Cooking Pork: What’s the Perfect Shade of Pink?

Way back in 2011, the USDA dropped the recommended temperature for cooked pork, from 160 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit. There was jubilation in the land.

For ages before that, we overcooked pork out of fear of getting trichinosis. Nowadays, the trichina worm (which transmits trichinosis) is virtually non-existent in the pork industry, but still some cling to the old habits and cook pork too long.

We’re just posting this as a friendly reminder as you head for the grill. There’s no need to bring the internal temperature of pork to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Start to think of it more like beef or lamb.

Find your comfort zone somewhere between 140 and 145 degrees, or medium. The pork should be tender and juicy, and still pink. Medium-rare pork might be a little chewy. Go too far and your pork will be pale and tough. Just like mom used to make …


Looking to cook pork? This week you can take 30% off some of our most popular pork items in our summer freezer sale event.  Try our Berkshire pork rib chops or our pork rib roast, among many other choice cuts of pork in the sale.

Explore our favorite pork recipes here, and find a new one to try.

So Pink It’s Almost Rare

Of course, we already followed the recent changed guidelines long before the update. There was one farmer who found this shocking. Quoted in the Riverfront Times in 2008, Russ Kremer, one of our early farming partners for heritage and Berkshire pigs, described his first pork tasting at D’Artagnan:

“Us Midwestern rural people are so used to having our pork at least medium-well done, but this pork of ours that the D’Artagnan chef fixed was almost rare,” the farmer marvels. “It was tender, and juicy. The flavor just came right through. I said, ‘Wow!’ I really appreciate my Berkshire pigs even more than I did before.”

One Comment Add yours

  1. Bonnie C. says:

    While trichinosis may be a thing of the past in traditional factory-farmed pork, I’ve heard/read that it can easily still rear it’s ugly head in the currently trendy natural free-range pastured pork.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.