Saturday, June 07, 2014


Yesterday, while cooking ribs, I took a break from the smoker and ran to Wal-Mart, looking for a thermometer.  Yeah, the smoker has a bi-metal thermometer on it, but those are notorious for inaccuracy and I wanted to see what was available.  I came home with two, and put them to work, monitoring various parts of the smoker.

The larger unit is a Taylor thermometer that I picked up at Wal-Mart.  It cost 15 bucks, and has a probe that you can put in the oven.  So, I wrapped the middle of the probe in a ball of aluminum foil to keep the probe tip from touching anything, and put it in the middle rack of the smoker.

The display unit has a small magnet that you can use to put it on the smoker, but I preferred to use a gas pipe that's running up the wall.  That keeps the unit away from the heat of the smoker and puts the display at a convenient height.  The thermometer displays two temps, the actual on the left and the target on the right.  It comes with an alarm feature when you're using it as a meat thermometer, but I'm ignoring that read-out for todays purposes.  This little unit supposedly has a range of 32F ro 482F.  We'll see about that.  As long as it goes to 400F, I'm good.

The second thermometer, also by Taylor, is a smaller, pocket thermometer.  I stuck it in the top vent of the smoker to see what the temps coming out the top vent are.  I can't find it in Wal-Mart's online catalog, but it was hanging right next to the other one, on the shelf.  Also, 15 bucks.

Interesting that this one is reading a good 35F higher, out of the top vent.  But, heat rises, so there's that.

Still, it's nice to see how temperature varies across the various places in the cooker.


Gary said...

Try smoking a corned beef brisket. It ain't too bad.

Pawpaw said...

Never tried a corned beef brisket, but I've smoked plenty of packer-cut briskets. It ain't bad at all.