sauce, Dijon mustard, herbs de Provence and olive oil for a few hours before grilling...just delicious.  

post #16 of 16
I was always taught that meatloaf, regardless of the meat being used, should be cooked to 165 deg. F or higher. Anytime you mix a variety of ingredients, as in meatloaf, casserole, stuffed meat and pasta, etc., require the higher internal temp. The 155 internal temp standard is for ground (called "comminuted" in California law) beef, pork or lamb.

I went back a read Cal Code, section 114004, and came away confused. The 165 standard is clearly for poultry, ground poultry, stuffed meat, stuffed poultry, stuffed fish and stuffed pasta, and any stuffing containing meat, fish or poultry. I don't see where meatloaf fits in, at least in terms of the health code.
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