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What a difference a good Temp sensor makes

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I'm a rookie smoker, just bought a side box burner a couple weeks ago. It came with the screw in thermo on the top of the lid. I've smoked 2 Beef Brisket's, a couple racks of ribs and a pork shoulder with it using the top thermo. A few weeks ago i ordered a standing thermometer to set on the grill rack but those turned brown after 1 long smoke and wasn't sure they were accurate either.

So I ordered a digital wireless temp sensor with the two readings for meat temp and grill temp.

Oh, my what a difference that makes. It turns out my original thermo was 50-60 degrees higher than the rack temp. So I was keeping my temps at 220 (at the top thermo) but the grate temp was only around 170 and I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get my first pork shoulder over 170 internal shocked

So I smoked my first pork shoulder on Sunday (at the proper temps) and holy smokes, what a difference. That sucker was awesome!

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Agreed. Makes it fun to sit inside watching the Twins game while keeping an eye the temp of your dinner slowly rising. As the temp starts to get close it lets you know when it's time to start all the sides too.

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I've been struggling with temps so far in my Brinkmann Charcoal Smoker. Things are cooking fine but I can't seem to get consistent temp readings.

The thermometer that came with the smoker only reads Warm - Ideal - Hot so thats of little use. I installed a better thermometer in the lid which seems to be fairly accurate but I think pulled a thermometer off of an old gas grill and installed it so it was reading near the lower of the two racks and that consistently read much higher than the one in the lid, like 175 degrees higher. In the lid I was getting 240-250 degrees when smoking chicken, on the lower thermometer I was getting up to 400 degrees. I kept an eye on both levels and the chicken was cooking at the same rate so obviously the lower thermometer is way off. In the end the chicken turned out great and the top and bottom levels finished at the same time and neither were dry.

The other issue i was having though was with my digital instant read thermometer. I'd put it the chicken and never could get it to go above 145 degrees I knew the chicken had to be done and I adventually just cut into one to confrim. Even after cutting into one to confirm they were done all the way through I still couldn't get the instant read to get above 145. When I did ribs the previous weekend it seemed to be reading alright for the most part.

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you probably already know that the internal temp of chicken when fully cooked should be 165 deg. the best place to put the thermometer is between the brest and the thigh. i think after awhile we can pretty much tell chicken is done by feel and appearance as well. dont know why your thermometer doesn't get above 145 when your chicken is done after checking like you said. maby defective? i do like the instant readouts a lot. good luck.

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Yeah I was shooting for 165.

I moved the thermometer around a little trying to see if I could get different temps in different spots. Maybe its not as instant read as it claims to be. I left it in for 10-15 seconds and it would climb quickly to 140-145 and then only climb by a tenth of a degree at a time after that. Maybe if i gave it enough time it would have made it to 165.

In the end I could tell it was done by looking at it but the temp was throwing me off so I just cut into it. I'll keep playing with it and compare it to another thermometer I have to see if things are adding up with it.

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