Planning & Prep

Cooking Time Calculator: Prepping, Baking and Meat Temperature Guide

Cooking a piece of meat isn’t rocket science, but it does require special care to ensure you aren’t consuming undercooked food. But how long does it take to cook pork chops? What are the roasting times for turkey? Use our simple cooking time calculator to find out the estimated time it takes to cook each type of meat.

To find out the different cooking times, all you have to do is input the type of meat, cut of meat and its weight. Eliminate the guesswork with our meat cooking times.

Cooking time calculator

Type of meat?

Choose the type of meat you are cooking

  • Chicken

  • Beef

  • Turkey

  • Pork

  • Lamb

  • Ham

How do you calculate the cooking time of meat?

When calculating cooking times, it will vary depending on the type of meat, cut and exact weight. The cooking method will also factor into the exact amount of time needed to cook the food.

For our calculator, we crunched the numbers of cooking times provided by the USDA to find out how long it will take to cook each type of meat. We used the resources below and calculated the cooking times based on each type and cut of meat.

You can use our cooking time calculator to estimate how long it will take to make your food. However, using a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature is also highly recommended.

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How to tell if meat is cooked or not

Cooking meat safely is a simple process anyone can follow.

You can test for doneness by placing your meat thermometer in multiple spots to compare the readings. If you receive a lower reading in a certain area, it’s best to return the food to the oven for 10 or more minutes until the meat reaches a safe internal temperature.

Another way to check the level of doneness is by piercing the meat with a spoon to inspect the juices. There shouldn’t be any traces of blood, and the liquid should run clear or golden. If your meat’s juices aren’t clear or golden, return the meat to the oven for five or more minutes.

Safe minimum internal temperature chart

It’s one thing to know the different cooking times, but it’s also important to understand the safe minimum internal temperature of each type of meat to reduce the chances of catching a foodborne illness. Check out the internal temperature chart below from the USDA.

Type of meat Minimum internal temperature and rest time
Beef, pork, veal, lamb steaks, chops and roasts 145 F (62.8 C) and allow to rest for at least three minutes
Ground meats 160 F (71.1 C)
Ground poultry 165 F
Ham, fresh or smoked (uncooked) 145 F (62.8 C) and allow to rest for at least three minutes
Ham, fully cooked (to reheat) Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 140 F (60 C) and all others to 165 F (73.9 C)
Poultry (breasts, whole bird, legs, thighs, wings, ground poultry, giblets and stuffing) 165 F (73.9 C)
Source: USDA
Download PDF template

Tips for cooking meat

Check out these tips for cooking meat to learn how to create the ultimate meal.

  • Try dry brining: Rub salt and herbs into the meat before cooking to tenderize and draw out the juices.
  • Test meat for doneness: Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature to ensure it’s safe to eat.
  • Don’t over- or undercook your meat: Eating undercooked meat can result in foodborne illnesses, whereas overcooking your meat results in a tough, less flavorful piece.

Let it rest: Take the meat out of the oven and let it rest as you finish prepping or plating your side dishes to ensure a tender bite every time.

Additional cooking resources

Use one of our additional cooking resource guides to reduce your prep time:

Cooking meat is an art form, so let your creative juices flow as you plan your next meal. Use our cooking time calculator to find out how to cook your meat, but don’t forget to test the meat’s doneness with a thermometer to ensure the internal temperature is safe to consume.

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