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Digital Thermometers Necessary? - Page 2

post #21 of 34

x2 Bear...i got lucky and my et-73 has excellent range ...shooting through garage and house..if anything ever happened to it i would have another ordered that day. It sure makes the confidence level of walking away from your smoker jump to a new high when you are updated any time you want to be. The bonus of not opening the smoker and losing heat in the dead of winter saves time on your smoke and money. I think it is foolish not to own a good digital thermometer. All it takes is to Ruin one thirty dollar brisket because of a huge temperature spike and a person would wish they would have spent the money on a good duel probe thermometer.


Edited by gotarace - 3/7/11 at 7:17pm
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbranstner View Post


 



My thoughts exactly. As long as you know for sure you are at a certain temp then it doesn't matter what kind of thermometer you use. Also just as important is knowing the internal temp of the meat so you know when it is done and that is was safely cooked. A digital thermometer is much easier for monitoring internal temps of meat because you don't have to open the smoker all the time to get a reading on the meat. Do you have to use one? No. Is it easier? In my opinion. Heck yea! What ever way you go is fine as long as your thermometers are accurate. As was mentioned above you can usually get a good digital thermometer at you local stores for under $20. It may not be wireless but hey that's just an added luxury.



It cant be said any better than this

 

post #23 of 34

ET-732 All the way!  www.amazenproducts.com

 

The only way to go!

 

 

Remember, you get what you pay for!  The glory of a cheap price is soon smothered by the sting of poor quality!  Todd at amazen products will hook you up!

post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokinAl View Post

 Plus dang Rob we like our toys!  grilling_smilie.gif

 


i'm all for toys...........hell, they even call my digital a "thermo-couple" and it's almost 2x' the $$ of a thermapen and it can tell the difference between the bottom temp and the top temp of a glass of ice water...................my point is, an analog dial thermo works just fine, i use one everyday. and i did mention that sqwib posted a good deal!
 

 

post #25 of 34

Cuz we can.........pot.gif. :)

post #26 of 34

I guess I am half way in the middle on this one. If we know what our smoker is doing, we could even use the factory one, or none at all. Until then, I think new smokers really need to know.

 

I like knowing the temp on my meat, even though I might already know by look or feel.

 

I would recommend that new smokers and new cooks rely on a good therm until they get the idea.  Even with experienced cooks, thicker cuts of meat might be best done by thermo rather than touch.

 

I still like the ET 723 so I can monitor my temps from my computer.  Having said that, I do need an excuse to get up for a fresh beer now and then?

post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onoku View Post

The majority of posts I see dealing with thermometers are digital this, remote that. What about a good old fashioned analog thermometer? I am a bit of a cheapo (I can't help it, I'm young and married), and I would rather not spend 50 bucks on a thermometer at the moment. Do constant updates on meat temperature really matter? Or when I think I am done, can I just stick an analog in it to make sure?


I know exactly where you're coming from. As mentioned above, a digital probe has major benefits by allowing you to keep the smoke chamber closed and not lose a ton of heat and add excessive cooking time. Constant reading are not needed at all. I generally wait for at least 4-5 hours to probe a 5lb or larger cut, and 8-9 hours or more before stabbing a really large cut of meat.

 

I don't own a remote unit, but have had several inexpensive digitals. My first 3 Acu-Rite were purchased from the local hardware store for $22.50 each. I've damaged 2 heads, and just today have found that my probe I'm currently using is damaged giving erratic readings. I do have a brand new back-up which I purchased at a nearby Walmart for $15.00 last week. This is a Mainstays brand...a simple temp only, no timer, no time-of-day thermo with an alarm set-point. This unit is also manufactured by/for Acu-Rite, and sold under the Walmart brand. I'll likely grab another one or two for this price...

 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Venture View Post

I guess I am half way in the middle on this one. If we know what our smoker is doing, we could even use the factory one, or none at all. Until then, I think new smokers really need to know.

 

I like knowing the temp on my meat, even though I might already know by look or feel.

 

I would recommend that new smokers and new cooks rely on a good therm until they get the idea.  Even with experienced cooks, thicker cuts of meat might be best done by thermo rather than touch.

 

I still like the ET 723 so I can monitor my temps from my computer.  Having said that, I do need an excuse to get up for a fresh beer now and then?


 

That is a very good point. I calibrate my door thermometers regularly, using a verified digital probe on the grate close to the door therm. Monitoring grate temps with a probe is a practice I only use when I've made modifications to the rig itself which may alter flow through the smoke chamber, or if I load the smoker with different types/sizes/shapes of multiple pieces of meats on multiple grates, or when panning/tenting ribs, brisket or butt to bring to finish temps. Having a pan in a smoker seriously alters flow in the smoke chamber, so if you're still smoking something else while having a panned meat finishing up, it's better to know for sure than guess what your grate temps are. Sometimes, just loading the smoker differently can impact how everything works inside, causing higher/lower fire and/or high/lower exhaust ventilation adjustment to compensate for those changes. That's a good time to monitor grate temps and compare the readings with the door thermometer.

 

Once you've become familiar with all these little changes that can effect the way the smoker runs, you may become more comfortable with trusting the analog thermometer on the smoke chamber door. Same thing goes for the meat you're smoking...get familiar with an approximation of how long it takes to bring a certain cut/weight to a certain I/T below your finished temps so you have some cushion, and then probe for assurance. Just remember that not every similar cut will smoke at the same pace...they have a mind of their own, and when they're done, they're done. Temp swings in the smoke chamber, humidity and a barrage of other factors come into play as well.

 

Good thread, and tons of great responses!

 

Eric

post #28 of 34

Onoku,You can get an analog type at your grocery store,(like cooks use in a restaurant)439.gif.Cost is minimal and usually they are easy to recalibrateyahoo.gif I used to use one to keep an eye on my grate temps.,by way of the little assembly holes icon14.gifSmaller , yes , but you still have good eyes being you are youngsausage.gif.They are not (instant read out) but will do a good job for you at a minimum cost.pot.gif Hope this helps you, and when you get going I hope you can... 

post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 

This sure turned into one hell of a thread. I think I will end up getting the et-73, my wife isn't giving me too much resistance on buying what I want (though she did point out that I am spending more money on cooking gear than she ever did). But I know the way to my wife's heart is through a good set of ribs!

 

I really appreciate all the feedback everyone is giving; really got a good bunch here.

post #30 of 34

Lots of good advice above. Saw squibs link & I am currently using the Taylor 1478 model....15 bucks at Target & no S&H. I do plan on getting the new Maverick, liking the dual probe idea and it's the latest model. Being in a hurry to start smoking again I bought an el cheapo digital for 10 bucks....well, first time out I dropped the thing about a foot onto the concrete patio while taking ribs out of the smoker and that was all she wrote for it. I was pissed at myself for NOT spending the few extra bucks for a better one. The receipt and package was already in the trash so couldn't even take it back. Story of my life, seems like. Back to the store for another better one.....for what I spent on the two of them I should have just ordered the Maverick in the first place. Some things are just worth the few extra bucks....like computers, knives, booze and sometimes...women. You get what you pay for.

post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onoku View Post

This sure turned into one hell of a thread. I think I will end up getting the et-73, my wife isn't giving me too much resistance on buying what I want (though she did point out that I am spending more money on cooking gear than she ever did). But I know the way to my wife's heart is through a good set of ribs!

 

I really appreciate all the feedback everyone is giving; really got a good bunch here.



If you decide to spring a few extra bucks, go for the as HMCM stated above.

 

 

Here is my arsenal

1) ET732

et.jpg

 

10) Taylors

Digital-Cooking-Thermometer-2DBD5_AS01.JPG

 

3) of these Installed

 

2121204070041211880S600x600Q85.jpg

 

 

1) Outdoor thermometer

 

406686.jpg

 

I am much more comfortable during cooks with the addition of the 3 thermos recently installed.

 

 

 

To each his own... plenty of good advice has been posted.

 

 

 

 

post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Onoku View PostBut I know the way to my wife's heart is through a good set of ribs!

 


 

LITERALLY biggrin.gif

post #33 of 34

First, welcome1.gif to the forum! I just updated my digital to the Maverick ET-73 purchased at Amazon for around $30-35 and used it for the first time a week ago and LOVE IT! I didn't have any issues with it and I didn't need to spend the additional funds for the new model that is replacing it, the ET-732. If you don't need a wireless that has a range greater than 100 feet the ET-73 will work just fine. IMHO, it is just as important to monitor your smoker chamber temp as it is to monitor your food temp. With the included chamber probe you don't have to lose precious heat by having to open your chamber up to check temps and you have the freedom to move about doing other stuff without having to constantly monitor your smoke. Good luck with whatever you choose and happy smoking!

post #34 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcarver View Post

People that don't use the available therms amaze me.

They are either 10 times better at this stuff than I am, or they could be taking unnecessary chances.

 

I couldn't live without the modern conveniences of remote therms, because I got enough other things to worry about other than what temp the smoker & the meat is at given times.

Remotes give you the benefit of knowing the temps without opening the door, which is a real good thing when smoking.

 

My two Piasters,

 

Bear

Ditto here, You may consider putting a Thermopen on your Christmas wish list.  You will find it useful for much more than BBQ.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by VirginiaSmokeSignal View Post

Onoku,

 

Another thing that was mentioned in all of the above post was that you need to make sure what ever you use is calibrated but it seems no one told you how to tell if your thermometer was right or wrong.  It is easy, water boils at 212 degrees.  So put a pot of water on the stove, bring it to a boil and insert your thermometer, it should read somewhere close to 212 degrees give or take a bit for minerals in the water, hardness of the water, suspended solids, city or well water etc.  If it is reading correctly it will be somewhere around 212 degrees.

 

Your SMF Friend,

Barry  biggrin.gif

To be accurate, subtract 2⁰ for every 1000ft above sea level.


Edited by Mr T 59874 - 4/18/13 at 4:27am
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