Using Meat Temp Probe To Measure Grill Temp?

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
Jan 4, 2014
Cincinnati, OH
Hey Guys,

I recently bought a new horizontal offset smoker, and I am trying to get the most accurate measure of temperature across the entire cooking chamber.  For the Super Bowl, I cooked a full load of wings and some burned while others didn't.  So I obviously have a couple of hot spots.  I thought I had a very even temp in the CC when I first bought the smoker, until I recently loaded it down with meat from end to end.

My question is - can I use meat probes to measure the CC temperature?  I have a Maverick and also another digital meat therm with 2 probes.  So I have 4 total temp probes (3 meat probes and 1 grill temp probe).  My thinking is that if I can put the meat probes in a position where they are grate level and not touching the grate (maybe through a hole on a block of wood) I can measure the temp of the CC in 4 different locations at once.  I've tried to move the maverick BBQ probe around different spots, but when I open the CC door the temp obviously drops and it isn't the most efficient way to get a true reading across the CC.  My plan is to first balance each probe out to level the readings, because I know the probes are bound to be calibrated differently.  So I will do the boil test on each to consider calibrations when placing them in the smoker.

Shouldn't be an issue, as you stated, you just need to ensure it's not touching the grates or anything else.  I've done this several times with my ET-732 just to determine different placements in the smoker and how the temps vary, especially when I'm smoking different types of meats.  My theory on this is that a thermometer is a thermometer, whether it's stuck in meat or hanging in the air should make no difference in how it reads.
Yes i use both probes on my maverick as CC temp probes. Just push it through a potato or something like that so it doesnt give a false reading from the metal grates.
Thanks for the input guys.  I figured that a therm is a therm regardless of what substance you are measuring.  Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something.  I plan to cut some little wood blocks out of 2x4's and drill holes through them to hold the meat probes in place measuring the air right above the cooking grate.

I'm a little frustrated because I have a reverse flow smoker but I found that I don't have very even temp from end to end since some of my wings were burned (and when I say burned, I mean really burned).  The ones right above the RF opening were burned, which is where all of the heat is being pushed through.  My smoker is custom built and I found it on craigslist, only to find that it has a few design flaws after I bought it.  Mainly the stack is restricting air flow.  My hope is that once I eventually replace with a wider & straight stack, it will help draft and maybe that will help even temperature as heat will circulate through the CC better.

First step is to identify the exact differences in temperature from one end to the other in all 4 corners.
A good way to see the differences in you CC temps is to get the pit to temp and then put a couple cans of cheep biscuits spread over your grate wait 10 Min's and look and take notes.

I am so happy someone else has asked this question, now for mine on this subject.  I want to mount my probe in my smoker permanently.   I have a smoke hollow #6 and am thinking about drilling a hole and then putting the probe through it and sealing it up with some high temp silicone.  What do you guys think, stupid idea or will it work? is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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