Are meat probes not designed to monitor air temps?

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by rbranstner, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Ok I have been reading a few posts lately that have been touching on this subject and there seems to be some discrepancy on weather or not a meat probe is going to be accurate when monitoring air temps or not. I have two Maverick ET-73's and one Maverick ET-732. If you are unfamiliar they both have the dual probes one that is used to monitor the smoker temps and one that is used for monitoring the meat temps. I want to hear what you guys have experienced with your equipment. In my experience with all three of my units when I put both probes in the smoker and use them to monitor the internal temps of the smoker the meat probe is always off. Both probes will be side by side and not touching the grate and my meat probe is 20-50 or higher degrees off. After dealing with this for years I have come to the conclusion that the meat probe is not designed to monitor air temps therefor it isn't truly accurate when trying to use it for this function. Am I crazy?? I have analog thermometers as well in my smokers and they are always dead on with what my smoker probe is reading but my meat probe can be all over the board. I have checked all of my probes for accuracy and they are dead on. So what's your experience are meat probes not truly accurate when using it for monitoring air temps?
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I don't own a Maverick, but am very interested in the outcome of this post. I would think contacting Maverick customer service would be a good start. 
  3. richoso1

    richoso1 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have 3 meat probes, 2 Taylors and one Polder, none of which are wireless versions. They all give me accurate readings of ambient air temp. That includes just leaving the probe hanging off my work bench while the therm is in the ON position. It's all good my friend. 
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2011
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I'm with Rich and have a few thermos 2 mavericks and a taylor and a cheapo from wally world. Now I have test them many times and they all read about the same inside the smoker or even laying on the counter by the smokers.  
  5. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Interesting I just had to go & check. I have a Brinkman longgg probe dial therm for turkey cookers that I use for temps inside the ECB and a Taylor digital probe for the meat. Brinkman says 50 outside & Taylor read 58. Inside the house the heat thermostat says 62 & the Taylor reads 63, so very close. I'd also be interested what Maverick has to say as I've been considering getting one of the new dual probe units now available. My guess is that since they be made in China none of them could be considered super accurate.
  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I took it for granite that they are all the same.

    I use the meat probe for a smoker box probe, until I insert it into the meat during a smoke.

    When I'm not smoking meat, I keep my ET-73 going 24/7, to keep my fridge ready for curing.

    I hang the smoker probe in my meat fridge.

    I keep a bottle of water in that fridge, and keep the meat probe in that (symbolizing being in meat).

    The one that hangs in the fridge varies from about 31˚ to 41˚, as the fridge cycles on & off & on & off.

    The one in the bottle of water usually reads 37˚, but sometimes runs down to 36˚ or up to 38˚ (my curing temps).

    Ross--That's really strange--you're getting 20˚ to 50˚ difference when they're side by side, and you checked their accuracy---Doesn't make any sense.  [​IMG]

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011
  7. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    I just got a new Maverick ET-732, and tested them in boiling water.

    The one reads 212˚----and the other one reads 212˚ too---pretty good.

    My old ET-73 always had one reading 212˚, and the other reading 210˚---not bad either.

  8. nwdave

    nwdave Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    If the probes are built in similar fashion to the temp probes we use in bigger applications, like monitoring fluid temps in pipelines, the chamber temp probe, the whole probe is measuring the temp so you tend to get an average over the length of the probe.  The probe inserted into the meat is different in that only the tip and about 1/4 inch in length is actually sensing the temp.  The remainder is nothing more than a hollow piece of metal giving you a length to shove into the meat and housing the thin wire passing the temp out to the reader.  Some of the older insert thermometers had a distinct separate piece at the end of the probe which you can see.  The probes are intended for different purposes.  When running tests measuring chamber and ambient temps, I have to use two chamber temp probes.  If you use a chamber probe to measure meat temp, it's going to reflect the temp from end to end (giving an average temp) and you only want the tip, supposedly somewhere near the center of the meat.   I was just a worker bee,  I'm sure an engineer can wade in and better explain the dynamics of the probes better.
  9. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    I use mine for meat temps only, I actually use my Weber therm only these day's. I use the round dial therms for smoke temps and they seem pretty accurate. I have a Taylor digital therm that I use to double check against the Weber here and there and there spot on.
  10. rw willy

    rw willy Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Temp is temp!  Doesn't matter what the medium being measured.  Therm probes will read air or liquid.  If there is a difference you need to check them in icewater or boiling water.  Mine read the same side by side on the counter awaiting the smoker and meat.

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