How to tell if pork is done without a thermometer

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You don’t need a kitchen full of fancy equipment to make a delicious meal. You don’t even need a food thermometer, although you’ll need to find a different way to test the doneness of your pork. Thermometers puncture the meat and allow juices to escape so it can actually be to your benefit not to use a thermometer. Here’s how to be certain that the pork is done without one.

Compare the pork to your thumb

Interestingly enough, cooked pork will have a similar firmness as the fleshy area below your thumb. This is one of the simplest ways to gauge the doneness of your pork. On one hand, touch the tip of your pinky finger to the tip of your thumb. Then, poke the area of your hand that sits below your thumb and then poke the pork. If the firmness of both is comparable, then the meat’s done.

For reference, if you relax your hand and feel the area beneath your thumb, it’s the same firmness as raw meat. Touching the tip of your middle finger to the tip of your thumb will give that spot on your hand the same firmness as medium-rare meat.

Follow proper cooking times

You can also keep track of the time to ensure that you’re cooking your pork long enough. The general rule is that for every pound of pork, you should cook it for 20 to 25 minutes. Use the kitchen timer on your oven or cell phone to keep track.

Test a slice of the pork

Not by eating it, but by feeling it. Cut a slice of the pork and carefully place it on the back of your hand. It should feel similar to a fresh hot cup of coffee or tea, about 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now you can safely enjoy your pork dinner!

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