MES Temperature Study

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by ggrib, Jun 29, 2015.

  1. ggrib

    ggrib Newbie

    Sunday as I finished some Baby Backs where I was not using the meat probe I noticed the probe temperature was a lot lower than the smoker temperature. Today I did some tests.

    1-- Initially, the smoker was setting outside in the TX sun. The Smoker Temp was 108 and the probe temp was 99. If ever the temperature should be equalized, it was then and I had a 9 degree difference.

    2-- With the vent open and no water of meat in the smoker, I set the temperature to 225 and placed the probe on the lowest shelf. I took intermediate temperatures and the difference remained about 10 degrees. After 20 minutes the smoker temperature read 246 [overshoot] and the probe read  238. Still about the same spread.

    3-- Now the smoker was hot, I placed the probe on the top shelf, [smoker still set to 225] . After 15 minutes, I checked the temperature. Smoker 245, probe 226. After 45 minutes smoker 239, probe 220. After 60 minutes, smoker was 224 and probe was 202.

    4-- I then moved the probe to the center shelf. [Smoker still set on 225] After 1/2 an hour, smoker 224, probe 202. I then checked the temperature by inserting a 4 1/2" insta-read probe through the vent. Close to the vent it was 180, but full insertion with the vent closed as much as possible showed 200.

    Conclusion: The smoker temperature reads 10 degrees warmer than the lowest rack and the equalized whole smoker. [This is like an oven temperature setting being 10 degrees off the actual thus it is equipment related,  The smoker reads 20 degrees warmer than the middle and top rack. [This is the position effect and includes the equipment error]The insta-read probe insertion confirms the  meat probe general accuracy and the whole general premise.

    In the future I plan on taking the data into consideration when setting temperatures and relative meat positions.

    Has anyone else made similar observations?
  2. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Sure---Everybody that checked has.

    You got the right idea---Don't trust what those readings say. They are Never correct, but neither are other built in therms on other smokers.

    Get a Maverick digital wireless, or similar Therm, and go by that. Then learn to set your MES so that the Maverick reads what you want the temp to be.

  3. tumbleweed1

    tumbleweed1 Smoking Fanatic

    My MES30 is most accurate on the 2nd rack (only about 10 degrees off).

    The 3rd rack is hotter than the smoker indicates, by about 15-20 degrees.

    The 1st rack is cooler than the smoker reads by about 15-20 degrees.

    I will assume for now that the 4th rack is at least 30 degrees hotter than the smoker indicates, but I haven't verified that one yet. I will check it out next time I'm using it.

    My rack of choice for meat is the 2nd one. I place veggies & sides on the 1st & 3rd ones for now, knowing the accuracy of the racks tells me when to put them in. I usually use 275 for my pork ribs & shoulder, knowing I'm swinging somewhere between 265-285, depending on whether the element's on or not & the food ends up real nice.

  4. ggrib

    ggrib Newbie


    I think you're telling me to use the Maverick to set/control  the smoker temperature, not just check the meat, correct? As far as I can see, the meat probe was telling me the correct temperature.
  5. driedstick

    driedstick Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Learn your smoker is right, yep do not trust the built in Terms on the smoker I have a Mav 732 and love it waiting to get me another one for my fridge smoker, Also love my thermo pen but that is just for meat temp which I always do a second reading with to make sure my Mav is on

  6. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I go by what my Maverick says the Smoker Temp is.

    If you want the smoker temp to be 230:

    Your Maverick says 250°.

    And your MES says 230.

    Set your MES to 210°.

    This should eventually make your Maverick say 230°, which will be the actual Temp.

    This is if you have tested your Maverick at Boiling Temp & it was correct.

    The same thing goes for the MES Meat Probe----You don't know if it's accurate, unless you tested it, which is kinda hard to do, since it's attached to the Smoker.I don't trust it.

  7. brickguy221

    brickguy221 Smoking Fanatic

    Having used my new 40" Bluetooth 3 times, I am still in the learning stages of it's temperatures, but after 3 times, it appears what the BT controller temp says, is 10* - 15* more than actual temp.

    For example if my BT says the temp is 225*, my oven thermomter says it is 210 - 215*. I haven't used my new Maverick on it yet, but do know that my oven thermometer is pretty accurate based on using my Weber wireless thermometer in the past to check it.

    On my old Gen 2 MES, it was the opposite and by a larger amount. For example, if the controller on it said the temp was 225*, the same oven thermometer would read 260* - 265*

    Summary ... in support of what Bear says, you need to use a wireless thermometer like the Maverick or similar thermometer or an accurate oven thermometer to tell what the real temp is, inside your MES.
  8. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    With my MES 30 Gen 1 the temp differences between the smoker and my ET-733 will vary over the course of the smoke. Typically the smoker will be 10-20° higher than the ET-733 but after a few hours they're typically within 2-10° of each other. I'll watch this more closely today as I smoke some baby backs of my own.

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