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old smokey smoker thermometer off by 15F?

Discussion in 'Meat Thermometers' started by shelby, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. shelby

    shelby Newbie

    I know its not a meat thermometer, but I just bought this today at academy,

    this one:


    I've been browsing this site and have seen this one in a lot of people's pics, is it a good one? did I just get a bum one? I'm wondering if it will be worth my time and gas to go exchange for the same thing that hopefully works right or if i should just be happy that for $10 it's very consistent in reading 15f too low.

    I tried it in our hot water from the tap, meat thermometer that I trust says 135 (wife's idea to have heater cranked that hot, I dunno) and old smokey was 120 right on the mark, boiling water and it was right between the 195 and 200 hashes.
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I can't speak to the brand, but off calibration is just that -- off calibration.  Some thermos have a calibration adjustment.  If yours doesn't, exchange it and test the new one in boiling water.  If that one is off, get your money back and upgrade.  Glad you checked it before using it! 
  3. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    water boils at 212, Use boiling water to test.

     I don't think that you will find a dial thermo That is w/in more than +/- 7-10 degrees unless you go to a labratory grade thermo.They are not cheap.

     I would just use one that i know is calibrated. If it runs 15 degrees to the cold side just add 15 degrees to your finish temp.

     Now, That being said A thermo may be 15 degrees off at X temp. but only 5 degrees off at Y temp.

     My digital readout on the mes is like that.

     If you just want to use a dial type thermo , Try finding one that has a set screw so that you can calibrate it yourself.  Then check it at least everyother smoke to make sure that it doesn't fluctuate .
  4. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Test your thermo meters are the best thing to do to them. I test mine every now and then just to keep me in tune if they are off. Now you always wmat to have back-up too.
  5. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Some thermometers do have a calibration setting check to see if yours does. If it doesn't then bring it back.
  6. shelby

    shelby Newbie

    It didn't have any calibration adjuster that I could see, I ended up close to academy yesterday and exchanged it for the same thing.

    New one is right on 135, same as my known-good meat therm in hot tap water and it's right between 210 and 215 in boiling so it looks like I got a good one this time.

    I just read some terrible news on the news website that its going to be storming saturday. I was wanting to smoke something!

    I have a propane-powered ecb hack-job that I havent touched in 4-5 years, I just got it out last weekend for the first time and made some beef ribs. I thought maybe it was running too hot so I wanted a new thermometer. That's what this thermo I bought is for. I put the new/correct one in it last night on the lid right next to the warm-ideal-hot stock ecb therm and did a little test run up to the middle of "ideal" on the stock therm and found that that's about 300 degrees! (the I in ideal is about 225 and the L is almost 400.)

    This has made me even more excited about smoking something this weekend now that I know that last weekend's seemingly-good beef ribs were cooked at 300, can't wait to do some at proper temps.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2010
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Darn weather!

    Any way you can get your smoker under cover safely?

    If not, you just have to cross your fingers for better weather.

    The weather prediction could be wrong. Usually they're lucky to even get yesterdays weather right!

    Luck to you,

  8. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Shelby,the thermo link you posted has two pages of basicly the same pic's but none of the bussiness end of the unit. It looks like a good unit and if so at the end of the probe it will  a hex nut that you can back off and turn the dial when you're calibrating it in boiling water.

    Back off the nut, drop in the thermo, get the water boiling turn the dial to 212 and tighten the nut up. It should be good to go after that.

    It's been a while, but I think they still work that way.