How do you keep your probes alive and accurate

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Original poster
Aug 19, 2006
Tomball, TX
I'm having mixed results with Maverick and Polder probes. I'm going out of my way to keep them out of water, but it seems that the smoker kills them way faster than my oven ever did. They seem to start out fine but after a smoke or two i just can't trust them anymore. Does anyone have any insight on this?

Chris Green
I wipe mine down only with a damp cloth and they never get exposed to more than 350F. So far my two Maverick ET-7 probes have made it thru about 10 smokes and they are still working correctly.
One of mine got weird in the winter cold and never did work right again.
I have four of the Taylor thermometers and have used them about 20 times each. I always wash them thoroughly (not submersed) and have never exposed them to more than 350*. Also, I am very careful to not allow the probes to come in contact with grids or any other hot surface. So far they just keep on working.
I have the cheapo Sunbeams from wal-mart. I wash the probes off with a hot soapy dish cloth after each use, rinse and dry them and keep them in a large zip lock bag. They have never been in temps over 300 degrees. I bought the first one last summer, probably have used it 20-25 times in the smoker, grill and oven and it's still working fine.
Got a cheap Acu>Rite for around $15 last Oct. Been used maybe 20 -25 times. Still working like a champ. Hot water wipe down after each use is all it needs.
My luck varies it seems. I've got a few that have lasted in the dozens, and others that seem to die after 1-2. I took some Polders back a few times when they died right away or didn't even work properly out of the box, but these are all dying after the return period. Oh well. I guess it will just be a cost of the hobby.

Chris Green
I wrap the cables with foil before I put them in the smoker. That protects the cables, and makes clean up easier. I just use a scrubby on the probes and wipe off.

I have several different ones, including a Maverick ET-73.

If you don't have the rack clip that comes with most thermometers, you can sacrifice a potato to hold it away from any metal surfaces ... actually, you can eat the potato after if you want ....
Foozer;48085 said:
How do you keep the smoker probe from touching the grids?

I use a big cork. Drilled a hole through it and ran the probe to the "bend". Keeps the probe from touching the grate.
I found a $20 job at target that is one of those remote thermometers that I can take in the house with me and even up or down stairs. I read some mixed reviews on line, but I've used it probably 15 - 20 times and seems to be working ok. I've just washed with wet dish rag and thoroughly dried.
Anyone have a link to buy extra probes? I use them for regular cooking so they get exposed to 425* every week.

I have burned out quite a few.
I tend to agree with most in the fact that the probe should not be exposed to high temps for a prolonged period of time, although I have used it in the oven at 350* for 1 1/2 hrs. at least 6 times. I have a Polder that's been in use for 3 years now and it still reads and works as it was made to. Be very careful about the probe touching metal when it is connected to the main processing unit, this can fry it! And as to the wire cable where it attaches to the probe, do not let it get wet. It will quicky begin to corrode internally.
Foozer;48085 said:
How do you keep the smoker probe from touching the grids?

I drilled a hole in a 4in piece of kindling, any wood would work. Also you can stick the probe through a small spud. Hope that helps. Terry
I wrapped the probe cords in shrink-wrap to help protect them. Kinda thinking now....looks like I need to do it again because the heat has taken its toll. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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