To use a meat temperature chart, a meat thermometer must be inserted into a thick portion of the meat to get an accurate internal temperature, which can then be found on the chart. For safety, the temperature should match the one listed on the chart for that meat.
Some meats, such as whole beef, lamb and pork, have required resting times before an accurate reading can be found. Most other meats can be measured immediately. Some meats, such as beef and lamb, have different cooking temperatures listed on charts to reach different doneness levels. For these meats, the lowest temperature is for extra rate, and it is 80 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, while the highest listed is 160 F for well done.
Pork must reach 145 degrees F, while poultry has a minimum of 165 F. Charts often also list looks and feel as methods of telling whether or not meat is done, especially in terms of shellfish and eggs. Some charts list the most effective place for inserting a thermometer to get an accurate measurement.
While some charts use both Fahrenheit and Celsius measurement systems, others use only one, so the meat thermometer must have a matching system for accurate readings.