A Temperature Guide for Foolproof Cooking & Baking

Thermometers are indispensable kitchen tools – and not just to prevent under- or overcooking meat, though that’s one major way they come in handy. You can also use them to check whether oil is ready for shallow or deep-frying, or whether water is at the right temperature for brewing perfect, non-bitter coffee (that’s 90-95°C). And then there are its many uses in baking, from tempering chocolate to assessing the best moment to take banana bread out of the oven, a far more effective technique than using a cake tester.

With the help of our cook school, we’ve gathered ideal temperatures for a variety of foods – a ‘cheat sheet’ you can reference for foolproof cooking and baking.

Meat: Poultry

Chicken, Turkey and Whole Duck: 75°C*
Duck Breasts: 66°C

*Must be cooked to at least 75°C to prevent food-borne illness.

Meat: Red

Beef, Lamb and Veal (Rare): 57°C
Beef, Lamb and Veal (Medium): 68°C
Beef, Lamb, and Veal (Well-Done): 74°C
Pork (Medium): 65°C
Pork (Well Done): 71°C
Sausages: 71°C


Sushi-Grade Salmon and Tuna (Pink in the Middle): 54°C
Salmon, Tuna, Sea Bass, Cod and Other Fish (Fully Cooked): 60°C
Lobster and Crab: 62°C
Scallops and Prawns: 49°C


Ideal Water Temperature for Yeast: 38°C
Perfectly Softened Butter: 18-19°C
Enriched Bread (Brioche, Challah, Cinnamon Buns): 82-88°C*
Lean Bread (Rye, Pizza, Sourdough): 88-93°C
Most Cakes (Chocolate Cake, Carrot Cake, Banana Bread, Muffins): 93-96°C
Sponge Cakes and Pound Cakes: 95-99°C
Cookies: 82°C
Custard (Including Flan, Crème Brûlée and Pumpkin Pie): 77-79°C
Quiche & Pavlova: 71°C

*Enriched bread contains ingredients like milk or eggs in the dough for richness, while lean bread uses mostly flour, water and yeast. If your pizza dough or other lean dough has oil or other fats, such as some pizza doughs, err on the lower end of the temperature scale.


Jam (Setting Point): 110°C
Chocolate Ganache: 33°C
Tempering Chocolate: 45°C to melt, 28°C to cool, 31°C to reheat and use
Fudge or Pralines: 112-115°C
Caramel Sweets: 116-120°C
Caramel Sauce: 165°C
Nougat and Toffee: 121-143°C
Hard Toffees: 132-143°C


Coffee: 90-95°C
Milk (For Frothing, Chai, or Hot Chocolate): 60-68°C
Oil (for Shallow or Deep Frying)
: 160-180°C
Yoghurt: 42°C
Paneer, Ricotta and Mozzarella Cheese: 82°C
'Room Temperature': 20-22 °C
'Lukewarm': 37-40°C