3 Ways to See if Pork Is Well Cooked

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3 Ways to See if Pork Is Well Cooked
3 Ways to See if Pork Is Well Cooked

It is very important to cook pork meat well to avoid illness. As a general rule, all types of pork should be cooked to 63°C (or 71°C if it's ground) to be safe for consumption, and the best way to measure this is using a cooking thermometer. If you don't have a thermometer handy, you can still tell if the meat is well cooked and safe to eat.


Method 1 of 3: Using a Continuously Reading Thermometer

Check That Pork Is Cooked Through Step 1

Step 1. Make sure the meat is at least 3 cm thick

The piece needs to be thick enough to leave the probe inside while cooking, so not all pork cuts work with this type of thermometer. Any piece that is 3 cm thick or more will be able to use this thermometer with peace of mind.

  • Thin cuts are not ideal for sticking with a thermometer while cooking.
  • Ribs and bacon may be too thin to use a thermometer.
Check That Pork Is Cooked Through Step 2

Step 2. Prepare the meat to be cooked

Continuous reading thermometers are designed to stay on the meat during cooking, but you need to pick up brine, marinade and anything else you like before putting the thermometer in place.

You can put the thermometer in first, but it can get in the way of preparation

Step 3. Insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat

The ideal is to place the thermometer in the middle of the meat, because this is the last part to reach the recommended temperature.

  • Keep the thermometer away from the bone as this can affect the reading.
  • If the piece is less than 3 cm thick, you may be able to insert the thermometer from the side or, depending on the situation, it is easier to put it on top.
Check That Pork Is Cooked Through Step 4

Step 4. Wait until the thermometer reaches 60°C

It is recommended that pork be cooked to temperatures between 63 and 71°C to be safe for consumption. However, you can take the meat out of the oven just before it reaches 63 ºC so it doesn't go over the point.

  • The internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise after it is removed from the heat, no matter if you used an oven, a crockpot, or any other method.
  • Never eat pork meat that has not reached 63°C.
  • Ground pork should reach 71°C, not 63°C.
Check That Pork Is Cooked Through Step 5

Step 5. Take the meat out of the oven and let it rest

You can take the pork out just before it reaches the ideal temperature, but you have to wait for it to settle, because the heat on the outside will continue to spread to the middle of the piece. That is, even outside the oven, it will continue to cook and raise its internal temperature.

  • Allow thick cuts (3 cm or more) to rest for 15 minutes before serving. The thinner ones need less rest time.
  • Keep an eye on the thermometer to ensure the meat goes above 63°C before serving. If not, go back to cooking it.

Method 2 of 3: Checking the Spot Using Instant-Read Thermometers

Check That Pork Is Cooked Through Step 6

Step 1. Cook with the thermometer on the side

Instant read thermometers are not designed to stay on meat during cooking. They should be placed on the piece from time to time to read the temperature.

  • Unlike continuous read thermometers, instant read thermometers need to be inserted and removed every time you want to know the temperature of the meat.
  • Do not use thermometers made for the surface of food, as they will not indicate the internal temperature of the meat.

Step 2. Take the pork out of the oven from time to time to check the temperature

Even if you're tempted to put the thermometer into the meat without taking it out of the oven, don't do so, as you could get burned.

  • Even if you are not using the oven, remove the meat from the heat source before checking the internal temperature.
  • Reading the temperature while the meat is still in the fire or oven can also affect the reading.

Step 3. Insert instant-read thermometer into the middle of the pork

Do the same as you would with the continuous reading: place the probe in the thickest part of the piece. Steer away from bones as they affect reading.

  • If the meat is less than 3 cm thick, it may be better to place the thermometer horizontally rather than on top.
  • Remove the thermometer from the meat before putting it back in the oven, on the stove, or wherever you are cooking it.
Check That Pork Is Cooked Through Step 9

Step 4. Return the meat to the oven until it reaches at least 63°C

If you're following a recipe, it may have instructions on how long the pork should cook, but don't rely on this information completely. Read the temperature regularly and continue cooking until it reaches 63°C or 71°C (if ground) at the very least.

Remember that the meat will continue to cook even after it comes out of the fire

Check That Pork Is Cooked Through Step 10

Step 5. Take the pork out of the oven and let it rest

Once the meat is about 15ºC below the recommended internal temperature, remove it from the heat and let it rest for a few minutes before serving. Remember that the internal temperature needs to reach 63°C. Keep an eye out to be sure.

  • Meat at 63 ºC is considered rare. Cook longer if you prefer it elsewhere.
  • When it is 71ºC, it will be considered well-done.
  • You don't need to wait for the ground pork to rest after preparation.

Method 3 of 3: Checking the point without thermometer

Step 1. See if the liquids are clear

Using a thermometer is the best way to find out if your pork is already well cooked, but you can do some tests if you don't have one. Note the color of liquids coming out of the meat when you skewer a fork or cut with a knife.

  • If the liquids that come out are clear or light pink in color, the pork is ready.
  • If liquids are not clear, cook longer and look again later.

Step 2. Use a long knife to see if the meat is hard on the inside

If you're using a crockpot, the meat will reach the ideal internal temperature long before it gets the soft texture you want. Take a long knife or a skewer and pierce the middle of the piece to see if the meat is too resistant to being pressed.

  • If the knife or skewer slides easily, the middle of the meat is very tender.
  • If you feel resistance, allow the meat to cook longer and try again in a few minutes.

Step 3. Cut the meat to see if it is opaque

Some pork cuts are not thick enough to use thermometers and this is one of the few ways to see if the meat is on point or not. Make a slit in the thickest part of the piece and separate the meat using a knife or fork so that you can see the internal color.

  • The flesh should be opaque, solid in color, and may be pink even when it gets to the sweet spot.
  • Very thin cuts, such as sliced ​​bacon, can be evaluated without cutting.
Check That Pork Is Cooked Through Step 14

Step 4. Compare the firmness of the meat with that of your palm

Cuts such as pork chops and steaks can usually be evaluated by squeezing with your fingers or a tongs. Once cooked, the meat should be firm and return to its original position right after pressing. The flesh should be as firm as the middle of your outstretched palm.

  • If the meat releases any liquid, it should be clear. If it isn't, it isn't ready yet.
  • If the pork is tender to the touch, it needs to cook more.


  • Pork is rare at 63 ºC, to the point of 66 to 68 ºC and well done at 71 ºC.
  • Always wash your hands after handling raw or unfinished pork.
  • Digital thermometers are considered the most accurate when measuring the internal temperature of meat.

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