Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Culinary Temperature

Banner for Metric Culinary Temperature webpage
Credit: Adobe Stock

Food temperature is key to a successful recipe. For example, too high of a temperature may cause outer edges to burn while the inside remains uncooked. A cooking thermometer is an essential kitchen measurement tool. Cooking foods to appropriate temperatures eliminates harmful bacteria that cause illness and food poisoning. Understanding your oven temperature is a baking best practice! Each oven, although similarly manufactured, will have temperature differences. 

Orange Background, Black Lettering Oven Temperature

(approximate equivalencies)


Temperature (°C)

Temperature (°F)


90 °C

200 °F

Very Slow

120 °C

250 °F


150 ° to 160 °C

300 °F to 325 °F

Moderately Slow

160 ° to 180 °C

325 °F to 350 °F


180 ° to 190 °C

350 °F to 375 °F

Moderately Hot

190 ° to 200 °C

375 °F to 400 °F


200 ° to 230 °C

400 °F to 450 °F

Very Hot

230 ° to 260 °C

450 °F to 500 °F


Orange Background, Black Lettering Common Cooking Temperature



Pie Crust

220 °C

Quick Breads

200 °C

Fried Foods

190 °C

Apple Crisp

180 °C

Banana Bread

180 °C


180 °C


180 °C


180 °C

Grilling Steaks

180 °C

Roasting Meat, Poultry

165 °C

Macaroni and Cheese

160 °C


150 °C

Baked Beans, Custard

120 °C

Vegetables in Water

100 °C

* Temperatures may vary. Always follow the recipe.


Orange Background, Black Lettering Candy Making (Sugar) Temperature



Cold Water Test Description



102 °C to 112 °C

Syrup forms a loose, thin, and short thread.

Sugar syrups.

Soft Ball

112 °C to 115 °C

Syrup forms a soft, pliable sticky ball, which can be flattened when removed from the water.

Butter creams, caramels, fondant, fudge, and pralines.

Firm Ball

116 °C to 120 °C

Syrup forms a firm, pliable, malleable, sticky ball, which can briefly hold its shape.

Butter creams, caramels, gummies, marshmallows, Italian meringues, nougat, and toffees.

Hard Ball

122 °C to 130 °C

Syrup forms a hard, sticky ball, which holds its shape.

Caramels, divinity, nougat, and toffees.

Soft Crack

132 °C to 143 °C

Syrup forms stiff and firm strands, which are pliable and bends slightly before 116 °C to 120 °C Butterscotch, firm nougat, and taffy.

Hard Crack

146 °C to 155 °C

Syrup forms firm, stiff, and brittle threads, which easily break.

Brittles, hard candy, glazed fruit, lollipops, pulled/poured/spun sugar, and toffees.


160 °C to 182 °C

Syrup forms firm, hard, and brittle strands. Most water has been removed from the syrup. Becomes transparent and changes color that can range from light golden to dark amber brown. 

Brittles, caramel-coated molds, nougatine, and pralines.


Orange Background, Black Lettering Safe Minimal Internal Temperature

Cook all food to these minimum internal temperatures as measured with a food thermometer before removing food from the heat source. For reasons of personal preference, consumers may choose to cook food to higher temperatures.



Minimum Internal Temperature

Beef, Bison, Veal, Goat, and Lamb 

Steaks, Roasts, Chops

62.8 °C

Rest time: at least 3 minutes

Ground Meats and Sausage

71.1 °C


Meat and Meatless

73.9 °C

Chicken, Turkey and Other Poultry

All: Breasts, Whole Bird, Legs, Thighs, Wings, Ground Poultry, Giblets, Sausage, and Stuffing Inside Poultry

73.9 °C


Raw Eggs

Cook until yolk and white are firm

Egg Dishes

(such as Frittata, quiche)

71.1 °C


Raw Ham

Fresh or Smoked (Uncooked)

62.8 °C

Rest time: at least 3 minutes

Precooked Ham 

(to Reheat)

Reheat cooked hams packaged in USDA-inspected plants to 60 °C and all others to 73.9 °C


Any Type

73.9 °C


Steaks, Roasts, Chops

62.8 °C

Rest time: at least 3 minutes

Ground Meats and Sausage

71.1 °C

Rabbit and Venison

Wild or Farm-raised

71.1 °C


Fish - Whole or Filet

(such as Salmon, Tuna, Tilapia, Pollock, Bass, Cod, Catfish, Trout, etc.)

62.8 °C

Or cook until flesh is no longer translucent and separates easily with a fork

Shrimp, Lobster, Crab, and Scallops

Cook until flesh is pearly or white, and opaque

Clams, Oysters, and Mussels

Cook until shells open during cooking

* Based on USDA Food Safety and Inspection and guidance.


Disclaimer: Any mention of commercial products within NIST web pages is for information only; it does not imply recommendation or endorsement by NIST.


Created February 28, 2023, Updated September 28, 2023