Which Thermometer To Use?

Discussion in 'Food Safety' started by daricksta, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. daricksta

    daricksta OTBS Member

    I'm about to use my MES 30 for the first time. I've done some research on Amazon and some other places and Maverick seems to be a big name in remote thermometers but I read a lot of complaints with those. In fact, I saw no clear winners among any brands.

    I thought I might be able to use my Taylor digital instant read which is a hand-held type that I use in the kitchen but someone responded in another thread that it's not good to open the door while the smoking's going on. I don't need a remote control device sonce I don't mind going into my backyard at different intervals to check on the temp.

    Is it that bad to open the door to check the temp once or twice? If not, why can't I use my kitchen thermometer instead of buying a specialty BBQ one?

    If the door should remain shut during smoking, what would be the best, around $30-40 smoker top, non-remote thermometer to buy?
  2. s2k9k

    s2k9k AMNPS Test Group

    You can get a Maverick ET-73 for under $30 and it has 2 probes, one for the meat one for the smoker, the remote really does come in handy. Opening the door does slow down your cooking time but if you can keep it to a minimum you will be ok. I use an instant read a lot because I like to check temps in different areas of the meat to get an average of whats going on.
  3. Save yourself the time and just get yourself a dual probe thermometer and life will be much easier. Knowing your smoker temp  and the internal temp of your meat will take  out any guessing that you may have when smoking meat. And while your at it get the ET-732 so that you get the better wireless range. That way you can take your thermometer remote into the house and know the temps of the meat and your smoker.
  4. jp61

    jp61 SMF Premier Member

    I also highly recommend a good remote digital thermometer. You'll be glad you've made the investment especially during a long smoke. Couple days ago I smoked two butts that took 16hrs to smoke with zero stress involved using my ET-732 in a MES40. You can and should do a boil test on the probes, that way you know exactly what's going on in your smoker throughout the whole process. Speaking of stress.... I just had my mail delivered and my dog is bouncing off of the walls. [​IMG]
  5. daricksta

    daricksta OTBS Member

    Thanks, guys. Since I've already spent some additional bucks on an AMNPS, a propane torch, and wood pellets, I had to budget what I spent on a thermometer. I bought a Food Network remote digital probe therm at Kohls for $19 on sale. FN therms are made by Taylor, and this one is equivalent to the Taylor 1471, which is equivalent to their 808N Weekend Warrior. (Taylor seems to have a practice of repackaging the same kitchen thermometers as grilling therms.) It got 3 stars on Amazon.com, which is better than the 808N did, for some reason. The Maverick ET-73 got 3 stars, which matches the Taylor.  The Maverick ET-732 got 4 stars, even though the reviews were mixed. I can't justify spending another $60 and I'm not sure yet how accurate/inaccurate the temp gauge on the MES 30 is yet so for now I'm going with this new therm in the hopes it'll do what I need it to do.
  6. You will love the wired probe, even if it is not a remote read.

    Opening the door frequently will markedly increase smoke time.

    Also, I always double check the meat with my instant read stick in case I hit a fat pocket or got too close to the bone with the wired probe.

    Good luck and good smoking.
  7. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    You will be fine with what you purchased...The MAV 732 is nice if you are and Old guy, like many of us, and like to Smoke from the comfort of a Recliner...JJ
  8. jp61

    jp61 SMF Premier Member

    [​IMG].... that thermo unit is nice no matter what age you are!  From the comfort of a recliner or bed. Zzzzzzzzz......beep-beep-beep..... what? done already, it seems like I just fell asleep [​IMG]
  9. I own two polders, 2 thermopens and a thermoworks 2k on top of my maverick. I like the remote capability of the Maverick but I still have a hard time getting past the piece of @#&* probes. I have never had a problem with probes on my polders and one of them is 10 years old and I don't baby them! WTH? If they would decide to get some solid probes I would be a total supporter but when people recommend it but say order extra probes because it is not if but when...Big deal it's remote. How about reliable. Sorry for the rant. I just don't get it.
    Last edited: May 1, 2012
  10. daricksta

    daricksta OTBS Member

    ChefJimmyJ, if being 60 is old, then I'm an old guy but honestly, I enjoy going out into the backyard and checking on the food. It's just about my only form of exercise! I think the beep beep beep of the alarms would drive me crazy.

    I read in "Smoke and Spice" that meat thermometers weren't really needed because of the long slow cooking times used for smoking meats but I guess a meat thermometer is necessary for knowing when to stop cooking without cutting into the meat. My MES 30 comes with a built-in digital thermostat but does anyone know how accurate it is for showing the smoker air temp?

    All the reviews of remote thermometers had some complaints where the remote units lost communication with the base units. I still have to stick with the cheapy Taylor model I bought because after buying the smoker, the smoker cover, the AMNPS, wood chips and pellets, a handtruck with bungee cords, a propane torch, a smoker cookbook, I couldn't justify spending $30-60 on a thermometer and for $19, I'm willing to give the Taylor a tryout.

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