Both probes on Maverick ET-73 are 4+ degrees off

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by chapterthree, Jan 26, 2015.

  1. So I smoked [destroyed] a brisket flat yesterday, came out over done and no good (I haven't made a good brisket yet though, still working on it, everything else I have made is good though).  During the crutch I saw the internal meat probe was climing pretty rapidly.  I saw it hit 200 and I knew it was way too soon, so I moved that probe to a different spot and it was still reading 200.  I then used my instant read pen thermometer and it showed 190.  When I pulled the brisket out that night the pen thermo was reading 203 (where I wanted it) but the Maverick was reading 213!!

    Today I tested all 3 thermometers in boiling water (the pen thermometer, the smoker probe on the ET-73, and the meat probe on the ET-73).  The pen thermometer read 211.5-212, great.  However *both* probes on the ET-73 read 216.

    I purchased the ET-73 in May 2012, and it's been through maybe a couple of dozen smokes.  Do you think it's time to replace the unit?  I was thinking about just replacing the meat probe, however the fact that the smoker probe was reading 216 as well concerns me.

    Any thoughts?
  2. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    With brisket you need to go by feel not temp. The toothpick or probe test does not lie. Mavericks are only accurate to 3-4 degrees. Ballpark then probe. Brisket can be done at 190 or 210 and anywhere in between. Nature of the beast. If you want ultra accuracy go with thermoworks. Just be ready with the wallet and some Rolaids. They are a little pricy.
  3. Ahh interesting, I didn't realize they were only 3-4 degrees accurate.  Hmm OK, then maybe they don't need replacing... although it was concerning when they were reading 10 degrees difference.

    And FWIW I'm not blaiming the Maverick for my crappy brisket, it came out bad for tons of reasons, and I had the instant read which I believe was quite accurate.

    When I was moving the probe around and using the instant read, they didn't slide in as easily as I would have liked, so I figured it wasn't 'super tender', but I've also heard that you should always pull if it gets up to 205 regardless of tenderness.  First I've heard of 210, so I'll have to keep that in mind.  I also was not manually checking starting at 190, so I'll have to do that next time too. :)
  4. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Also, check this link out for the boiling point depending on the barometric pressure & altitude !

    Case (dirtsailor2003) pointed this out to me cause I thought my Mav & igrill2 were both off by quite a bit !

    Where I live is near 5,000 ft in elevation & my boiling point is generally round 203-204* depending on the barometric pressure.... This link was real helpful to me at least !
  5. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    I use my thermopen when checking the internal temps of my meats.  It is accurate, I always take my briskets to 195-197 before pulling and into an empty ice chest for at least one hour and 3 hours is better.  I should also say I always foil my briskets at 165.  I believe that foiling, shortens cooking time as well as preserve moisture.  I have never had a brisket fail using this method.  Don't give up!

  6. Thanks, I actually live at sea level. :)  And I believe elevation would only lower boiling point, not raise it (to 216 like I was getting)... I guess unless you're below sea level.
    195-197 huh, interesting, I haven't even considered that temp, I think I'm going to have to start doing a manual tenderness test a lot earlier in the ball game. :)  One of my biggest downfalls yesterday was I got lazy and let 'er rest in the smoker... but I had forgotten to open the door for a bit to let out some heat, so it sat in heat for way too long... I also ended up crutching a bit later than I would have liked (168, but I don't know how long it had been in that range, I was gone for a few hours)... suffice to say I have lots on my 'change list' for next time. :)

    Brisket has been a challenge for me, but I shall master it one day. [​IMG]
  7. I use a toothpick test on all of my briskets and have never had a bad one. I don't use foil.

    Happy smoken.

  8. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    195-197 is for slicing, if pulling take it to 203-205.  You can, as David says use the toothpick to test for tenderness.  I haven't found that necessary using the temps I use.  It is always possible I'll run into one that is not ready at my temps but haven't yet.
  9. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    This shouldn't be an excuse but the ET-73 is a very old model and so I can't speak to its accuracy. At any rate, it's outdated technology now. The latest models are the ET-732 and the even newer ET-733. I own the 733 and have found it very accurate.
  10. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    My last unit was the 73 before I got my new one a couple years ago. They are very slow compared to the new ones that is for sure. But, still better than nothing.
  11. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    You're right about that. I'm amazed at how the technology has advanced. Guys here are buying Thermapen clones that appear to work just as well for around $25. There are also Maverick clones from different brands at various price points. Just an abundance of choices from affordable to "hope the wife saves up to buy this for me for my birthday/Father's Day/Christmas/wedding anniversary..."
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  12. timberjet

    timberjet Master of the Pit

    You know, some of those knock offs that look just like mavericks are. Just marketed to other countries a lot cheaper. Same electronics and everything I have been told.
  13. daricksta

    daricksta Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The less expensive knockoffs typically have cheaper-looking plastic cases and printing. I forget in which thread I read where one of the guys said that different Chinese factories will churn out the same parts but they're be of widely varying quality and they're graded as such. The best are graded A or something and cost the most. The low-quality ones are graded D or whatever and are sold cheaply. The manufacturers decide how much they're willing to spend on parts and may buy the top of the line, the cheap ones, or whatever. I'm not clear on how it all works but it's possible that while my MES 30 is trouble-free and a solid unit, someone else's may be a lemon because for whatever reason that assembly line run used cheap parts installed by workers who didn't give a crap as did whoever did the QC.
  14. I still have a Maverick et-7 that is working great. It is a lot slower than my ET-733 but it can stay around as long as it keeps working.

    Happy smoken.


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