Temp Probe Install after Smoke Stack Mod on MES 30 Sportsman Elite Analog

Discussion in 'Electric Smokers' started by n4ynu, Aug 30, 2016.

  1. n4ynu

    n4ynu Meat Mopper

    Ok, so after a very successful and simple Smoke Stack Mod here :

    I finally got my Cuisinart Meat Temp Probe from Lowe's here :

    Now since I installed the Smoke Stack it led to plugging the original exhaust air port in the rear, here is the port

    This port is a form of a "Wall Tube" it is a 2 piece collar so that the double wall seal is maintained yet would provide a fixed exhaust port for the Box, it merely threads together thru the wall, here it is removed

    Once Removed we have this 

    After removing I seal the hole using Black High Temp RTV here, this stuff is good to 600 degrees which I will never be able to attain as the max temp on this Box is 400 degrees

    So now I filled the hole making sure I pumped plenty of RTV (at least 1 inch from the edge of the hole all around on the inside of the walls to assure 1. No leaks and it would maintain Double Wall Seal 
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. It would not ever be an issue coming out in the future

    Once that was done a added some to the outside creating a hal bubble of sorts making sure I went past the edge of the hole on the outside and inside of the box by about 3/8" to 1/2", again this is important as you do not want the RTV to separate from the wall when inserting probes, this is why also it is important to pump the RTV equally around the inside of the opening, to make sure it is a solid patch and has plenty to retain it when installing probes and to prevent any leakage, the bubble or mound on the outside of the hole on both sides of the wall also insures the seal and will prevent the "Plug" as it may be from coming loose and being pushed thru or loosing seal when probes are inserted.

    Here are the outside wall and inside wall finished with the mound / bubble

    ******* Just in case you are wondering "Why take out the collar and plug when you could just plug the collar, you have to remember the collars ID (Inside Diameter) is very small, it would not allow for the bend in the probe to pass thru the collar, so this is why you remove the collar, it opens the hole well enough that with the RTV being flexible, the probe bend will easily go thru the hole.

    Now once here, you have to let the RTV Cure, this will take several days, I did not use the Smoker for 2 days, then I cooked in it the 3rd day, and installed the Probes the 4th Day, this is to be sure the RTV has cured thru and thru, it is a sealed wall, so curing of the RTV on the inside is going to be very slow.

    Once you are sure the RTV is cured, then get yourself a 1/8" Drill Bit to drill 2 holes in the RTV, now the bit will not drill a clean hole, YOU DO NOT WANT A CLEAN HOLE, you only want a path thru the RTV, so once drilled you will not see a hole but a passage will be there so remember where your holes are or drill and insert each probe individually if you are like me and have memory issues :)

    Also be advised that this will only work with probes that do not have the large head at the top of the probe where the send wire actually goes into the probe section, but for most probes that the cable and the probe are close to the same size it will work just fine
    Also do not worry about the Box Temp Probes that are about a 1/4" in diameter, my box temp Probe is the same and it went thru just fine, just takes a little more of a push to get it through  :)

    Now when drilling the hole remember how the hole you drill is placed, the probes are bent, so after inserting the tip, you have to make sure when you get to the bend in the probe that the Probe is turned correctly so you will not hit the ceiling of the box or the side wall, so looking at the back of the Smoker, at the plugged port, you want to drill your hole to the right of the hole, one at the top inside and one at the bottom inside, they should be stacked one on top of the other separated by about 1/4", and be sure you so not go thru the metal of the wall, you want the hole to be away from the edge of the metal hole, you do not want you probe cable to be pressed up against the metal hole edge, this will surely lead to early failure and damage to the probe cable, whether covered with braided stainless or not !

    So once you have drilled thru the RTV once (not back and forth trying to get a hole, you just want a passage so your seal is maintained !) , I put the Box Temp Probe in first because it was bigger, so stick it in the place where you drilled and twist and push a little and it will roll right in the passage, once that is done go to the inside and pull it thru the rest of the way and one down, one to go !

    Now for the Temp Probe, I know many have 2 Temp Probes (Meat Style), so you will not have the larger Box Temp Probe, so both of yours will be easy peasy, but the same thing, know where you drilled the hole in the RTV and poke the probe just like into meat into the spot, and push it thru, then making sure you have it oriented correctly so you will not hit the ceiling or the left side wall keep pushing the bend thru and then go to the inside of the box and pull it thru.

    Once you have done this you will have a airtight seal around both Probe cables, and better than that, they will be encased in RTV, so they will not be rubbing or bending constantly from being in a large hole or going thru the door getting squashed or even if you had a passage leaking air and or constantly rubbing on metal, this probe cables are made to flex, but like any wire, constant flexing in the same area will lead to breaks in the probe wire, whether one strand at a time or all together for solid wire designs.

    Here is the finished Product 

    As you can see I have mine both at the bottom of the hole, I did this because my Box Temp Probe is Straight, it does not bend, so I did not need the room on the left for the RTV to absorb the Bend in the Probe, I am getting a another Meat Probe soon so that Probe will be on the right at the top, the reason we do this is so when we run the bend in the Probe thru, the RTV flexes with the bend and we have most of the hole/RTV to the left to absorb the flex from the bend, it your Probes are straight then you can place you holes anywhere, just be sure to stay away from the edge of the metal wall hole at least a 1/16" and you will be Golden.

    Hope this is found useful, it is a great use of the plugged hole after the Smoke Stack Mod  [​IMG]

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