Since consuming raw or undercooked food is dangerous and can expose you to foodborne illnesses, there are ways to learn how to check whether your meat is cooked or not.

1. Using a Meat Thermometer

Learn the correct temperatures for different meats, then use a thermometer to check it. I’ve made a list of a few common ones you’ll need.

Chicken: 165 F.
Beef: 155 F.
Pork: 160 F.
Ground beef: 165 F.
Fish: 145 F.

Place the probe of the thermometer into the thickest part of the meat and that is usually the center, but not touching a bone. The thickest part of the cut will be the slowest to reach the desired temperature.

2. Look at the Food When It Is Finished Cooking.

The fluids draining from poultry should be clear when you cut it. This piercing needs to be done carefully, though you don’t want to pierce in so deeply that all of the juices run out; after all, you want meat that is cooked through but still moist. Make sure you sharpen your knife. And the meat tissue attached to the bone should have no pinkness evident. Beef, if handled properly, may be pink, or even red, but ground beef, because of handling and processing, is more likely to be exposed to bacteria and therefore should never be eaten pink. Pork will have an even, light appearance with no pink color showing at all. Cured ham labeled fully cooked requires no further cooking.

3. Palm and Finger Test

Open your hand, palm up, and relax it. With your other hand, feel the fleshy part right below your lowest thumb joint. This is what raw meat feels like.

Now touch the tip of the index finger to the tip of the thumb and feel the muscle right below your thumb. This is how rare meat feels.

Repeat the feeling of the thumb muscle with your middle finger to your thumb. This is how the meat feels when it is cooked medium-rare but the feeling of your ring finger to your thumb is exactly the same when meat is cooked medium, and your pinky to your thumb is well-done.

Here is a great article onĀ how you can check your meat using just using your hand!

4. Shrink Test

When meat or chicken cooks, it shrinks in size. There is less reduction in size for meat on the bone. But if there is a significant shrinkage then your meat is overcooked.

5. Careful Watch

A person can look at the meat to tell, by how drawn up it is. Nothing else but eyeballs and concentration is required. Watch the meat as it cooks, when it halts drawing up and no red fluid comes out when poked, it is done. Outside color if meat tells how well it is cooked.

6. Cutting into the Steak

Just nick the meat in a spot that’s not too noticeable and peak inside. Well, it is an optional method as it may result in the loss of juice but it will not ruin your steak.

Follow these instructions to avoid consuming undercooked meat as there is salmonella, a very known bacteria that you can get while eating undercooked meat. Symptoms of having salmonella inside your system are nausea, diarrhea, and extreme upset stomach. So, always check the meat before serving or consuming it.