Temp Differences ?

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by da maxx, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. da maxx

    da maxx Fire Starter

    Newbie to MES 30". Just did my first use, 4 Pork ribs (st l style). Anyway, I also bought a digital thermo from WMart. I just placed it in the top vent. I was planning on smoking ribs around 225 deg. The MES read 200, the probe was 245 deg. Not sure which to believe. I probably should have put the probe in a potato and put it in the middle of the MES. But would it make that much of a difference ?

    I need to get another probe for the meat. Is my cheap WMart really off?

  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    Boil a pot of water and the second it starts boiling insert the tip of the probe into the water, it should read 212 degrees.
  3. harleysmoker

    harleysmoker Smoking Fanatic

    I dont have any experience with a MES but in my cooker I always place the probe on the rack Im cooking on as the temps very from the lowest to the highest rack. You said you placed it in the top vent, meaning up high at the exhaust, or you mean you inserted it through there and placed on a rack? I would think that would be hotter than on a rack in the cooker.

    Do what S2K said an boil water and insert the probe tip and see if it reads 212* F
  4. da maxx

    da maxx Fire Starter

    My probe as 90 deg bend where the cable and probe meet, I just rested the probe in the vent. So I expected it would read a little higher. Just not 45-50. I just did the boiling water check, S2K suggested, It read 2 degrees low (210) when boiling. So my probe seems close enough. Not very comfortable on the big difference. I guess next time, I'll place in the same level as the meat. Thanks for the replies. Any other ideas ?
  5. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    I think you already hit it, get your probe down at the level of the meat, use a small potato or onion or something and just trust your thermometer.
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    DA you don't have your location listed but if you are above sea level you are going to read low, I think it's around 2* per 1000ft high...The temp sensor for the MES is in the Middle so hanging a probe up by the vent will be way off...I did that myself and had it explained to me when I called regarding the difference.The 'Tater works real well...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  7. da maxx

    da maxx Fire Starter

    I've updated my location profile. Port Orchard, WA. I did see the probe in the middle of the unit, rear. So, does 45-50 deg difference seem right? Thanks for all the replies.
  8. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

     The MES will Cycle on and off so fluctuations are normal and all the heat is exiting at the Vent so if you were measuring as or just after the Coil went off, it would not be unreasonable to see a 50* higher temp but it should drop. The vent is also directly above the Element so rising heat goes right there. Water or Sand in the water pan help even out and hold steady temps. Measure the temp at the center rack, if it is off  10-20 degrees or more call Masterbuilt Cust. Service...JJ
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2012
  9. da maxx

    da maxx Fire Starter

    JimmyJ, I placed the probe near the MES probe. Here's a pict of the setup. I checked it at 170 and 200. At 170 it's the MES reads 12 degs low. At 200 it reads about 35 deg off. I'm okay with just relying on the external temp probe. Should I consider a replacement unit ?


  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Jimmy is correct, the right rear corner is a hot spot

    Try to keep items out of this area

    Check different racks to see which ones are hotter than the others

    My MES is 20° off, so I set the controller at 210° to achieve 225° - 230° on the racks

  11. da maxx

    da maxx Fire Starter

    TJ, I was just trying to get close to the MES probe to check the difference. So at 206, it's actually 241. I'm okay with it 35 degrees off. I'm always going to have a separate temp probe inside the smoker and another for the meat. I think I need to return the unit or call Masterbuilt. As long as the MES regulates the heat. Going to try and do a smoked corned beef brisket this weekend. Thanks to all for the replies. This forum is awesome.
  12. Your going to be happy your MES is off that way when you are smoking chicken and turkey...275 on your MES will be like 315...nice for crisping the skin and getting bigger turkeys out of the danger zone quicker. My MES is 23 degrees off to the high side {MES 200...probe temp 223} and I'm glad it is.[​IMG]

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