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MES and new dual thermometer

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Holy Crap!...OK...I just bought myself a ET-73 dual probe thermometer, and am smoking 2 brisket flats and one point tonight.  I set my digital thermometer on my MES to 225F and found out it's off by about 30F.


Now...here's my problem...this thing has been ALL over the temp chart tonight.  I have the MES temp set at 164F..and that has given me a temp from 219 - 270F on my ET-73 thermometer. Can this be right?


My meat is at 144F right now and has stalled out a bit....so waiting for it to kick in and get up to 165 to foil it up and take it up to 195F.


Anyway...I cannot believe how far my temps are swinging up and down. I am keeping my vent at the top full open...and I only add 1 cup of wood when the smoke is completely gone


Anyone help me out here.




Edited by flyweed - 6/18/10 at 8:01pm
post #2 of 8

Sounds like the ET-73 may need to be calibrated.


I just used mine tonight for the first time too and am not noticing that issue.


I believe the ET-73 can be calibrated, but I don't have the destructions in front of me right now.

post #3 of 8

Yes, check the ET-73 in some boiling water.  Water boils at 212* at sea level.  If the ET-73 reads differently from that then adjust your readings accordingly.


It is known that the MES internal thermometer isn't always accurate which is why the ET-73 is so useful, but you need to be sure of its readings first.


Also, some contributing factors with temp in the MES include:


1) Whether or not you have the water pan loaded (I usually keep mine 1/2 full)

2) Whether or not you keep the vent open (I keep mine closed, but this is the subject of a flame war around here.  Everyone else except me will tell you to keep it open)


Best of luck!

post #4 of 8

But when you do, be sure not to emerse the probe completly in water. My understanding is that the probes are not sealed or water tight at the top and that becomes their main failure mechanism.  A short coming I've  addressed with a little Permatex Ulta Copper.




Just around the top of it where the wire enters the probe housing now. Don't go overboard with it because you don't want to be eating the stuff. I even slipped a small spring around it and gooped that in place with the RTV to provide some additional strain relief.


It ain't purdy but it should hold up a bit better.


His temp swings could be due to a bad or flaky electrical contact somewhere. With new unit, it's a good possibility.


To find out I'd stick the probe/probes in something that will hold the temp steady, then start jiggling wires and connectors and even tap around on the transmitter and receiver while watching the display.


If you find something, fix it if you're handy that way or else try to return it since it's still new.   

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

ok guys...I checked my Maverick ET-73 in the boiling water.....both the smoker probe and food probe hit 212F on the dot and stayed there.  SO this thing is dead accurate.


Now..it still doesn't address the problem of my temp swings in my smoker....I had the water bowl filled about 1/2 to 3/4 full with plain water...I had the vent FULL open.  I had 3 pieces of meat on...one large flat on the second from top grate and then a point and a smaller flat on the very top rack.  I had the smoker probe located on the second rack with the large flat..it was not touching anything.


Like I said, my temp on my readout went from 219F up to 265F throughout the coarse of the smoke.


The flat "stuck" at 144F from about 9pm until 3am..when they slowly started rising again.  I know they stall out..but has anyone had meat stall for that long??



post #6 of 8

I don't think that the temps in my MES have ever fluctuated that wildly, so I don't know what is going on there.  It might have something to do with the quantity and temps of the meat that you had in there.


As for the stall, I've read of 6-hour ones from other users, so I don't think that is terribly uncommon.

post #7 of 8

Most advice I have seen on the MES (have used my new one twice) is almost like when all else failes on a computer....just unplug your unit after turning it off, wait ten seconds, replug and turn it on again.....they call it resetting and I have read post of that taking care of many problems including temp. problems.....RICK

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

well...I think I figured it out.  Anyway....after reading a few topics on temp issues with the MES...I decided to go ahead and clean both the temp probe that is in the upper left corner of the unit and down lower the "heat sensor" or something like that....they were both pretty black and greasy...so I scrubbed them down until they looked shiney new.


I started my smoker after that..and low and behold, I smoked some baby back ribs at a solid temp of 230F and the smokers digital temp readout was only about 7 degrees off from my ET-73


So I hope that was the only problem.  Seems to be working now.



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