ThermoWorks Smoke - Real world hardcore use and performance report with malfunction.

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Fire Starter
Original poster
May 14, 2016
So I built a smoker big enough to put an old fashioned "Dr. Who" type phone booth inside...  Its 7 feet tall, 4-1/2 feet deep and 3 feet wide..

We raised five pigs this year to a weight of around 450 to 500 lbs each and processed all our own meat.

A couple days ago, we smoked about 200 lbs of bacon and ham from the pigs we slaughtered..  It was a horrible day.. The temperatures were in the low 20's with 10-15 mph winds and heavy freezing rain and sleet..   We basically ran the unit for 14 hours through a freaking ice storm...   Maybe it was "revenge of the swine" ??

So I bought a ThermoWorks Smoke about a month or so ago and finally had a chance to really test it out.    While the inside of my smoker is stainless and non-magnetic, the outside is covered with standard metal barn siding and the magnets on the back of the Smoke worked pretty good to attach it to the side of the smoker.

One problem we ran into is that the steel barn siding has these vertical ribs that prevent the Thermoworks unit from being magnetically attached in an upright position.  The ribs prevent the magnets on the back of the unit from making good contact.  So to solve this problem, we just turned the unit 90deg sideways and positioned it so the magnets grab to the top of one of the steel ribs..   This worked out well..   sort of.

The Thermoworks Smoke has two earphone style plugs on the side for the thermocouples..   they look almost identical to what you'd find on an iPod earphone jack..

They are not water proof!   Some moisture from the heavy rain and ice storm found its way into the jack and caused the unit to think the thermocouples were reading 300+ degreesF when the meat was still below 90 degree's internal temperature.

It was easy to fix..  I just used a small can of compressed air that we used to blow dust out of our computers to blow and dry the water out of the jack hole and then covered the unit with a ziplock bag to prevent it from happening again.

Other than that.. the unit worked very well.    The alarms worked and are easy to hear from several rooms away.

I also want to point out that during the time we were brine curing all the hams and bacon, we used the smoker as a refrigerator..  During the days of curing, I loaded the entire unit up with a total of 8 five gallon buckets, each with 20 to 25 lbs of meat, and two rubbermade totes holding 70 lbs of bacon.     Since the weather outside was on average of around 15 degreesF, I had to install a temperature controller and a relay controlled 250 watt heat lamp to warm the inside of the smoker up to maintain 36 to 40 degrees for proper curing.

We also used the ThermoWorks Smoke to monitor the liquid temperatures around the hams and the air temperature inside the unit to make sure the temperature controller was doing its job and that the bulb didn't burn out without us knowing it.

The ThermoWorks Smoke worked well in this application too..   We simply placed the entire unit inside the smoker so it wouldn't freeze in the really cold temperatures at night. 

Worth every penny of the $99 I spent.    Now I can pack it away in its original boxing and store it until next year.    Of course, we will remove the batteries just to make sure a leaky battery doesn't mess our gadget up.
A second thumbs up for the Thermoworks Smoke from me too
. I had one shipped over a month or so ago and it is now my go-to thermometer to use instead of my Mavericks.
Yup i have one also. My SM Smoker is only off by 4* between the digital built in controller & the TW Smoke
I conquer, have used it 1/2 dozen times now & just ordered another 6" meat probe (spare) at New Years sale. It's a stout device, feels solid & remote is awesome too. Alarm is loud on device & remote.
Well worth the $102 delivered price for "piece" of mind on 12-18 hour smokes.

Good luck and be safe!!
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