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Meat Preparation

Ryan Martin

Grilling Beef Roasting Beef Cooking Pork
Food Safety Meat Storage Defrosting Meat

We are pleased to bring you these recommendations for proper storage, handling, and cooking procedures. We are always pleased to provide any advice we can to our clients to improve the quality and safety of their meals.

Farm Direct MeatsGrilling Beef

  1. Prepare charcoal for grilling. When coals are medium, ash-covered, spread in single layer. Position cooking grid. (To check temperature, cautiously hold the palm of your hand above the coals at cooking height. Count the number of seconds you can hold your hand in that position before the heat forces you to pull it away; approximately 4 seconds for MEDIUM heat.)
  2. Season beef as desired. Place on cooking grid directly over coals.
  3. Grill according to chart below, turning occasionally. (Gas grill brands vary greatly; consult owner's manual for grilling guidelines.)
Beef Cut Thickness Approximate Total Cooking Time Uncovered 
(medium rare to medium)
Ribeye Steak 3/4 inch 6 to 8 minutes
1 inch 11 to 14 minutes
Porterhouse / T-bone 3/4 inch 10 to 12 minutes
1 inch 14 to 16 minutes
Top Loin Steak, boneless 3/4 inch 10 to 12 minutes
1 inch 15 to 18 minutes
Tenderloin Steak 1 inch 13 to 15 minutes
Top Sirloin Steak 3/4 inch 13 to 16 minutes
1 inch 17 to 21 minutes

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Roasting Beef

  1. TenderloinHeat oven to temperature as specified in chart below.
  2. Place roast, fat side up, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Season roast, as desired. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part, not resting in fat or touching bone. Do not add water. Do not cover.
  3. Roast according to chart. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise 5 to 10 degrees to reach desired doneness and roast will be easier to carve.)
Beef Cut Oven Temp Weight Approximate
Total Cook Time
Remove from Oven at:
Prime Rib 350 deg F. 4 to 6 lbs Medium rare: 1 and 3/4 hrs to 2 hrs 135 F.
Medium: 2 to 2 and 1/2 hrs 150 F.
6 to 8 lbs Medium rare: 2 to 2 and 1/4 hrs 135 F.
Medium: 2 and 1/2 to 2 and 3/4 hrs 150 F.
8 to 10 lbs Medium rare: 2 and 1/2 to 3 hrs 135 F.
Medium: 3 to 3 and 1/2 hrs 150 F.
Sirloin Tip 325 deg  F. 4 to 6 lbs Medium rare: 2 to 2 and 1/2 hrs 140 F.
Medium: 2 and 1/2 to 3 hrs 155 F.

Medium rare doneness = 145°F final meat temperature after 15 minutes standing time.
All cook times are based on beef removed directly from refrigerator.

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Food Safety Issues

If you plan to keep fresh cuts of meat more than 48 hours after purchase, store it immediately in the freezer and thaw before use.

After meat has been cooked, cool leftovers in the refrigerator uncovered. Then cover and wrap them within one hour of cooking. Store cooked leftovers in the coldest part of the refrigerator for up to four days, or freeze immediately after wrapping. Identify with dates all such items in your freezer.

Due to modern farming and meat processing practices, it's highly unlikely that meat contains bacteria that could cause illness. If raw meats are mishandled, the chance of illness greatly increases. For your family's safety follow these basic guidelines:

  • Wash hands with warm soapy water before and after handling raw meat

  • Use separate plates and utensils for raw and cooked meat

  • Thaw and marinate meat in the refrigerator instead of at room temperature

One of the best ways to minimize the risk is to "keep it cold." Refrigerators should be kept between 32°F - 40°F. The times listed below are good rules to stick by when storing meat; though, when in doubt - throw it out!

Please also read and follow our sections on Meat Storage and Defrosting recommendations.

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Meat Storage

Maximum Recommended Storage Times for Quality


(35 to 40 deg F)
(0 deg F or colder)
Fresh Beef Cuts Steaks, Roasts 3 to 4 days 6 to 12 months
Beef for Stew 2 to 3 days 6 to 12 months
Ground Beef 1 to 2 days 3 to 4 months
Leftover cooked beef All 3 to 4 days 2 to 3 months
Fresh Pork Cuts Roasts, steaks, chops 2 to 4 days 3 to 6 months
Ground Pork 1 to 2 days 1 to 3 months
Leftover cooked pork All 4 to 5 days 2 to 3 months

Always defrost and marinade meats at refrigerator temperatures!!
Use a thermometer frequently to verify the temperature of your refrigerator and freezer.

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Ribeyes Defrosting Meat

All meat should be defrosted in the refrigerator, or during the cooking cycle.

Defrost during cooking by increasing the cooking times by 1/3 to 1/2.  Broil frozen pork chops on the lowest oven rack.

Cut type Defrosting time
(hrs in refrigerator)
Large roasts 4-7/lb
Small roasts 3-5/lb
Chops, 1 in thick 12-14

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Cooking Today's Pork

ROASTING - 350°F in oven 

Size/Wgt Cooking Time 

Loin roast, bone-in

3 to 5 lbs 20 min per pound

Rib roast, boneless

2 to 4 lbs 20 min per pound

Tenderloin (450°F in oven)

1/2 to 1 lb 20 min per pound

BROILING/GRILLING - 4 inches from heat

Chops, bone-in 

3/4 inch 6 to 8 minutes

Chops, boneless 

3/4 inch 6 to 8minutes


1/2 to 1 lb 15 to 25 mins


1 inch cubes 10 to 20 mins

Lean ground pork patties

1/2 in thick 8 to 10 mins

PAN BROILING - medium-high on stove top

Chops, bone-in 

3/4 inch 6 to 10 mins

Chops, boneless

3/4 inch 6 to 10 mins

Lean ground pork patties

1/2 inch 7 to 9 mins

Farm Direct Meats - PorkBecause today's pork is so lean, it's important not to overcook it. Yet, for many, one of the first food safety rules learned was never to serve pork unless it's been cooked to well-done in order to avoid trichinosis.  But cooking to 180° leaves pork tough and dry.

The good news is, this advice is outdated.  Modern methods of farming have made trichinosis virtually nonexistent.  Plus, the USDA has established that cooking pork to an internal temperature of 137°F kills Trichinella spiralis.  The USDA currently advises the final temperature for cooked pork should be 160°F.

Remember to "think pink".  For fork-tender, juicy pork, cook to medium-done which is an internal temperature of 160°F.  Pork cooked to 170°F will lose almost all of its pink color and juiciness.

Information on this page is provided by and with permission from the National Pork Producers Council at, and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

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Service Area: Mauston, Baraboo, Tomah, Waunakee, Wisconsin Dells, Viroqua, Lodi, Pardeeville, Poynette, Sauk City, Cross Plains and surrounding communities.

Page Summary: Wisconsin River Meats offers food safety, cooking pork, cooking meat as well as food safety and hygiene, cooking meat times, food safety cooking, food safety tips, defrosting meat, food safety practices, guidelines for food safety for Mauston, Baraboo, Sparta, Tomah, Reedsburg, Black River Falls, Prairie Du Sac, Sauk City, Lake Delton, Wisconsin Dells and surrounding Wisconsin communities.

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