Temperature Measurements

  • 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.


Original poster
Jun 25, 2007
I have a mini-offset smoker, and the thermometer on the top has about a 3" stem. A thermometer placed on the grill surface reads about 25-30 degrees higher than the top thermometer. Should I adjust my temperature to allow for this difference? When a temperature is specified (such as 250 degrees) where is this temperature to be measured? On the grill surface, or from the themometer located on the smoker lid?
Jump on over to roll call Groyston, we'll give ya a proper welcome!

As for the therm in the lid.........Probably off, temp taken at grate level is the most accurate place to measure, either with a digital probe or oven therm.
BTW, welcome to the SMF
Hello Groyston2. I just started and as far as temp goes I have learned that the temp on the lids is always higher than the grill, but iit s an indicator of how it is smoking. The important temp though is of the meat.

My smoker is about 20-30 degrees different at the lid versus the grill. So i just keep that in mind for when to add more fuel, or open and close the damper. But when the meat is done it is done.

have fun
What calismoker said. My Pitmaster was always about 35° warmer on the lid thermo and once you account for that fact you can run one less probe into the smoker. Heat rises.
Thanks to all for the prompt, helpful replies. I know that the temperature on the lid thermometer always reads higher since heat rises. I was surprised to find a 25-30 degree difference in the lid and grill surface temperatures. I do use a probe meat thermometer and cook to the recommended meat temperature. I have been smoking with a lid temperature reading of 25 degrees higher than recipe-recommended temperatures, and have successfully done chicken, ribs and brisket.
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.