Low Meat Temp

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jeffinmi, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. So, after seasoning my new MES 30" digital yesterday with no issues, I hit the grocery store and picked up some meat and chicken, including three large boneless country style ribs. This morning I rubbed them with mustard, then a liberal amount of rub, and let them set in the fridge. This afternoon I preheated my smoker to 235°, put in the ribs, and gave them about 45 minutes before I started adding hickory chips. Everything seemed to be going fine. The smoker temp stayed around 230-245. I was figuring on 3-4 hours before they hit 165 IT. After 3 hours I checked and they were only at 146. I gave them another hour and they had only gone up a couple degrees. By this time (4 hours) I was beyond hungry, so I pulled them out, rolled them in sauce, sealed them in foil and finished them in the oven. So, any thought on why they were taking so long to reach 165°? It was pretty cool out today, around 42° with a good breeze. If that was the reason, why would the smoker temp say 235+? Should I put a thermometer in the smoker to see how far off the displayed temp is? Let me add...once they came out of the oven and rested a bit, they were moist, tender, and slap your mama delicious! Best country style ribs I've ever had. I'd just like to know what I can do, if anything, to not have to finish the meat in the oven.

  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Well, first off, you did the right thing by finishing as you did. You may have the dreaded controller accuracy issues that many suffer from...so, yes, install a temporary probe just under your main meat grate to monitor and verify grate temps. Also, if these CSRs were really thick, say 2", they will take all of 4hrs in the 225* range to reach a tender state. Your MES may actually have been running closer to 220*, instead of 235*+...you won't know until you verify that. I don't necessarily probe for temps as much as I check for actual tenderness (poke around inside, bend-test, etc).

    Don't throw in the towel....you'll learn some tricks with your rig to get the best results...just give it some time.

  3. Thanks Eric. I'm not even close to throwing in the towel! They tasted too good! I Just finished checking the smoker temp with an oven thermometer. The reading on the thermometer was 15° lower than what the smoker read. I set the smoker at 275 and the thermometer read 260. I've checked my oven temp using this thermometer and it was right on. I'll call Masterbuilt tomorrow and ask them to send a new control unit.
  4. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I'm not sure they'll replace your controller for that reason, being I've never dealt with them, but at least you have a better idea of your baseline temp now and can adjust accordingly. I know the electric rigs in their stock configuration will fluctuate tempos due to the cyclic on/off nature, which makes judging that baseline temp more difficult, but you'll have a better idea what's really going inside that smoker with a grate temp reading as a second opinion.

    Good luck!!!

  5. I can tell you this if you call them , explain what is happening, they are more than helpful to come up with a solution. In my case it was an issue with the internal "meat Probe" which I use as an ambient probe (so I can keep an eye on it from afar) they had a replacement on my porch by the end of the week.

  6. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  7. I called Masterbuilt this morning. Great customer service. I explained the problem and she said it's more than likely a malfunction in the control unit, a new one would be shipped out tomorrow and I should have it within 5 days. I know these smokers aren't going to be exact when it comes to temp, but I'd rather have a higher actual temp than lower. As it is now, the highest temp I can get is 260, max. Hopefully the new control unit will help.
  8. The new control unit was just delivered. When I have some time I'll change it out and test it. Hopefully it will work better than the original one.
  9. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    WOW...that was FAST!!! I guess there aren't any customer service issues to worry about...good deal!!!

  10. I switched out the control units today and tested the temp. I compared the temp reading on the control unit against the temp on the built-in meat probe and on the oven thermometer. They were all over the place! One thing I came away with is that I need to get a good thermometer that I can run through the smoker vent. So I'm looking at the threads on here and will be ordering one in the next couple days. The differences were all over the place, whether I had the temp set at 275° or 250°. It's in the 50s outside, but the winds are between 10 and 15 mph. So having to open the door to read the thermometer doesn't help matters. But from what I'm seeing, I don't think this control unit is any more accurate than the first one. I can live with having to adjust the temp I set the smoker at, but I don't think I'll ever know what that adjustment should be until I get a good thermometer with a probe that I can run through the vent.
  11. mowin

    mowin Master of the Pit

    A good thermometer is a must. I've got a maverick 732, and like it, but I've gone through a few probes. And I'm extremely careful not to get them wet or kinked.

    I've got a igrill2 on my Christmas list. Hoping Mrs santa gets me one.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  12. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When you say temps were over the place do mean jumping up and down with the heater element cycles, or, probes and oven therms were not reading anywhere near what the MES temp was set?

  13. I have an I-Grill 2 in my mix now for 6 months and can not say enough about it. I just had an issue with a probe , called them to see if there was a way to test what may have happened and they said not to worry they would send a replacement, it showed up yesterday lees than a week) . I like my mavericks but I really like the WIFI function of the I-Grill 2 . Just my Two Cents.

  14. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't toss your old control. It was one of the better ones.

    I'm surprised they sent you a new one---Your old one was within the guaranteed limits of =/- 15°.

    Mine is sometimes 15° off, but I just adjust for it. Plus you can easily have a 15° difference just because of thermometer placement.

    Plus sometimes at the start the Maverick will be below the MES reading, and later in the smoke it can be the other way around.

    Anything within 15° is Great.


    OOOPS----I wrote this before I saw you got the replacement control.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  15. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yup---You need something you can test, like a Maverick ET-732 or ET-733, or something similar.

    And yes a 10 to 15 MPH wind can suck the heat right out of your top vent !!

  16. Both. All three... temp displayed on smoker, temp on thermometer, and temp on meat probe... were all different, and the differences seemed to vary. Having to open the smoker to read the thermometer inside made it too hard to get an accurate, or at least fairly accurate, difference in them. I've since learned that having the meat probe laying directly on the rack will cause an inaccurate reading. In addition to the new thermometer (I'm leaning towards a Maverick 732) I'll also get a clip for the meat probe to clip on the rack. I'm learning, and I think once I get the clip and thermometer I'll have a pretty good idea of the adjustments I need to make in the temp I set the smoker at.
  17. I ordered a Maverick 732 last Saturday. Received an email saying it was shipped on Monday, and it was delivered yesterday, Wednesday. Can't beat that. Plus the 20% off promo came at just the right time! Today I did the boiling water test and both probes were right on. I'll check the smoker temp against the control readout in the next couple days. That should give me a pretty good idea of what adjustments I have to make. Now I have to decide on what to try next.
  18. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member


    You'll be in good shape real soon.

  19. smoking4fun

    smoking4fun Smoke Blower

    Back to the original post - any reason you waited 45 minutes to put in the chips for smoke?  I usually try to get the smoke rolling BEFORE I put the meat in so that it's always exposed to smoke while in the smoker.  Was it for just a mild smokey touch?
  20. smokin phil

    smokin phil Smoking Fanatic

    Last edited: Jul 24, 2016

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