New to smoking

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Original poster
Oct 6, 2016
Benton, AR
I've been reading the post for a while now. Just wanted to thank all the guys that post. I've taken many of the things you have suggested and put them to use. I'm starting out with the Rivergrille Cattleman. I know it's not the best but I'm trying to get in the swing of things then upgrade. I got it for Father's Day and have already smoked 4 pork shoulders, 2 briskets, a few chicken breasts and some turkey legs. No complaints yet. I really just wanted to tell everyone thank you for all of the advice. I'm trying to get better and plan to tackle the buttermilk brined smoked turkey soon. I do need some advice on an inexpensive meat probe though. Thank for all the help!
Hello and 
 to you.

Glad you decided to join us here on this great site.

I'm using a maverick 733, nice unit, bit of a pain

to get used to.

But it works well.

Don't worry about your pit isn't the greatest, learn to use it.

Maybe do some mods on it.

But keep in mind it's the pitmaster that determines how

good the food is.

Remember pictures of your smokes are good things.

The number one rule that must always be followed is

have FUN.

Welcome to the group!  I like the Maverick 733, but it is a bit of a pain like Gearjammer stated. If you're just looking for an instant read thermometer, try a thermo pop.  I have a thermo pen that I love, but they ain't cheap.

I am loving the RT-600C units from Thermoworks for fast "meat thermometers". They're cheap but fantastic.

I see that they now have a wireless remote dual probe system for about $100 that looks tempting.

Always buy Thermoworks products directly from their site and not from third-party sellers. They don't sell through many other retailers, so you can end up with counterfeit products or being overcharged if you don't buy direct.

I have one of their reference thermopens that I use for calibration of industrial systems. It's an amazing device for the price.

But beware. Visiting the Thermoworks website is like wandering into a candy store if you're a thermometer nerd!

Tabbed in.
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Most of us use Mavericks, but it's also nice to have an instant read & Thermapen is a good option.

You can also get something that will do the job at Walmart for $15-$20. Just check it for accuracy in boiling water & ice water.

Always take into account your elevation above sea level when using boiling water as a temperature reference. Here (about 5300 feet above sea level), distilled water boils at about 94.3 degrees C. So you need to know what the figure is for your elevation.

And remember that salt or other impurities in your water can raise its boiling point or lower its freezing point.

An improperly prepared ice water bath can give you readings that are quite far off due to impurities in the water (freezing point depression) or contact of the probe with large pieces of ice that are below freezing from having just been in a freezer (which must, of course, be quite far below freezing so it can effectively freeze foods, many of which will have freezing points well below that of pure water). Also, large voids of free water between ice cubes can read too high.

For best accuracy, you should use distilled or deionized water for both the ice and the liquid water, and grind/crush the ice to "the consistency of a snowcone". Then make sure the water just fills the voids between the ice particles. Not too watery, and not too dry.

Be sure not to touch the water or ice with your bare hands to prevent salt and other impurities from contaminating the system.

Think about how salt is often use to melt ice on roads and sidewalks. This is a demonstration of freezing point depression.

Being fairly careful, it is easy to get very accurate results. But not taking your elevation into account for boiling water, using impure water for both boiling and freezing point, and not preparing an ice slush correctly, can all give significant errors.

(Sorry. This subject brings out the temperature measurement nerd in me).

Tabbed in.
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Thank you for the help. I'm still trying to get everything down. I have fallen in love with smoking. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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