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Factory WSM Temp Gage

Discussion in 'Charcoal Smokers' started by mr500, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. mr500

    mr500 Meat Mopper

    OK.. Is the factory gage worth anything?

    I am getting my NEW WSM next week from aimtofind and was wondering you guys' thoughts on the stock thermometer?????

    I plan on putting 1-2 new ones at grate level anyway, but what about the stock one???????????
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    As a rule the stock thermometers do not read the correct temp. I got lucky with my Smake Vault 24" it's stock temp meter read the correct temp. I would test it with one of your probe thermo meter.
  3. mr500

    mr500 Meat Mopper

    Yeah had planned on that most def.

    Since that was one of there changes you would think that its a pretty good therm. But then, it is way up in top of the dome. Rather have one at the grates.

    Have to test it once I order it next week.
  4. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I have found the factory Weber therms are actually a decent therm and usually work fine just out of the box. That being said you have to be aware that you get differant readings at each level, and at the middle vs. the edges  - this is a common occurance on all vertical smokers. So I still use my probes to get an accurate read, but I use the dome therm to keep track of my overall chamber temps. The best thing to do is use a block of wood in the middle of each grate and get a reading at the center of the grate and compare it to the dome therm. Then make a mental note of that temp differance and keep it in mind when you look at your dome therm.

    I usually watch my dome therm when I light my WSM and when it gets to 200° I damp it down to 3/4 closed on all three bottom vents (top vent 100% open), you should steady out around 240-250° on the dome therm. That works great for 90% of your smokes.
  5. mr500

    mr500 Meat Mopper

    Pretty much what I was thinking. Thanks for the input guys. Im going to order her on Fri. Aimtofind seems to have the lowest proce @ 363.00 w\ free shipping. Cant wait. Kid with a new toy!!!!!!!!!!
  6. beer-b-q

    beer-b-q Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

  7. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I've found that the factory therm in my WSM is a good guide, but can vary up to 30 degrees from the grate temps, also the top & bottom grates can vary up to 20 degrees. If you are looking for very accurate temp control then you need at least 1 probe on the grate 2'-3' from the meat. After a couple of smokes in my WSM (got to get the inside coated with mojo) I put probes on both grates & recorded the temps every hour for 7 hours, along with the lid therm temp reading. I can now know the temp variations between the grates. In other words if the top grate is reading 225, then I know the bottom grate is in the 210-215 range. Also, the WSM tends to be hotter around the edge. I would experiment with your new one to see what the temp differences are. I think they may be different on your smoker, due to air leakage around the door & bottom, middle, & top sections. Every smoker is a little different, even the same model.
  8. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yeah.... keep in mind like Al said, the heat is traveling up the side of the smoker so the outside of your racks are the hot spots. I try to keep stuff in the middle as much as possible.
  9. mr500

    mr500 Meat Mopper

    Ill look at the tel tru site.  Makes sense now that u keep things off the outside edges. I have probes that I will use to measure both grates and compare that to the top therm when I get it. After I make sure the top gage is close to 212 in the boiling water.

    I have 2 temp gages in my chargriller and I might use those. I plan on turning that one back into a regular coal grill once my WSM get here on tues anyway. Or I just might KISS and drop in the wired therm next to what I am cooking. I hate to drill holes in my new smoker right off that bat ahahah.
  10. mr500

    mr500 Meat Mopper

    Did you find that your WSM ran hott the first few times you used it? That seems to be the norm around here from what I can gather!
  11. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Yes it did run hot the first few times. I guess it has to get a good coating on the inside so it doesn't reflect the heat back in.
  12. jirodriguez

    jirodriguez Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Here is the one mod I did to my WSM... I love it.

  13. mr500

    mr500 Meat Mopper

    Yeah I saw the Mod. Good thinking. Willprolly do same thing over the wkend.

    The smoker came in last week and damn this thing is bigger than I thought.

    Glad I went with the 22.5  It is HUGE.