New Smoker... same old temperature question

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by jeeper79, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. jeeper79

    jeeper79 Newbie

    Howdy, fellow smokers --

    Newbie here, but I've been lurking for a few weeks now trying to brine myself with the wonderful knowledge in this site. 

    Bought a smoker recently (Dyna-Glo offset cheapo) and tried my first smoke this past weekend.  Things didn't quite go as well as expected (surprise!), but it wasn't a disaster.  I was hoping some of you experienced guys here could give me some pointers... The part of the smoke that I wasn't really happy about was the temperature control.  Well, mostly -- I didn't know what temperature it was INSIDE the smoker. 

    I know I cannot rely on the built in.  I have a digital probe for the meat which worked fine.  And I have an infrared meter, which I'm finding out is useless because I have to open the door to figure out the internal temperature.  10 seconds of open door and the temperature drops drastically; not good.

    So... what are the suggestions for a probe-like thermometer that I can mount inside the grill that will give me accurate readings?  Some of the ones that I found by searching here and looking up on Amazon seem to be meant for meats, and I'm not sure if I can just leave those inside the smoker for an extended period of time without ruining it.

    I am supposed to be smoking meat for a fairly big BBQ coming up on the 4th of July, and need to get this figured out before that... Any help would be truly appreciated!!!!

  2. barnold

    barnold Smoke Blower

    Welcome to the group, Jeeper!

    I bought an inexpensive digital meat thermometer a couple of years ago.  It has a probe cable that's meant to be in oven temperatures up to 500°F.  I've used it mostly on my smoker and simply route the cable through the bottom of the main door.  I really need to cut a small notch for it, but I'm almost finished with an automated system on which I'll have a probe that mounts through a hole in the back of the main chamber.  Although my digital thermometer is meant for meat, it seems to read air temperature just fine, too.
  3. Check out the Maverick ET732. It gets great reviews. Gives you both a grate temp and an internal meat temp with a wireless monitor. Reasonably priced IMO.

    Check it out on Amazon.
  4. golfpro2301

    golfpro2301 Smoking Fanatic


    I would have to agree with the joker. Get yourself a maverick. I have 3 of them and I wont use anything else. The other things you can do to improve your smoker are a few mods. First I would go get some small stove gasket and seal up all the doors on both firebox and cooking chamber. Next use a moisture pan in the bottom of the cooking chamber and lastly I would put a piece of metal inside the cooking chamber where the inlet to the firebox is. Put the metal at a slant so it re-directs heat down and to the middle (might be able to find a dryer vent). This will help you even out temps on the inside instead of getting a hot side wall temp which is what you have now. spend a day or two getting to know the cooker. Keep track of how much lit coals you put in and how much that affects the temp. Also you can write on the smoker next to the damper to let you know approx what temps you get when the damper is moved to a particular setting.
  5. darryl209

    darryl209 Newbie

    Hi does your smoker have a factory installed thermometer ? I assume it does.  on my weber bullet I drilled another hole in the top and put in an additional thermometer so there are 2 on top.  your temp should not drop that fast when the door is open. are you making ribs for the fourth ? let me know I can help.  make sure you are using jeffs rub
  6. jeeper79

    jeeper79 Newbie

    @BArnold  @Smokin Joker  @GolfPro2301  @darryl209

    Hey guys, thanks for the replies -- the maverick does sound promising, and I think I'll give it a shot. Will also do the mods as suggested... I did by some high-heat sealant, but then had second thoughts of putting it in the smoker due to possibility of contamination in terms of taste and who knows what else.

    So I'm on the hook for making ribs, pulled pork, chicken, and your other typical stuff for the BBQ, and we're expecting about 25 people.

    I'm thinking of doing the ribs the previous day, refrigerate, re-heat and serve.  Not particularly fond of having to do this, but I'm pretty sure if I wait until the day of and try to time it just right it's going to go down in flames.  As much as I love the ribs, it's also the only meat I think will come out good on reheat.

    The plan is to them smoke the butt in the morning, followed up with the chicken later on.  TBH, I might even put the chicken directly on the grill and not the smoker, depending on the time the butt gets done. 

    I'll try take some pics and post when it's all said & done.  Thanks again ya'll!

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