Whats up with Thermometers?

  • 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.


Fire Starter
Original poster
Oct 16, 2006
Kingsburg, CA
Hey Everyone,

I have a couple questions regarding thermometers. I just bought a new GOSM so these questions are related to this smoker.

1. I have read that you should buy a new thermomter for the smoker and keep it at the level of your meat. Is there a difference between this thermometer and a meat thermometer? If I have three meat thermomters, can I put two in meat and use the other to watch the temp in the smoker?

2. Can I put a meat thermomter with a probe on top of the smoker or do I need to put it on a piece of wood. I am expecting to thread the probe through the top vent.

3. I have read that the probe should not touch the rack. Does this mean it should never touch the racks or only when they are hot?

Thanks for your help.
Ian I also have a GOSM, the thermometer that is in the door ofmine is pretty accurete(?). But that temp. is only good for the middle of the smoker.The rack on the top will be hotter then the one in the middle and the one on the bottom will be a little colder. Seeing how good smoking is all about temp. I also us 3 different probe thermometers for my meat. I send them down through the top vent. You don't want the probe to touch the racks because they will be way to hot and mess up the thermometers. You could push the probe through a potato, then into the meat, that will keep it from hitting the rack. I just be careful when I put then in to make sure they're not touching anything.I wouldn't set the transmiter on the smoker that gets pretty hot. I do set a brick on the top of the smoker and then set the transmiters on the brick. Hope this may haved help you. Good luck.
Not on my GOSM
I mounted a second temp guage above the middle one and find the middle always hotter than the top rack. My guess is due to the vent there. Now in my old ECB, it is hotter, but there is no vent either.
Watch putting the digital temp guage on top of the smoker, over time it may damage or atleast warp (it did mine) the casing of the gauge. I've never had to resort to the potato thing when putting the probes in the meat. Probably due to it being large cuts of meat.
!. A thermometer will read the temp. at/near grate level to give you an idea at what temp. you're cooking. A meat probe thermometer measures the temp within the meat to let you know if it is done or not.

2. Do not put the thermometer processing unit on top of the smoker, that may be the hottest area and can damage the unit. Use something to buffer the heat.

3. If you're using the probe to gauge cooking temp., don't let it touch hot metal when it is connected to the main unit as it can/will damage the probe. I thread a cork/corks onto the probe so it acts as an insulator.

Hope this clarifies a few things.
Okay, this is what I think I am reading.

1. The grates are only dangerous for the probes when hot. They do not hurt the probe while cold.

2. Don't put the thermometer directly on top of the smoker. They need to have some sort of insulation between them like a brick or piece of wood.

I am still not sure if you can measure the temp of the smoker with a meat thermometer or if they are only good for measuring the temp of meats.

Thanks for your replies! They are having a four for three sale at amazon and I was thinking of getting the a couple of the Taylor Digital Oven Thermometers. I do believe this is what Jeff has recommended in a couple of his how-to articles.
You can measure the smoker temp. with the meat probe. Just have 1" or so exposed and not touching the grate or any other metal. I twill read the temp. at the grate/rack. Any other questions? We are here to help each other enjoy our hobby.
No that answers everything. Thanks! This is what I thought but one of the workers at Lowes said that there was a difference between thermomters that should measure the heat in meat and those that measure the heat in smokers. It threw me a bit so I had to come and ask those in the know.
Thermometers measure heat, or the lack of. They have no idea if they are in meat, thin air, or a veil of thin blue smoke.
I lay a piece of 2X6 about 6" long on top of my GOSM on a rear corner and set the thermometer remote sending unit on it. You can do the same with your thermometer.
Your GOSM will run cooler at the top, hotter the lower you go. Down low you are getting the heat direct from the burner, it cools a bit as it rises, could be about 15° difference. Play with your thermometer on each rack, you'll see.
You could install some extra thermometers. Here is what I did - works for me.

I just drilled a 3/8" hole in the side of my brinkman propane smoker. I can fit 3 or 4 probes through it and then set the displays on a bench beside the smoker. Seems to work fine.
I just purchased a GOSM big block and am a little hesitant to put holes in the side! I was thinking of using probes and threading them through the top. I DID just buy a Char broil thermometer to put on my little char broil smoker. Now I am starting to wonder if maybe I should just drill a hole and put it on the GOSM like Peculiarmike (or is that what makes you peculiar?)
Peculiar is where I live. Come to think of it though some folks have said ..................! Hmmmmmmmmmmm ...............
You won't hurt it permanently installing thermometers. Generally they require more than drilling holes, you probably will need a hole saw.
Nothing wrong with running them through the top vent. That is what I do with my meat thermo probe. Works fine.
Ian if you have a chance you should really do like Debi said and check oujt the door thermometer. I thought mine was way off so I pulled it back out and boiled some water. When the water started to boil I stuck the tip of the probe in it and to my surprize 212. It was one of my hand help digital ones that was off.
Maybe be a stupid question but why does touching the hot rack with the probe break the thing?
SmokingMeatForums.com is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

Latest posts