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Rec tec temp issues

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
So let's clear the air. I am a newbie at smoking.. Finally got one of those wireless thermometers in. I set my rec tec 225 the other day and placed my probe on the center of the grill. It was off by about 20 degrees less. I realized on the rec Tec their probe is on the side where the heat would probably be coming out. I want to smoke a brisket this week and I am wondering if I should just crank up the temp on the rec tec until the temp is where I want it near the meat? is this a big concern? Also if I move my probe closer to the rec tec one on the side the temps are almost identical. I would just like the temp in the center of the grill to get close to what my thermometer is showing in the center of the grate.
post #2 of 9
You want to measure your pit temp where your food is cooking or as close to where the food is. Did you test your remote therm probe in boiling water? If not you should do that.

It is very common for smoker temps to be off, mainly due to where the probes are placed.

Here's a read on calibrating therms :

http://www.smokingmeatforums.com/t/132670/calibrating-the-digital-thermometer-is-212-f-an-accurate-measure-of-boiling-water
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Did the therm probe checks last night and they were spot on for boiling water. Going to run the rec tec empty today and place my probe in different locations. I really want to do a brisket this week but I don't want to mess it up either
post #4 of 9

With a properly functioning pellet smoker, even one very well built like the RecTec, the temperature varies widely at various locations and heights above the grill.  On my RecTec, this can be as much as 100 degrees difference at various points and heights around the grill. This is the nature of how these grills circulate heat.

 

All that the RecTec "actual" temperature digital readout tells you is the temp in one location well removed from most other spots on the grill.  

 

There are two approaches. One is to just set your temp where you want it and relax.  See what you get in terms of the results, and adjust your cook temps and times on the next cooks until you are satisfied. The other is to get more anal and measure temps at various locations and heights, and use that information to help dial in more precisely.  

 

So, I have just recently taken to keeping a RecTec temp log on Excel.  I have a separate worksheet page for various cook temps.  I use a sweet potato, cut in half, as a stand to hold the temp probes at heights of 1, 3, and 6 inches above grill level.  Then at various times during the cook, I position the grill probe(s) left, center, and right while at the same time front, middle, and back.  Thus, for example, the label I use for the temp at the left side of the grill, in the front, at the 3" level is LF3. This gives me a total of 27 locations inside my RecTec. With each cook, I try to fill in a half dozen or more data points.  I include the difference between the measured temp and the temp registered by the RecTec probe and label with the delta symbol.  

 

Is this worth it?  Well, it tells me where on the grill the actual temp comes the closest to the RecTec probe temp. So on the worksheet for 250 degrees shown below, the data so far shows that the center of the grill most closely reflects the temp on my digital readout, especially 3 inches above grill level.  Additionally, this data, along with data I gathered at a 275 degree cook, shows clearly that the upper right rear of my RecTec is much hotter than the lower front left of the cooker.  So, I take advantage of this when cooking a brisket on the RecTec, by placing the thicker, fattier point end of the brisket towards the right rear, and the thinner leaner flat end towards the left front.

 

This is probably not worth the trouble unless you have the time and like tinkering, as I do.

 

Tim

 

 

post #5 of 9

I have zero problems with heat control of my REC TEC once the grill heats up good the temperature always stabilizes with my maverick which is set center of grill next to the meat. If you have any problems call Trey at REC TEC he is a great guy and will really jump through hoops to make you happy. I recently noticed that the new REC TEC controllers have a new feature called Xtreme smoke. I contacted them to see if I could get the new controller and for 100 bucks they are sending one right out. Always the best customer service I have ever encountered anywhere.

post #6 of 9

Yep, Skorepeo, that coincides with my finding of good correlation between readings at the center of the grill and the RecTec's probe readout.  And I have also found that temperatures do remain very steady during the cook.  I have found the Xtreme Smoke function to not add much in the way of smokiness, but it does seem to even out the temperatures across the grill somewhat, and is just as reliable at holding steady temps.  

 

And totally agree with the knowledgeable prompt customer service the RecTec staff gives.  

 

Tim

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
The temp stays level. I was just annoyed by the difference from what my probe was saying and by what the rec tec probe was saying. It' has cooked good food since I got it. I just did my first brisket yesterday and it came out delicious. Im calling rec tec this week as I would like it to be as close as possible as what my probe says
post #8 of 9


Please let us all know what you find out from RecTec.  They are good people.

 

Tim

post #9 of 9

>With a properly functioning pellet smoker, even one very well built like the RecTec,

>the temperature varies widely at various locations and heights above the grill.  

>On my RecTec, this can be as much as 100 degrees difference at various points

>and heights around the grill. This is the nature of how these grills circulate heat.

 

True for most pellet grills but not all. If you don't want to deal with temp variations and can afford the $$, get a Memphis. The temp varies only a few degrees across the entire cooking area, and at the various levels as well.

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