Taylor Digital

  • Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.
SMF is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


Smoke Blower
Original poster
OTBS Member
Dec 24, 2006
Catawissa MO
I was smoking summer sausage today and noticed the temp was not changing on the display very often. It would never count up by just 1 degreee, usually 2 at a time. Today it was going in 4 deg increments.

I remembered reading that moisture at the little plug would throw the readings off so I pulled the plug and wiped it on my shirt. The temp was reading 87 when I pulled it, when I put it back the temp reading was 78. That is a hugh difference.

So make sure to dry your plug before you use the thermometer.

Good advice there. Also check your temp with ice water or boiling water. If you get a bad reading check the probe. Today I had one of my Taylor therms reading over 170 before I even put it in the smoker. I was just about to take it back for warranty when I decided to try a different probe. Guess what? Probe is junk.

Here is a silly question. Does water get hotter than 212 when boiling. Do you test the probe just as the water comes to a rapid boil?

How does the ice water test work?


Water won't get hotter than 212°. It just turns to steam. There will be some fluctuation in the actual temperature due to elevation, but this test is fine for our purpose. Be sure and keep your sensor off the bottom and sides of pan you use.

I'll let someone else handle the ice-water method. Is the water actually 32° for sure. I would think there are alot of variables to that, but maybe no worse than the elevation effects on waters boiling point.
Thanks ultramag! I guess I never gave the temp of water much thought. I actually thought it could get hotter than 212.

There are different variables. Altitude, water hardness and other things will affect the boiling point of water, so if your therm is a few degrees off, it isn't something to worry about.
Water can get hotter than 212. It's called super heating. But it will only happen under pressure. A pressure cooker is a prime example of super heating water. There are steam rockets that have entered outer space that use water super heated under pressure then released through a nozzle, flashing the super heated water instantly into steam providing thrust to propel the object. In fact, one of the worlds quickest rocket powered dragsters is propelled by a steam rocket motor, using this method. This is also the way a steam locomotive or tractor works. By retarding the flash point of water to steam under pressure, we can harness thrust from water and convert to horsepower.
Chad, my brother is a refrigeration guy, he did it for 3 years in the Navy and has done it as a civilian for about 15 years. They use ice water to calibrate their therms. Since ice can't get below 32 degrees it is a valid way to check the accuracy of the therm.
The most accurate way of calibrating is to either boil or freeze distilled water. If boiling, you have to adjust for altitude, but the difference is so minuscule, it doesn't really matter for our purposes.
If anyone is interested in steam rockets, I've built several and have done extensive research. I have built rocket motors using water for steam and also hydrogen peroxide. I used to be heavy into 1/10 scale radio controlled dragsters. And not the little kids Tycos or Radio Shack stuff. Big buck, big boy cars that are insanely fast. I currently have the worlds quickest radio controlled dragster, and get no recognition from the only R/C dragster sanctioning body, because I pi$$ed off the president. Under a normal situation, a president could be voted out. But years ago when he founded the organization, he claimed ownership and set himself up as permanent president. Sounds more like a king to me, but that's life I guess.
Gunslinger is correct, there are several variables which determine at what temperature a container of water will boil at. Water will boil within 10 degrees of 212F 99.9% of the time. Who cares if your thermometer is off by up to 10F? Smoking food is not an exact science anyway. The variables and how they affect water's boiling point is always interesting but not necessary to consider when you are calibrating your smoker thermometer. Now if you insist upon a slightly more accurate thermometer calibration then here is an website that will correct the boiling point of water for your current local barometric pressure.

SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts

Hot Threads