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paularcher

Cooking temperatures

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Super Wammer

I see its fairly quiet on this section of the forum these days but I'll go ahead with my queries anyway. In recent years when cooking meat I check the recommended times and temperatures given on the label. Usually these figures result in the meat being over cooked, but I guess it is safe to eat. I tend to reduce the temperature a little and reduce the time and have had better results. For reliable and consistent results I need to get a thermometer, the probe type so I can check the internal temperature of the meat. Can anyone recommend a good one? On Amazon there are various makes at £6-£10, with the top one being a Thermapen at £30 or so- ouch!!!

Next question. Yesterday I watched a Raymond Blanc programme " How to cook well" on the BBC and a technique he was demonstrating was poaching, and I might have a go at one his recipes. However I'm a bit concerned that having poached a chicken breast he declared it cooked when the internal temperature reached 60 centigrade and then he let the meat rest.

60c seems a very low temperature to me and scouring the internet the recommended temperature seems to be around 74c. I can understand that in case of the higher temp. peeps are playing safe as nobody wants to be responsible for giving folk an upset stomach. By the same token I'm sure Raymond Blanc nor the BBC will want to give out unsafe cooking advice but 60c does seem very low. What do you think?

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Super Wammer

I was hoping our resident pro chef Pierre the Bear might have replied to this, but I see he has not posted since November of last year. I hope he's OK.

Lots of googling seemed to come up with the same answers that the internal temp needs  to be 72-4 centigrade. Using different words I found this from the Scientific American Journal. Gets a bit technical at times but is a very interesting read and would seem to support Raymond Blanc's 60 centigrade.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/complex-origins-food-safety-rules/#

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I agree temperatures seem a bit varied and I had always gone on 67 degrees C for the minimum internal.

I have the Dexam probe from Amazon
Dexam Digital Cooking Thermometer with Stainless Steel Probe 17840323 https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00MN7Y2WA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_1jl7yb6Z14JVS

One review where they wanted a low temp probe which this is not.

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One tip that I found really matters in getting a more even result is letting the meat reach room temp before starting cooking. This makes sense as your temp gradient inside to outside of the meat is smaller, so better chances having less difference between the middle and the outside of the cooked meat. If you start with a piece of meat straight from the fridge, the middle will still be cold(er) when the outside is cooked. 

Depending on thickness of the piece this can be a significant time (1-2 hrs) so plan ahead.

I tend to observe the safe cooking temperatures, especially for poultry.

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I always let meat come up to room temperature when cooking meat.

On that RB programme about poaching, I recall him saying that the internal temp will continue to rise (which is also true for roasting) after removing the item being poached from the liquid.  That recipe for chicken, didn't he take out the chicken, and then spend a few minutes reducing the sauce?

I poached some salmon using the technique he demonstrated last night and it worked perfectly.  I wonder what it says for those recipes in the book that inevitably comes with that series.

Edited by gintonic

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Super Wammer
23 hours ago, gintonic said:

On that RB programme about poaching, I recall him saying that the internal temp will continue to rise (which is also true for roasting) after removing the item being poached from the liquid.  That recipe for chicken, didn't he take out the chicken, and then spend a few minutes reducing the sauce?

I poached some salmon using the technique he demonstrated last night and it worked perfectly.  

I've just watched the programme again and made notes along the way. I'll be having a go at the chicken dish. He makes no mention of the chicken temperatuure going up after poaching but yes he does rest it while reducing the sauce. 

The salmon recipe looks interesting and he does point out that you take it out of the liquid at 40 centigrade and after a minute it goes upto 55! Astonishing.

I won't be doing any of this without a good thermometer- I could see that RB was using the Thermapen 3, so I'll go for that. I had been looking at the  Thermapen 4 but at £60, thats a bit much- its the same as the 3 but has a few additional features which are not essential.

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interestingly on his website he uses timings rather than temperatures

http://www.raymondblanc.com/recipes/chicken-with-morels-sherry-wine-sauce/

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Super Wammer

Yes, no thermometer in sight so I think he is playing safe by specifying a gentle simmer, which is a higher temperature than poaching, and a longer cooking time.

Also in the TV programme its not specified how long to soak the morels whereas on the website it is overnight- useful to know.

Thank you Simon for the link to RB's website

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Super Wammer

Just been looking for Morel dried mushrooms- Sainsburys don't do them. So onto Amazon-I didn't reckon on them being so expensive. There's a 20 gram pack @ £13.30 which suddenly didn't seem so bad when I came across a 710g pack of premium grade @ £357.00!!!!!

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Super Wammer

I've just realised the randomness of the above comments and the system tells me I can't edit it. RB's recipe involved making a sauce with button and morel mushrooms. The chicken is then poached in the sauce.

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I was given this thermometer as a gift and quite like it. 

The probe can be left in the meat whilst the cable can be trapped in the oven door and the digital reader remains outside the pan/oven.

It has many features that I have never use but for a simple temperature guide it is fine.

https://richmondcookshop.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=1711

I tend not to use it for steaks/chicken etc but for large joints of beef/pork/turkey etc it is a godsend for getting yopur timings right.

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Super Wammer

That's nifty, I didn't realise that you could put the probe in the oven like that. Anyway too late, my Thermapen is on its way.

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16 hours ago, paularcher said:

I've just realised the randomness of the above comments and the system tells me I can't edit it. RB's recipe involved making a sauce with button and morel mushrooms. The chicken is then poached in the sauce.

Morels are always going to be pricey - I love them.  You could try with Porcini which are easier to find and less costly - I am sure it'll still be delicious, just a different mushroomy flavour.  Of course you won't get that lovely morel shape though.

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1 hour ago, paularcher said:

That's nifty, I didn't realise that you could put the probe in the oven like that. Anyway too late, my Thermapen is on its way.

our combi microwave oven has a temperature probe so you can programme it to switch off at a certain temperature.  The oven itself works reasonably well as a fan oven, but the temp probe thing only measures at one location so you cant stop cooking at the average of multiple probe points which is what you are more likely to do with manual probing.....

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