Standard Food Holding Temperature Range Guide For Meat, Fish Poultry and Other Items

In the hotel industry chefs, cooks and other specialized food service personnel employ varied methods of cooking. The proper holding temperatures for a specific food product must be based on the moisture content of the product, product density, volume, and proper serving temperatures. Safe holding temperatures must also be correlated with palatability in determining the length of holding time for a specific product.

Mobile hot box or food holders used in the hotel kitchen and restaurants should maintain the maximum amount of product moisture content without the addition of water, water vapour, or steam. Maintaining maximum natural product moisture preserves the natural flavour of the product and provides a more genuine taste.

In addition to product moisture retention, the mobile hot box used should be able to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the cabinet without the necessity of a heat distribution fan, thereby preventing further moisture loss due to evaporation or dehydration. Below chart shows the ideal food holding temperature for meat, poultry, fish, egg, baked and other food items.

1) Food Holding temperature Range Guide for Meat Products:

 Meat Product Fahrenheit Celsius
 BEEF ROAST — Rare 140°F 60°C
 BEEF ROAST — Med/Well Done 160°F 71°C
 BEEF BRISKET 160° – 175°F 71° – 79°C
 CORN BEEF 160° – 175°F 71° – 79°C
 PASTRAMI  160° – 175°F 71° – 79°C
 PRIME RIB — Rare 140°F 60°C
 STEAKS — Broiled/Fried 140° – 160°F 60° – 71°C
 RIBS — Beef or Pork  160°F 71°C
 VEAL  160° – 175°F 71° – 79°C
 HAM  160° – 175°F 71° – 79°C
 PORK  160° – 175°F 71° – 79°C
 LAMB 160° – 175°F 71° – 79°C

2) Food Holding temperature Range Guide for Poultry Products:

 Poultry Products Fahrenheit Celsius
 Chicken – Fried or Baked160° – 175°F71° – 79°C
 DUCK160° – 175°F71° – 79°C
 TURKEY160° – 175°F71° – 79°C
 Other Poultry Items 160° – 175°F 71° – 79°C

3) Food Holding temperature Range Guide for Fish / SeaFood Items:

 Fish/Seafood Product Fahrenheit Celsius
 FISH — Baked/Fried160° – 175°F71° – 79°C
 LOBSTER160° – 175°F71° – 79°C
 SHRIMP160° – 175°F71° – 79°C

4) Food Holding temperature Range Guide for Baked Goods and other items / SeaFood:

 Baked and Other Product Fahrenheit Celsius
 CASSEROLES160° – 175°F71° – 79°C
 DOUGH – Proofing80° – 100°F27° – 38°C
 BREADS/ROLLS120° – 140°F49° – 60°C
 EGGS – Fried150° – 160°F66° – 71°C
 FROZEN ENTREES 160° – 175°F71° – 79°C
 HORS D\’OEUVRES160° – 180°F71° – 82°C
 PASTA160° – 180°F71° – 82°C
 PIZZA160° – 180°F71° – 82°C
 POTATOES180°F 82°C 
 SAUCES140° – 200°F60° – 93°C
 SOUP140° – 200°F60° – 93°C
 VEGETABLES160° – 175°F71° – 79°C

What are the points to note while holding food items?

In an enclosed holding environment, too much moisture content is a condition which can be relieved. A product achieving extremely high temperatures in preparation must be allowed to decrease in temperature before being placed in a controlled holding atmosphere. If the food prepared is not allowed to decrease in temperature, excessive condensation will form increasing the moisture content on the outside of the product.

Most Mobile Hot Box or Food Holders or Heat Holding Equipment is provided with a thermostat control between 60° and 200°F (16° to 93°C). If the unit is equipped with vents, close the vents for moist holding and open the vents for crisp holding.

If the unit is equipped with a thermostat indicating a range of between 1 and 10, use a metal-stemmed indicating thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the product(s) being held. Adjust the thermostat setting to achieve the best overall setting based on internal product temperature.

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