Pork is one of the most delicious meats that you can find, with plenty of versatility, you can put it in sandwiches, have it on your barbeque or marinate it in barbeque sauce and serve it as stringy and delicious pulled pork.
However, people have a lot of anxiety about how you can truly cook pork properly.
Is it meant to be completely pink in the middle? If you do have any pink bits in your pork, then is it dangerous to consume?
Well, the short answer to this is yes, it is safe to eat when you cook it medium rare.
In tis article, we’re going to explain the reasons why you can cook it in this way and what is the optimum temperature for this meat.
Cooking Pork The Right Way
If you have listened to anyone who considered themselves an expert on meat, then you might have heard some meat chefs state with utmost confidence that you should never cook pork medium rare.
However, this is a myth that we are happy to quash right here and now.
You can indeed cook pork medium rare and not have to worry about getting food poisoning.
The wya that you can cook this meat in this way is very easy.
You’ll just have to make sure that this meat will reach a certain internal temperature.
Make sure that the inside of your pork does not go over the 145-degree mark.
You can check this out by inserting a metal temperature probe and checking the readout.
This will mean that you traditionally have to put it in the oven for less time.
You should leave the meat to rest for a bit after cooking, so that it can reach this lower temperature.
The pork cooked at this temperature will be tender and delicious and more than safe enough to consume.
This will also reduce the amount of dressing and marinade that you’ll have to put on this meat to reduce the dryness.
If you are cooking pork medium rare, all you’ll have to do is add some salt and pepper and you should have enough flavoring to get yourself started.
However, you should not confuse cooking pork at a lower temperature with undercooking pork.
If you do not cook pokr at a certain temperature, then you will run the risk of bacteria spreading, which will cause you some serious issues later down the line.
So why shouldn’t you eat uncooked pork? The reason is that most meats are very susceptible to bacteria and parasites that will make you ill if you consume them.
One of the more common parasites that will affect pork is Trichinella Spiralis, but we’ll talk more about that one later.
Here is a list of other bacteria that can seriously affect your health if you consume them through pork:
- Escherichia coli
- Listeria monocytogenes
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Yersinia enterocolitica
This is what leads to things like food poisoning. Some of these diseases will cause you some serious issues and can even be fatal if they are left untreated.
This is why it is important that you cook pork at a basic temperature.
Now lets’ look at some of the symptoms that you might be suffering that will tell you whether or not you have contracted food poisoning.
Symptoms Of Food Poisoning From Eating Undercooked Pork
There are a wide variety of symptoms that you can associate with food poisoning, although these do not necessarily suggest that food poisoning is what you are suffering from.
If you have eaten meat and experienced these symptoms within 24 hours, then the chances are that you might be experiencing this issue.
this is one of the main symptoms of food poisoning. Not only will you get severe stomach cramps, but you will suffer from frequent vomiting as your body tries to eject the bad bacteria.
this is very similar to nausea, although you might not experience any vomiting through stomach cramps.
this is a result of the first two symptoms, although we have listed it as a symptom in and of itself, as the first two might not necessarily lead to the third.
this is another very typical symptom of food poisoning.
Again, this is the body trying to evacuate the harmful elements that have been transmitted through your pork.
If you have ingested the Trichinella Spiralis bacteria that we have listed above, then the chances are that you will contract an illness called trichinellosis.
The symptoms of that illness are very unique, here are a few of the most prominent ones:
- Swollen eyes
- Itching skin
- Sore joints
- Sore muscles
- Difficulty in breathing
- Heart issues
If you have experienced any of these issues within 1 to 2 days of eating pork, then we would recommend seeking immediate medical treatment.
How Long Can I Store Uncooked Pork In The Fridge?
Once you have bought your uncooked pork, you can keep it in the fridge safely for around 4 to 5 days.
You’ll need to make sure that you don’t keep your meat at room temperature for longer than an hour.
If you need to keep your pork for longer, then you should put it in the freezer.
If you are going to be storing it in the freezer, then we would recommend first putting it in sealed freezer bags and pushing all the air out.
Once you are done this, then you can put it in the freezer, where it will last upwards of 6 to 7 months.
Once you have removed your pork from the freezer, you’ll need to let it sit in the fridge overnight so that it can defrost.
Never cook pork straight from the freezer as this will encourage bacteria.
The Best Way To Cook Pork Chops
Here are some must-follow steps that you should take before you even attempt to cook your pork:
Clean Your Surfaces
One of the first things that you should do is make sure that the area that you are cooking in is completely sterile.
This will ensure that your cooking surfaces will not pick up any contaminants.
You need to make sure that your chopping boards are clean, as are any other utensils that you will be using to slice up your pork.
Separate Your Pork From Other Meats
Pork will produce a lot of blood, which can contaminate any vegetables or other meats that you have lying in that area.
If you are cutting many different types of meat, then we would suggest that you use different knives for each meat.
Check The Temperature Of Your Pork
As we have mentioned above, the internal temperature of your pork should be at around 145 degrees at least.
If you are cooking your pork straight from the refrigerator, then you’ll need to make sure that it has been left to sit on your counter at room temperature for at least 3 minutes.
If your meat looks pink in the middle then you still don’t have to worry as long as the temperature is consistent with the one that we have listed above.
You should not really rely on the color of food to tell whether it is cooked properly or not.
If you are cooking ground pork, then you’ll need to be certain that it is cooked to at least 16 degrees.
Defrost Pork That Comes From The Freezer
If you are taking this pork from the freezer, then you should put it straight in the fridge to allow it to defrost.
We suggest that you do this overnight, as it will take this long for the meat to thaw out properly.
You should be careful not to leave your pork in the freezer for too long as the ice that develops in the freezer will eventually rip through the pork and eventually destroy the quality of the meat. It will also lose its flavor and texture.
Why Should I Cook My Pork Medium Rare?
One of the main reasons why you might want to cook pork at a lower temperature is because it is much more moist and tender on the outside and in the center.
If you are going to be cooking it until it is dry, then you can be certain that it will be much drier.
This is the reason why a lot of people have to add apple sauce and other marinades after they have cooked pork, to counteract the dryness.
When cooked pork is tender it becomes a great alternative to rib eye steak.
This meat is also generally cheaper too, which is great if you are working with a very strict meat budget.
We would definitely recommend that anyone who is cooking pork on a regular basis invest in a decent temperature thermometer.
This is so you can monitor the temperature of the inside of your meat so that you do not undercook it.
Great Recipes For Pork
All this talk of pork has probably got you hungry, so why not take a look at some of our great pork recipes?
Here are a few of the best ones that we’ve listed below:
Roast Pork With Hasselback Potatoes
this is slow-roasted pork that comes with some delicous roated potatoes.
You can add a dash of glazed vegetables to this to complete a delicious Sunday roast.
Cooking these with a glaze, you can be certain that you will have a sumptuous main mela that will simply melt in the mouth.
This is a very popular Greek dish, with large chunks of pork shoulder that are marinated in oil and lemon.
Pork Chop With Lemon Salsa
This is a pork chop recipe that comes with plenty of zesty flavors.
This will give your smoky meat that extra sweet tang at the end.
No matter if your pork is cooked well done or medium rare, you can be sure it will work well in any of these dishes.
We hope that our guide to cooking pork medium rare has given you a lot more confidence when it comes to preparing this often meat.