Smoker thermometer, using probe type?

Discussion in 'Pork' started by isho21, Nov 1, 2011.

  1. Hey all, as a relative newcomer to smoking, I've been watching lots of youtube vids for instructionals on how to smoke food. One thing I've been noticing is that some rigs don't actually have a built-in termometer but instead have a probe sticking out and they refer to its screen to see how hot the smoker is inside (even when it's empty, so it's not sticking in some piece of meat).

    My ECB doesn't have a thermometer and I don't have easy access to purchasing one since I'm overseas.  I do, however, have a probe thermometer which I've used for pork butts and so forth. It's this CDN one: 

    So my question is, can I use this to get a read of the temperature inside the smoker without being inserted in some meat?  And if so, where do I place it?  I imagine i wouldn't want it to be in direct contact with the grates, right?

    Thanks for any help!
  2. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Stick it through a potato so the pointy end's hovering a little under an inch above the middle of the grate. You're right, you don't want it touching the grate. Welcome and good luck!
  3. oldschoolbbq

    oldschoolbbq Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    [​IMG]Isho,a quick answer is yes, you can use it to monitor heat,push it through a potato and lay it on the grate.

    As to how to get it there,well we need to see your smoker to know what you have, if it is a Bullet type,thread the probe through the vent on top of the smoker. You might have a horizontal smoker and that would mean you would have to go through some access made in manufacturing the smoker.

    I hope this helps, someone else will be by later and could have a better explaination.
  4. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    I just use a red potato like in this cheese smoke I did. I'm sure any potato will do but the little red takes up less space. Ive seen some guys permanently stick a probe through a wooden block but for me the potato or a french roll does the job.

  5. Mdboatbum and oldschoolbbq, THANK YOU! Great tip on the potato.  Simple and smart!  

    I have an ECB which I modified (see so the vents on the lid would probably serve just fine for threading the probe through.  Can't wait to try it!

    And also, thanks for the warm welcomes, can't believe how friendly people are on this forum, love it!
  6. Teez, great pic, thanks! Can't wait to try smoking cheese.  It's done at a lower temperature, right?  Cold smoking?  Also heard of someone smoking salt, definitely interested in trying that!
  7. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  8. Since the remote probe was reading inaccurate, i switched up to a digital meat thermometer poking through one of the holes on the vent...worked like a charm!

  9. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    The only problem with that is, all the heat is at the top and it;s not giving you a true "at grate reading". But it's better than nothing...GL
  10. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    My recommendation is to take the reading as close as you can to meat level.

    This is a setup some of us use.

    Note this is not a therm to monitor the temp of the meat.  Only to monitor the temp of the smoking chamber:

  11. teeznuts

    teeznuts Master of the Pit

    Ya cheese is a cold smoke. The AMNPS that Todd Johnson sells is perfect for it. If you see in my pic I have a big block of ice in my water pan keeping the inside of my smoker cool to avoid melting the cheese. I've seen a few people on here mention smoking salt. That is something I hope to do soon.
  12. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I use a piece of wood chunk that I had from smoking bacon. It has lasted over a year now.
  13. Thanks for the tips, everyone.  I realize it's not ideal...soon will get a real lid-insert thermometer and install at grate level.  However, this one has the sensor about 5-6 inches from the screen, so when I poked it through the hole on the vent, the sensor was probably about 2 inches from the grate, i figured it's close enough for the time being...
  14. I "hot smoked" some pretty firm cheese yesterday that doesn't really melt much.  It held up reasonably well in the smoker, and was delicious.  Also did a little salt.  I had read about it somewhere and without having any idea how to do it, I just put a couple tablespoons' worth on some aluminum foil and put it in with the rest of the stuff I was bbqing.  Turned out great!
  15. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    good deal on the salt, the cheese has to rest for a couple of weeks after smoking to really get that smoke flavor deep into the cheese. If you have a vacuum sealer get the cheese good and cold (to prevent smashing it) and then vacuum seal it and put in frideg for 2 weeks. I didn't know your therm. was that close to the grate, so that should work pretty good then. be sure to check it in boiling water for accuracy.


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