Best place/height to place probe thermometer on a vertical smoker to most precise temp read

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by doktorekny, Aug 22, 2015.

  1. doktorekny

    doktorekny Newbie


    Im still a novice at smoking. I have a vertical smoker. Im using Maverick probe thermometer.

    Where is the best place to place the "smoker" probe? Top? bottom? middle?  Then is it more precise towards the front door or the back of the smoker?

    I noticed lower temp on the bottom back and highest on the top shelf front.


  2. ak1

    ak1 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    As close to the meat as possible. That's where you want to know what the temp is.
  3. noboundaries

    noboundaries Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I always put the chamber probe on the same level as the food.  The rest of what I'm about to write is how my engineer "out of the box" brain solved temp monitoring issues early on when I first started smoking in my WSM.  I'm familiar enough now with my smoker that I just use one chamber probe and put it on the hottest section loaded with meat.    

    You can use one Maverick and a whole slew of probes.  I just label them on the end that connects to the transmitter with tape folded in half.  They are labeled "Chamber Top," "Chamber Bottom," "Food Top," "Food Bottom."  You can actually swap out the probes while smoking and not lose connection to the receiver. 

    I just had a well used 6' chamber probe fail on me this week and go in the trash. It's been acting up for a while.  You can use a food probe as a chamber probe too until it is time to stick in in the meat.  Works fine.     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2015
  4. doktorekny

    doktorekny Newbie

    Thanks.  Im assuming higher temps are towards to top of the vertical smoker?

    Would the meat be more moist towards the bottom  (close to the water tray)?
  5. demosthenes9

    demosthenes9 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    While you want the probe to be close to the meat, be careful not to get it too close as there's a thermal bubble around the meat.

    As for your specific smoker, you might try doing a biscuit test.  Grab a tube or two of biscuits and arrange them on each of your cooking racks.  Put them in and monitor them.    This will show you where your hot and cool spots are.

    One thing though, if you have more than 1 piece of meat in your smoker, the thermal dynamics may change.  Your hot spots might move due to one of the meats acting as a baffle.

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