Bought an MES 40 last year and finally broke down to buy a wireless thermometer to gauge what the actual temperature is in the smoker. I bought a weber dual thermometer I saw at lowes with the metal prongs similar to the meat thermometer attached to the smoker. I was curious because I tend to have meat finishing cooking further ahead than I originally intend. I presumed the smoker was hotter than the internal thermometer was leading on. after todays tests, the smoker temp reading on average was about 15 to 20 degrees cooler than the thermometer in two parts of the smoker with the top on average being one to two degrees hotter than the bottom. so when it read 205 on the smoker, the probes were about 220-225. What I am wondering is if I should just always presume that this temp difference is always what it will be, or should I be more skeptical and always have a probe in there monitoring outside of what is normally there? Also can I trust the temperature readings of probes that are technically for meat?
Smoker temperature and which to go by
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First thing to do is test that new thermo put a pot of water on the stove and get it boiling then with gloves or a pot holder put the tip of the probe in and see what it reads then do the same with the other probe they should be right around 212 unless your at a high elevation. Once you know they are accurate then you can see how far off the thermos in the smoker are and adjust accordingly. Usually once you determine the smoker thermo is off by say 10 degrees you can just assume it is off that far and only check it once in awhile to make sure it's still the same