Measuring cooking chamber temp. Advice please!

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by camox413, Apr 1, 2016.

  1. camox413

    camox413 Fire Starter

    So I'm new to smoking and I learned after my first smoke but I need a thermometer to measure my pit temp since the factory one is off. I don't have a lot of money and I saw at Walmart they have a Char-Broil meat Wireless thermometer. If I buy that can I use it to monitor my cooking chamber temperature? I read somewhere to stick it through a potato?
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Camo open the package and check it with the boiling water,if it checks out okay use it.

  3. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I agree. I have a couple of $15 Taylor's that I use all the time. Check in ice water (32 degrees), boiling water (212 degrees).

    If they are close you are good to go. If they are off a couple of degrees then you know to adjust to that. I.E. if it reads 208 when boiling then you know that you need to add 4 degrees to whatever temp it is reading. I.E. 175 is really 179.

  4. camox413

    camox413 Fire Starter

    Thank you guys for all the great advice. My biggest question now is, how do I set up one of the meat probes to monitor my cooking chamber temp?
  5. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Get a small potato,"push the point thru it" should give you the temp,at the grate level.

    Last edited: Apr 2, 2016
  6. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I've done all the "wireless" gadgets which really aren't wireless. You still have wires coming out of the smoking chamber. They get crimped by the door or snagged on tools or by your arm when your working with the food. I just went to a simple oven thermometer. I get them for about $5 at the fleet farm store. Cheap, simple, and as accurate as anything else.

  7. camox413

    camox413 Fire Starter

    I actually bought this exact same thermometer last night and hung it from one of my cooking grates. My biggest issue was being a beginner, I had to keep opening my cooking chamber to view the temp.
  8. camox413

    camox413 Fire Starter

    Does the very tip of the probe need to be left in the potatoe or sticking out?
  9. 3montes

    3montes Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Unless you are having issues with big temp swings no need to keep checking the chamber temp every 5 minutes. Many are way over concerned with constant monitoring of temps.
  10. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    push the point thru!!
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Temperature probes "usually" measure the temp with the last 1 inch or so of the probe...   that portion needs to be in proximity of the food you are cooking.....
  12. joe black

    joe black Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    All of the above is spot on from everyone. I don't know where you are, but when you check your therm in boiling water, be sure to adjust for your elevation. Good luck with all of that until you can get a 2 probe therm like a Maverick E-732 or something similar.
  13. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic

    I got a few of the ones 3Montes posted. One for each shelf. I also use a Maverick 732. Get yourself a notebook. Spend some time noting temps at different locations. After a while you'll learn how your box cooks. Now I just use my door thermo and the maverick pit temp at the top of my smoker. I use that notebook all the time for reference.

  14. dr k

    dr k Master of the Pit

    Exactly. When you get a new smoker you'll constantly check it to get the learning curve down ASAP. Once you learn that particular smoker even if it spikes 25*F above your desired highest temp, it's all about the average temp through out the entire smoke. Its not like baking cakes and pies in the mid 300*F temps. Low and slow meats around 250*F or less are much more forgiving especially when they're not heavily rubbed with sugars. Some people prefer higher smoking temps to not babysit their smoker as much and to power through the long temp stalls with large cuts of meat when you hit an IT of about 150*F. I don't really care so much. I prefer to smoke about an average of 235*F.
  15. camox413

    camox413 Fire Starter

    Thank you all this has been a very informative discussion. I do check it often (every 15 minutes or so) because I'm trying to learn how adjusting the intake and exhaust affects the temp.

    I did notice my smoker had snack sticks on the lower grate toward the front that were at 166 IT last night while stuff on the top was still around 140 IT.
  16. ridnsmoke

    ridnsmoke Newbie

    I'm a new smoker with a new toy - a Masterbuilt Pro dual fuel.  Been doing a lot of thread browsing and have my first smoke going - batch of about 18 wings.

    Before my first burn in, I purchased a Taylor oven thermometer and a Charbroil model 00178 Remote BBQ Thermometer;  the readings from the door unit, and may additions were wildly different!?!?

    During the burn in, the door unit never got above 250

    the oven unit on a shelf about the same height as the door probe said 375.

    The Charbroil unit is a probe which I just hung from the top rear vent (the tip is about in the middle of the back panel) said 289.

    Looks to me like knowing temp is important to smoking - which one of these should I believe? 

    Regarding the wings in the smoker:

    the door unit says 225

    the oven thermometer is 350

    the Charbroil is 220

    I have the gas set fairly low, with the lover vents open maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch.
  17. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    If you can check one of them with boiling water and it is close to 212* F depending on your elevation

  18. tedx

    tedx Newbie

    I have been using this device and have been really satisfied with it so far..I recommend.

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