Is my maverick this far off??

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by hickorybutt, Jun 22, 2014.

  1. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    I've been using a maverick for a few months now as my primary smoker temp gauge. I never did a boil test when I first got it, but when I turned it on in my house it measured 72 degrees which is where my a/c was set so I went with it.

    I just got a tell tru last week cause I figured if my maverick ever died during a cook I'd be up a creek. The gauge that came with my smoker sucked. So I did a boil test on the tell tru to be sure and it was right on 212.

    Well when I put the tell tru on and started my smoker this morning, the maverick is almost 70 degrees off??? It is positioned relatively close to where the tell tru probe is too. I noticed my maverick getting funky during my last smoke over Memorial Day, but can't imagine it's that far off. Did I maybe knock the calibration of the tell tru off during installation? I tried not to tighten it with the dial and just with the nuts.

  2. wolfman1955

    wolfman1955 Master of the Pit

    You should do the boil test on your maveric probes, Just the tip of them, You don't want to submerse them in the water. You may also want to change the batteries, mine gives weird readings on low batteries.
  3. bobank03

    bobank03 Smoking Fanatic

    solid advice. The boil test for all thermos! 
  4. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    Yep, I should have thought of that. Did the boil test on the tell tru but could check the maverick as well. I did actually change the batteries last night. Thanks!
  5. Another test you can do is the "ice water" test. Grind up a batch of ice into a slush, let it set for just a couple of minutes to really freeze the tad of water........then insert probe.

    That way you have a high and low.
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Are you using the ambient probe for the Mav or the meat probe? I had problems originally with my Mav when I was using the supplied meat probe as an ambient probe. Would read fine under 100* bit once over that it was wonky! That being said I'd pull the smoker therm and test the Mav and tell true side by side in boiling water.
  7. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    I'm using the ambient probe for the maverick. Good idea about using them both in the same boiling water test. Also the ice water test was a good idea. I've got two pork shoulders on today, so I'll have to pull them later!
  8. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have found that submerging the electronic probes in water up and over the braided casing, can allow water to get into the SS sleeve...... that can cause low readings above 212..... I also found that drying the probe and braided sleeve in an oven at 250 for several hours will evaporate the moisture from the SS sleeve and bring them back to correct readings....
  9. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    I've never submerged e-probes in water, but what I did do is a ton of spritzing with a squirt bottle during my Memorial Day smoke. I also had a water pan on my RF plate to further add to my moisture levels in the CC. Was doing a brisket and wanted to keep it as moist as I could.

    Maybe that is why my maverick grill temp probe is measuring low...? I'll give the drying process a try. The mav seemed to work just fine as far as accuracy over the last few months. It wasn't until recently that it started running really low.
  10. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    I did a side by side boil test tonight. Tel Tru measured just a tick above 210, and the maverick just displayed "LLL". I think that means that the temp was below its 'range', am I correct?
  11. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    Well I just gave it a second shot, and the mav measured 212. So both therms measured 212in boiling water and I held them there for 60 seconds.

    So I'm now confused as to why my tel tru would read 350 in my smoker and why the mav would read 280. I get that heat rises, but I'd say my tell tru probe is only 5" above grate level and 5" sure wouldn't make a difference of 70 degrees...
  12. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hickory, would help to see wider pictures of your smoker and the placement of the tip of the Tel Tru and the Maverick.   Also, some details as to the type of smoker as well as when you were taking your temp readings (in relation to firing up the smoker).
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2014
  13. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    Here is a wide shot of the smoker.  Reverse flow, custom built by a local welder.  This therm. on the door in this picture is the original therm that the builder used (piece of s***).  I put the tel tru in the same spot.  The maverick probe was placed right in the middle of the CC clipped to the grate, directly in front of where the tel tru probe hovers inside the CC.  The tel tru is a 4.5" probe, so like I said earlier I don't think it was any more than 5" above grate level.  So I don't think 5" of height difference between the mav and tel tru probe would make 70 degrees.  Can't figure it out.

  14. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The foil wedges in the door, can allow for cold air to be sucked into the Cooking Chamber....

    Without the smoker being "perfectly" air tight, infiltrated cold air will cause many problems..... Most folks do not realize.....

    These smokers need to be air tight......
  15. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic


    I've heard (read) from some folks that electronic therm wires can be ruined by going 'bare' under the smoker door if they are touching against the hot steel, which is why I put the foil on there.  What has been your experience with this?  I think my maverick wires would seem like they'd be fine because of the braided wires, but I also have an electronic meat thermometer system that has a rubber-type material covering the wires and I imagine it would melt.  To your point, the door doesn't 'shut' all the way with the foil wads covering the wires.
  16. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    And that air leak could cause infiltrated cold air to lead to a lower reading... that will also have an effect on the way food cooks in the smoker.... and since the air in the smoker would not be a homogeneous "solution", the probes "could" read differently..

    I'm just pointing out what I see as a "condition" that could have an effect on the operation of the smoker.......

    Since the door is ajar, and the exhaust stack is "downstream" of the open door, it is easier for the door opening to draw air from that "crack" than it is for air to come from the firebox.... less resistance to pull air from there.... same goes for other infiltration points in the smoker.... less resistance...

    When you look at a RF smoker, from the air inlets on the FB to the exhaust stack, there is a significant amount of friction from the entire smoker that the exhaust stack has to pull air through....

    I'm just pointing out the "physics" and how a smoker works, and trying to explain why there may be a difference between the 2 or 3 temperature instruments....
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  17. morning wood

    morning wood Smoke Blower

    A small point about checking thermometer accuracy using the boiling point of water.  For this application it probably doesn't mean too much but for anyone reading this in extremely high or low elevations water doesn't always boil at 212F.  For example Cincinnati Ohio boils closer to 211F while Denver boils closer to 202F.  Anyone interested in checking their area out can go here:

    With all that said I usually feel that if my probes are reading withing a few degrees it is accurate enough for me.  I have two Mavericks as i have some cooks that require the use of 2 smokers.  When i get the feeling something is wrong i put the probes side by side during a cook to check against each other.  It is shocking to me how close they are even when i think they are off.
  18. radioguy

    radioguy Smoking Fanatic


    Good that you tested both thermos and verified they are accurate.  You just need to figure out

    a way to use the tools, to your advantage / liking. 

    Here is what I do with relative success.  This is on my el cheapo electric,

    but it should hold true on a RF / CC.  The therm in my door is pretty accurate and placement does not vary.

    The placement of my MAV probes very from cook to cook, more less meat in the CC, different

    pans and such.  These are the variables that cause differing temps in the CC.

    I place the ambient MAV probe in a good location, near the victim.  Then I use the door (reference)

    thermo to get the temp set and just note what the MAV ambient reads.

    Some cooks its pretty spot on, others I have 10-30 degree difference.  The MAV always reads least so far.

    So I'm smoking at say 230, (door reference), and my MAV reads 210, then I use 210 to set alarms on the MAV,

    put the remote in my pocket and go work in the garden.  This works pretty good for me.  

    Dave is right about the varying temps in a said cook chamber.  All those variables, weather and so on. 

    FYI I also but a dab of NSF red silicon on the probes, then put some heat shrink over top.  I

    never immerse the probes in water, just use a dish rag or Brillo pad to clean them up. 

    Hope this helps out. 

  19. hickorybutt

    hickorybutt Smoking Fanatic

    That makes a lot of sense - thanks.  It could be that since the bottom of the lid opening is right at grate level, and my maverick probe is clipped on the grate, that cold air is being sucked right over the grate and out the exhaust stack.  Since the tel tru is placed higher up the lid in the cooking chamber, that cold air may not be passing through that area as much.The air from the firebox already has to pass across the CC and back before going out the exhaust, and then when I have 4 pork shoulders on the grate it is even more friction.  Makes sense that the exhaust can just suck air from a crack in the door much more easily.
    Thanks Morning.  I did actually look at a boiling point temp chart before doing the test, and figured that only a 1 degree difference for Cincinnati wouldn't make much of a difference for my test.  I was more concerned about the big temp difference between my two therms than having them both dead on accurate.  I'd be happy with them being within 5 degrees of 100% accurate.  Not much of a difference cooking at 245 vs. 250 IMO.
    Thanks for the suggestion!  I'll probably look into something like this, at least for my rubber-lined meat probe wires.  
  20. Years ago I made sure I ordered some xtra probes for my thermometers as you never know when one will die on u!

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