I am not able to accurately tell what the temperature is in my smoker and I think I have been smoking at least 100 degrees lower than I want. I have three gauges - one on the smoker (Old Country BBQ Pits Pecos Coal Smoker), and two on the grate, one is an oven thermometer and the other is a kingsford grate thermometer. I place the two thermometers in different places on the great.
The problem is that there is no rhyme or reason to their reading compared to the smoker's thermometer. One will be higher, the other lower and vice versa, instead of the smoker's reading going up and down along with the grate thermometers. The bigger issue is I don't think I am getting enough heat, even when the grate thermometers read 225. It doesn't feel hot at all and usually takes me twice as long to cook something. and when i put my hand over the smoker vent it doesn't feel hot nor does the grate (if I count in 1000s with my hand over it).
I havent tried only reading the smoker thermometer which is my next effort, but any thoughts would be appreciated. I am new to smoking and have tried about 7 times and nothing has come out well yet except one tri tip which is probably impossible to mess up.