Thermometers or no thermometers

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by buckwild43, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. I think the general consensus on the WSM thermometer on the lid is that it can't be really trusted to give accurate grate temperature----I am reading Gary Wiviott and he is pretty freakin adamant about trusting your senses and not a thermometer---I can't help but have the urge that I would love to have a Maverick thermometer to give me a grate temp and meat temp. Any advice one way or the other-----I am doing the 5 lessons but am really torn on this subject.
  2. Do yourself a favor & get the Maverick  [​IMG]
  3. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Having a good digital therm is a must. I have the Mav 732 and a dual probe iGrill. The iGrill has become my go to therm. It has better range than the Mav and was spot on accurate right out of the box. The draw back to the iGrill is you need and iPad or iPhone to use it.
  4. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have great cooking instincts, but I trust equipment first and my instincts as a backup.  Comes from years of being a Navy pilot and being told to "trust your instruments first."

    Even though I'm a newbie with only 6 smokes under my belt with a Weber Kettle/Smokenator, I learned very quickly that a good dual probe thermometer can have significant impact on consistently delicious results.  Meat's not cheap.  Why waste an afternoon and money with a bad smoke?  I want grill temp and meat temp as I smoke.  That's what the Mav et-732 provides.

    My only "fail" were two chuckies on my second smoke BEFORE I bought the 732 (salmon was first).  Although they were delicious they were tough.  I used my trusty Mav OT3-BBQ oven thermometer I've used for years on to monitor grill temp on my gas grill.  I used it the same way in the Weber, plus I used an inexpensive but accurate Taylor "instant read" digital for the meat temp.  Unfortunately I had to check the smoker so often to make temp adjustments I got impatient and generally couldn't stay engaged with anything else I was doing for several hours.  With the OT3 I felt I was often chasing the temp rise and falls to correct the temp.   It wasn't unusual to see plus or minus 25 degree movements unless I checked the Weber constantly.  After eating a less than satisfying meal with the chuckies I ordered the Mav 732.

    With the 732 I can watch a movie, work at my computer, and generally do other things while the meat is smoking.  If I see the smoker temp on the receiver moving up or down I can catch it quick and have no problem at all keeping it plus or minus 5 degrees of my target cook temp.  It also works great to make vent adjustments to recover my desired temp after I refuel/rewater too. I have become much more capable of keeping a stabilized temp too with the 732.

    Buy the 732.  You'll be happy you did.            
  5. bgray

    bgray Fire Starter

    I also read Gary's book, and ignored his advise regarding not using thermometers.  I also ignore some of his other items, like lump being the only option, and him saying that you cannot smoke with electric or gas.

    Overall the book was good, but I threw out some of his advice, and have not regretted it.  Get a Maverick!  It's not heresy!
  6. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Not saying you have to?

    But I wouldn't think of smoking without reliable pit and meat temps!

    Get the therm and you will never sorry!

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. you absolutely  want the perfect  smoke and have the safe but tender juicy meats... use a thermometer to measure internal temperature  of your meat . you can also tweak the  standard finished temps by  degrees  a if you prefer rare or med rare.. you spend the time and money who wouldn't want it to be Perfect
  8. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer Fire Starter

    I always use a therm...

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab 2
  9. It's true WSM thermometers are fairly unreliable.

    I read Gary's book as well. I think the biggest thing is he is teaching you not to stress out over temp spikes or dips so he doesn't want you worried about pit temps. BBQ was cooked for centuries without thermometers. IMHO, If you follow the instruction you'll be a better cook. Spikes and dips gives BBQ character.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013

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