Thermometer Puzzle

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by alwayshopeful, Jun 19, 2015.

  1. alwayshopeful

    alwayshopeful Newbie

    I got myself an ECB smoker two months ago and modified it immediately.  Added two Brinkmann Temperature bimetal thermometers (only ones Home Depot carried) to it.  I calibrated these thermometers using boiling water as a reference before installing.  They read ~215F when in the water.  I also bought a ChefAlarm thermometer with meat probe.  I checked the calibration of the probe and it was perfect. 

    I did a few smokes with the Brinkmann Temperature bimetal thermometers telling me that I was smoking at 220-240F.  The meat probe readings were proved once the meat was carved. All seemed well. 

    I then bought an air temperature probe with grate clip for the ChefAlarm.   Checked the calibration on it as well.

    Smoked a pork shoulder butt next.  The two Brinkmann Temperature bimetal thermometers gave me temperatures of 220-250F during the smoke.  The air temperature probe was at 362F.  It was a few inches from the side of the roast (near the side of the grate).  The meat probe was in the roast monitoring it.  When the meat probe got to 195F I pulled it off of the grate and put it into a cooler to rest.  The meat turned out to be perfect. 

    I have ceramic briquettes in the water pan covered in aluminum foil.

    I was then wondering why the air temperature probe showed a higher temperature than the Brinkmann Temperature bimetal thermometers.

    Today I lit the smoker not worrying about a desired temperature range.  I put the air temperature probe in the middle of the top grate.  Next to it I put the meat probe held in place an inch above the grill with a small ball of aluminum foil.

    I cleaned the black from the previous smokes off of the Brinkmann thermometers “probes” before starting this test.

    Both Brinkmann thermometers were roughly 280F while the air temperature probe was 364F and the meat probe 372F.

    I understand that thermometer positioning will give different readings but clearly the Thermoworks probes are indicating that the smoker is much hotter that what the Brinkmann thermometers are showing.

    The meat probe when it is in the meat seems to be running true.  I trust it.

    Which temperature would you use for determining the temperature of the smoker, the one from the bimetal thermometers or the air temperature probe?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016

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