Only 1 probe? When do I go from ambient to the meats.?

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by heliboydoesbbq, Jul 3, 2009.

  1. SO basically
    Only have 1 probe? When do I go from ambient to the meat.?
    I'm cooking a few picnics 2and a boston butt tomorrow and only have one probe ... when do I start temping the meat?
    I understand the theroy of temping the"hot" spot first..
    I know the danger zone 40-140..
    so I guess the easiest thing would be to buy more therms.. but.. that costs more $$$ so I got to do with one till I win the lotto..

    What are your suggestions?
    ...Start with Ambient then to the smallest hottest piece and move around hoping to catch the pork at the right time? ...

    Suggestions... PLEASE

  2. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    are you foiling or not foiling?

    if you're not foiling, no worries - just go 10 or 12 hours and then start checking internal temps every half hour after that. if just one or two hunks of meat, i'd suggest the 1.5 hr/lb rule, but with that many i am not sure how that would work.

    if foiling, then that's a little different - i'd start checking maybe at 6 or 7 hours but that's just a guess.

    in any case, keeping the focus on ambient temp is a good idea - as long as you know what's going on there, you're three steps ahead of the game.
  3. morkdach

    morkdach Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    depending on ambient temp. if your in the zone at 225° then go to meat in 3 hrs. this is a good guess as iuse the et-73 & it has 2 probes.
    someone will be along with more info. oh show us what ya got when its done.[​IMG]
  4. TasunkaWitko & morkdach---->

    Thank you For the fast info... I don't have to worry about this till tommorrow today was the buy and prep.. I will be posting at 6am the firestarter.. and update thru the day ..

    I am Foiling and pulling .. so I'm going to 165 internal or so.. then wrappin them up and depending on how I feel (read : Drunk) I might put them up in the "O" for a bit.. till 205-210 or so internal..

    anyway 6-7 hrs was sort of the answer I was looking for and I subscribe to the 1.5 hr/lb rule..

    MORE suggestions and disscussion please.. I'm sure I'm not the only one with one silly digi probe..


  5. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    nope, you're not - there are at least two of us![​IMG]
  6. ddave

    ddave Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Til you win the lotto . . . for cryin' out loud, they're not that expensive. [​IMG]

    But I do understand people have to prioritize.

    What you could also do as a halfway step is purchase another probe (if they are reasonably priced) then just unplug one and plug in the other when you want to switch.

  7. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Go to WallyWorld and buy an oven thermometer that either stands up or hangs off a rack; I have this one and it works fine:

    and it was only a few dollars. I set it on the rack on the smoker and use it for my ambient temp (I checked it against my probe thermo and it's within 2°). Can ya tell it's about 15 yrs old?! :)

    Or you can order a better one off the Walmart site by Taylor:

    but again it's only a few $$ and shouldn't break the bank.

    Pops §§
  8. fatback

    fatback Fire Starter

    how do you keep smoke build-up off of your oven therm? I have tried using one before, and I couldn't read it after a few hours.

    Of course, that was before I learned that the heavy, white, billowing smoke was BAD...
  9. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Hey Heli,

    DDave has a great idea. If you can find a replacement probe for your digital unit, then just leave the extra plug dangling outside your smoker, and then switch them at the main display unit...a quick fix to add additional probes to a single probe unit. Replacement probes are usually pretty reasonable as compared to the whole unit.
  10. pignit

    pignit Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If I only had one digital probe I would use it for the ambient temp. Picnics and Butt are going to take real close to the same time to cook. All according to your temp but I would cook them at 250 for 8 or 9 hours and then start checking them with a meat thermometer. They only run a few bucks at the dollar store and that's what I used until I got my Maverick for Christmas. I would check them every hour and then every 30 minutes as I got close to my goal temp. The butts I have cooked have always taken 10 to 14 hours.
  11. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have 2 now but smoked alot with just one I would start checking after a few hours I would just stick it in one peice for an hour or so and then the other hunk of meat for an hour or so. If your smoker has a temp gauge check it against your probe and you should be able to see the differance and then use the one on your smoker I do that. You can go to wally world and they have a remote temp gauge for about $16.00 and just ccheck it with ice water anf boiling water and thats my story.
  12. tasunkawitko

    tasunkawitko Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    points for a great idea, dave!
  13. gnubee

    gnubee Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Dampen your thumb and rub it on the face of the oven therm and it will come clean as a whistle. Its just glass after all. They cost $3.98 in wally world or the price of 2 lotto tickets.

    To check it the real old fasioned way.

    Place your hand on one of the racks , if you can stand to leave it there for any length of time, the smoker is too cold.

    If you jerk your hand away but its not burnt thats about right for pork or beef.

    If it sizzles and leaves a mark thats a good temperature for poultry.

    If it sticks to the grill and leaves dark brown or black grill marks across the palm of your hand. Turn it down, because Dude, thats way to hot for smoking meat!
  14. the dude abides

    the dude abides Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    HA! Now that's funny

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