I don't understand these temperature variances

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by goldmine1965, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. goldmine1965

    goldmine1965 Smoke Blower

    I programmed the MES to 215. When it reached 215 and shutoff, the Maverick was 248. That is a 33 degree difference between the smoker and the Maverick.

    After shutoff, the temperature continued to rise to 249( an additional 34 degrees), the Maverick 286. That is a 37 degree difference.

    So what do I set my temps to? If I want something to smoke at 250, do I set the MES to 215-220? Do I set all the temps 30-40 degrees less every time? I am not enjoying this so far.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2015
  2. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I own the Maverick ET-733 and calibrated it when I first got it. In all temperature things MES I trust the Mav. The MES controller display is almost always higher than that of the MES. However, about 3 hours or so into the smoke when the controller's heat cycling has settle down, I typically see the MES and ET-733 temps either the same or no more than about 3 degrees apart from each other.

    Also remember that the internal temp within a MES varies all over the place depending on placement of a probe. Right and left sides may vary and certainly the temp varies from rack to rack as well as different spots on a given rack. I've standardized my probe placements just for the sake of consistency. The FOOD probe always goes into the meat or is clipped on the right side of the 2nd rack. The BARBECUE probe is always on the left side of the 3rd rack. That way I can monitor the temps in two different spots within the MES and compare them to the controller display. I've experimented with other probe placements but you can go nuts with that stuff. Best to decide where you permanently want to place the probes and keep to it with every smoke.
  3. goldmine1965

    goldmine1965 Smoke Blower

    Thanks..so back to my question..If these temperature are so off, how do I know what temperature to set it for?.
  4. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    You should set the temp on the MES to the required setting to achieve your desired temp. It is a pain (especially since it changes every time) but that is the method to produce the best results. You should also be aware that for the first hour or so the temps will swing up and down as the unit heats up. These swings get less as the cook goes on. You will have to monitor what your maverick is reading and just the MES accordingly. 
  5. smokingearl

    smokingearl Meat Mopper

    you've tested the maverick, so go by its reading. to smoke at 250, set the mes to 220
  6. goldmine1965

    goldmine1965 Smoke Blower

    Thanks..I'll try this weekend on a chicken or something. This is so confusing and frustrating.
  7. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Preheat the MB for at least an hour before you put anything in it. Then check the Maverick and see what the temp is. If it's too high, open the door for a few minutes and lower the control on the MB. Check it again in a few minutes. If it's too low after preheat, bump the temp control up a bit. Once you find the sweet spot for your desired temp, make a note of it on the top, in your iphone, write it on the wall, etc.... Then, put your meat in and smoke away.

    Why preheat for an hour? There is a LOT of metal inside the MB that will take time to come up to temp and equalize out.
  8. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    This shouldd help you:


  9. goldmine1965

    goldmine1965 Smoke Blower

  10. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You choose the temp or set point you want to cook at. I like 235°. I set the MES controller for that (other guys prefer to set a higher temp to offset the temp drop when the meat and other stuff are added) but I choose not to. When the MES heats up it typically overshoots the set point during that heating cycle anyway. To keep my answer short, I adjust the MES controller temp based on what the ET-733 BARBECUE probe is displaying for the spot where I've clipped the probe to a rack.

    Just so you know, just about every smoking enthusiast has their favorite temp or range of temps. I typically smoke in the 230-245° range since I tweak the controller if the temp goes above 245 or falls below 230--again going by the ET-733 display screen.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2015
  11. goldmine1965

    goldmine1965 Smoke Blower

    Good info..Thanks.
  12. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'll try again (Above) using the numbers you give above. Mine is in red.

    daricksta likes this.
  14. bmaddox

    bmaddox Master of the Pit

    Great explanation Bear!

    I try not to get too tied up worrying about the numbers. It is so quick and easy to change the smoker temp that I simply watch what the Maverick is saying then adjust accordingly. At the end of the day, the smoker temp swinging up and down 15-20 degrees is not going to hurt anything. All cookers fluctuate in temp. If you were to put your Maverick in your home oven it would act the same way as the MES. Just go with the flow, learn what your smoker is doing, and figure out what works for you. Everyone's smoker is different. 
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Exactly---I've tested my Kitchen Oven, and in order to get 200° I had to set it to 225°.

    And that's what I tell them when they have a 15° or 20° swing, but when somebody gets a 70° overshoot on his Maverick like this case, and is getting upset & "not having fun", I try to get their MES to be working within enough reason to see if it's just the normal swing problems, or if they need a new controller. The method I gave in red above, if done properly, should tell if it's just the need to set the MES 15° or 20° different, or if a new Controller is needed.

  16. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    If that's what happens, reset your MES control to 218° (just slightly below where it stopped coasting). Now they will both drop, but the Maverick will drop faster, because like I said, it's more sensitive. I was with you up to this point but want to make sure I understand what's being said here. By "stopped coasting" you mean where both temp displays (MES and Maverick) topped off? And so if the MES is at 220° and you reset the controller for 218° the controller will stay off, allowing the temp to drop below that set temp and then cycle on again to get it to 218. Is this correct? Won't it overshoot again?

    I kind of found this out on my own but your system provides for a lot less tweaking than mine. I'm out at the smoker frequently during the first 3-4 heating cycles. But I can confirm what you've written here, that in MES 30 the temp does stabilize around the 3rd or 4th cycle and the temps displays between the MES and the Maverick are either the same or at the most 3 degrees off, which is negligible. Great work, Bear!
  17. ibbones

    ibbones Meat Mopper

    Goldmine, the folks have given the best advice.  I have learned that for "MY" MES, if I am doing a long smoke, I set the temp to 209* and I average out to 225* over time.  For short smokes, I am not going to get worked up over ten - twenty degrees.  But I have learned to set it to 212* and it will swing from about 210-240*.  If I use my gas grill.  I have no thermometers on it so I am either cooking on high, med, or low.  My grub sure comes out just fine.

    Just play with the smoker a few times and find your sweet spot.
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  19. goldmine1965

    goldmine1965 Smoke Blower

    Thanks for such detailed advice Bear. You sound like someone who has done many smokes. I'll do this test this weekend. And I did do the boil test first thing and the Maverick read 210.
  20. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'm going to read this a few times. I know you've got a step by step which I'll look it. For some reason I really need to concentrate to grasp how the controller works with the overshoot and dropback in temps. I think it's the variables that confuses me a little with having to know how much to lower the controller temp and then how much to bump it up. That's why I asked you for the reasons behind it. If I can understand the logic and mechanics of it I can both grasp and retain the info. I just need to know the WHY behind things.

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