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Thermometer Help Please

two much smoke

Smoke Blower
91
15
Joined Sep 6, 2007
Any help will be appreciated as I am so frustrated. I have 2 relatively new digital thermometers. I cooked a turkey for a crowd of 11  and left it on for 9 hours. The thermometer that was in the turkey went as high as 145. I then took the other thermometer and put it in 4 different locations and it also would not go higher than 145.

I needed to get the turkey up to 180 for it to be done. I even tested the thermometers to see if they would go higher and they did.

Finally I had no choice but to take the turkey off and serve it. It was done perfectly any longer and it would have been dry.

Any thoughts why none of the thermometers would get to to the correct temp as everything I have read says 145 is not done.
 

scarbelly

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
14,318
73
Joined Jul 26, 2009
Have you tested the thermometers in boiling water and ice water for accuracy? 

By the way the USDA guidline for poultry is 165 so the 180 might have been a little dry
 

raptor700

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
4,067
56
Joined May 20, 2010
It sounds strange to check 4 different spots and get the same reading!! My answer would be, Run out, get some meat and try again!!!!
 

rbranstner

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,700
38
Joined Oct 18, 2007
I have had issues with my probes when I put them in the meat too early in the smoke but when I would probe it somewhere else it would read correctly again. For example I would put the probe it and it would reach say 145 then it would stay there for a long long time. So long that I knew something was wrong so I opened the smoker and probed in several other places and he internal temp was actually around 170 or more. I have been smoking enough now that I have a pretty good idea how long the meat should take to be done so I put the probe in well over half way through the smoke and I have not had any issues with my thermometers stalling out for a lack of better words. I also picked up a instant read digital unit and use it all the time now to double check the temps of the meat in different areas.
 
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two much smoke

Smoke Blower
91
15
Joined Sep 6, 2007
I have had issues with my probes when I put them in the meat too early in the smoke but when I would probe it somewhere else it would read correctly again. For example I would put the probe it and it would reach say 145 then it would stay there for a long long time. So long that I knew something was wrong so I opened the smoker and probed in several other places and he internal temp was actually around 170 or more. I have been smoking enough now that I have a pretty good idea how long the meat should take to be done so I put the probe in well over half way through the smoke and I have not had any issues with my thermometers stalling out for a lack of better words. I also picked up a instant read digital unit and use it all the time now to double check the temps of the meat in different areas.
Thanks that is what really gets me as the second thermometer I used was my instant read and both read the same.
 
 

scarbelly

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
14,318
73
Joined Jul 26, 2009
Man that is really strange. I have only had that happen once and was said when I moved it the thermo finally corrected itself. I might try a glass of hot water if it did it again to see if it would move. Kind of grasping at straws here but just trying to give you some options
 

two much smoke

Smoke Blower
91
15
Joined Sep 6, 2007
Man that is really strange. I have only had that happen once and was said when I moved it the thermo finally corrected itself. I might try a glass of hot water if it did it again to see if it would move. Kind of grasping at straws here but just trying to give you some options
Thanks I appreciate you trying to help. I have had this happen before with beef but with one thermometer and thought I covered myself by also using the quick read. I guess what I was hoping for was a way to make sure it never happens again. I even tested both thermometers and they all read exact within a degree.

It was really frustrating because I had 11 hungry people waiting and it was raining. We finally decided to carve the turkey and nuke the slives and that was when we found that it was cooked perfectly.
 

rbranstner

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,700
38
Joined Oct 18, 2007
Yea its frustrating when your thermometers are going crazy but if they are calibrated and they both show the same temp in the same part of the meat you just have to trust that the meat must be at that temp. I can't explain why you were getting the same reading all over yet when it was cut it appeared to be done way past that temp.
 

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