Most accurate Dial Thermometer for A Smoker?

Discussion in 'Smoker Builds' started by bdskelly, Nov 17, 2015.

  1. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I recently took delivery on a new Stick Burner.  It was built to my specs and I asked that 3 dial thermometers were installed.

    One at the fire box end. One Center. And one at the stack end.


    The smoker is built very well. But it's clear to me that the Thermometers are economy grade.  After using my Mavericks ( Which I trust) and adjusted the Thermometers to temp it was evident that they just didn't react to the temp fluctuations with much accuracy.

    I'll cook using my 2 Mavericks but the dials are handy for general quick observations .  ...that is if they functioned properly. 

    I want to replace them.

    Looking for advice here on the best brands for Dial Thermometers. My fitting is 1/2 inch pipe.  

    I've heard good things about Taylor and Tel-Tru... But know that there is some crap out there.

    Opinions are welcomed!

    Thanks

    b
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  2. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    :popcorn
     
  3. gonavy

    gonavy Smoke Blower

    Me too .... [​IMG]
     
  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Honestly, I don't like dial therms. Here's my reasoning.

    Usually they are no where near the food. They are located in doors, sides of the smoker and only protrude into the smoker 2"-3".

    As far as I'm concerned that's not where I want my pit temp measured. I want it where the food is.

    Just my opinion. I wouldn't waste money on fixed temp gauges. I'd buy the best remote wifi equipment I could find.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2015
  5. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Well after much studying I decided on the Tel-Tru model BQ300 3" dial and 4" stem..  Seems Tel-Tru makes a lot of scientific equipment as well and the units are certified.  They are not cheap!  But claim to have the best accuracy. b

     
    COsmoke likes this.
  6. dcarch

    dcarch Smoking Fanatic

    Get the ones you can adjust. They are all accurate after calibration.

    Use hot oil and a good digital thermometer to calibrate high temperature.

    dcarch
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  7. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  8. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Actually, that was the problem with my existing dials.  I would adjust them but they would still not register proper temps after.  So I've found that just because its adjustable does not mean it is accurate. 

    I have a good feeling these will fix the problem. 
     
  9. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  10. I have one of these on my reverse flow. It can be calibrated also. I take it off occasionally to check it but it has never been off by more than two degrees. I always check it using boiling water and my maverick.

     
  11. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The installed therms will not read the same temp as where the meat sits on the rack... You have to measure the difference between the 2 locations and compensate for the difference.... Either make a chart or do the figuring in your head, when cooking.. I'd make a chart.... my head hurts when I think too much...
     
    bdskelly likes this.
  12. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Mine too Dave!
     
  13. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the tip HammerHead
     
  14. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    And that is why I don't install fixed therms in my smokers. They aren't measuring the temps where I care what the temp is!
     
    bdskelly likes this.
  15. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I agree with you 100% Case.  As I wrote on the first post....

    I'll cook using my 2 Mavericks but the dials are handy for general quick observations .  ...that is if they functioned properly.  

    However I WANT ( not need) functioning temp gauges on this new unit. 

    [​IMG]
     
  16. rabbithutch

    rabbithutch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I experienced this last night when grilling a tri-tip on my Weber Performer. I used the offset heat method with a mesquite chunk after marinating the tri-tip for 24 hours. When I put the tri-tip down to sear, the temp in the Performer lid showed 500° F. The sear was not happening as fast as a 500° grill should have done. After getting the sear and grill marks, I moved it to the cooler side of the grill. Again, the Performer was showing 400° after I adjusted vent settings but the roast was not cooking at anywhere near that heat. My Thermopop was far closer to accurate.

    I think that the temp probe placement in these Performer lids is a very unfortunate design compromise because it reads what is probably the very hottest part of the cooking chamber. While this might lead to more caution and result in fewer overcooked meats, it might also just lead the uninitiated to just ignore it causing it to overcook.

    I didn't measure the temperature at the grill over coals and on the 'cool' side, but my guess is that there might have been as much as 150° difference.
     
  17. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    True Dat... Same issues with my Perfromer.
     

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