Heads Up Temperature Probe Calibrations

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 3, 2007
I have been a smoker for a very long time, but I'm getting to the point/ age that I'm leaning toward pellet smokers. I want to try the "set it and forget it" camp. So... I bought a used Recteq RT700 a couple weeks ago from a guy who said he fought with it for a year or so and finally gave up. I got it for a song and it's all but pristine.

Well, I prepped up a chuck roast, set the machine up for 225F, shoved a meat probe in it and let er rip. Looking at weight verses approximate cooking times, by the time I should have been tearing into it, this little chunk of meat wasn't even close to temp. Maybe. Hmmm I said, no wonder this guy fought with it.

For the record I managed to oven finish it with aftermarket meat probes, so it was still a storybook ending.

Long story short, I stuck a couple of my own thermocouples in the chamber in strategic places (including at the RTD of the unit), and lo and behold the onboard RTD probe was 18 degrees cooler than true temperature of the chamber at that point. Then I calibrated the two meat probes, and they registered way hotter than true temperature (ice water bath method). Yeah I would have sold it too if I didn't know how to cure it. I still have some fine tuning to perform, but I'm confident that it will now perform as intended.

Bottom line as I see it is that periodic calibration of temperature and chamber probes can and will certainly make a difference in our end results. If you haven't done it, I suggest you do so, and if you haven't done it in a while, I suggest you do so. It's simple and fairly quick to do. Just follow your grill's instructions for temperature offset.

By the way, The Recteq seems to be a really nice piece of equipment. I'm anxious to do some more experimenting with it. Stay tuned.
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