Meat thermometer to monitor grill temp?

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Fire Starter
Original poster
Dec 4, 2013
Would that work? 

Here's my situation. I believe the built in thermometer has gone WAY off since I bought it. Partly due to the fact that the smoker doesn't seem to get as hot as it did when I 1st seasoned it. Secondly, last night I smoked some burgers and they got a little dried out. The 1st time I smoked burgers I smoked em at about 325 for 30 minutes, and they turned out great. Last night it could barely get it up to temp, yet they were overdone.

 I have a Maverick ET-732 on the way, but it won't be here for a few more days. However, I am having some people over today and am planning to smoke some chicken breasts. I have a taylor wireless meat thermometer I bought by mistake ( I meant to get oven thermometer, was in a hurry, and didn't read the package properly). I planned on taking it back but never got around to it, because I hate going to wal-mart, and I hate even worse, standing in the customer service line. 

I didn't pay much for it, so I figured, if it would work in a pinch as an "oven" thermometer, it's worth it not to ruin some chicken. Anyone know if this would work if I just wired the probe up to hang from one of the grates in the smoker?
should work fine. You might include some more information as we are not there with you like your location, type of smoker, the weather, A lot of variables there to give you A good answer. I would go boil some water and check your probe first to see how close it is. A lot of the installed units that come with smokers have a nut on the back that can be adjusted to calibrate the temp. a little bit. Water boils at about 212 degrees at sea level so that should give you an idea how close your probe is. Hope this helps at all. If you can drill a hole in a small chunk of wood to stick your probe through it will sit on the grill and give a more accurate reading where the meat is. Some guys use a small potato for this. Also, the real trick to perfect everytime meat is to cook to internal temperature rather than time. All meat is different even different brands of burger or fat content, grind size etc... Just what are you smoking today?
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The smoker is a masterbuilt gs40 vertical propane smoker. The weather right now (and probably last night) is in the mid 50s, which is why it's odd the smoker doesn't appear to get as hot. It was colder when I seasoned it. I also noticed, since my original post that it seems I must have bumped the probe on the built in thermometer at some point, as it looked to be bent to one side a little. 

I just wasn't sure if there was something about the way a meat probe is built compared to an oven probe that would make it not work right. 
Ok I looked at your older posts and now know you have a vertical propane smoker and you live where it might be cold. I am wondering if a little trick I used to do when I used propane a few years ago would help. If your hose is long enough try propping up your tank on a cinder block or something. Propane turns liquid in cold temperatures and may not flow well if the tank is low. Just a thought. Try that and rig up a wind break if the wind is blowing to get the heat you want. Check your probe and you should be good to go.
Mid 50s, geez I wish I had that here. I would be wearing shorts and a tank top haha...I would go by the taylor, just make sure the wire is out of the way of the heat or wrap it with some foil and if you have another meat therm. like an old fashioned analog one check it and use it for IT. Breasts don't take long and are easily overdone. I always wrap with bacon myself. Hope this helps. Happy smoking.
One more note. In mild temperatures like what you have spiders like to build nests in those little air holes that your burner has. You could try poking them out with some wire. I have had this happen quite a few times with my grill. 
Thanks for all the replies guys. The mid 50s is a temporary thing. It was 20 when I got up for work Thursday, and 12 Friday morning, it's been a nice weekend, but cold front is coming back through tonight.  I just got the smoker for Christmas and there's really been no bugs since I got the smoker. (Oklahoma for ya').

But, as I stated before, I don't think it's that the smokers not getting hot enough, I think it's the thermostat isn't reading right. My burgers shouldn't have gotten as dry as they did at the temperatures it was cooking at. 

P.S. Just to make you guys a little more jealous... It actually got warm enough to take the motorcycle out for a bit yesterday. 

(Although while wearing thermals and a hoodie)
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