^^^ I suggest purchasing multiple $4 oven thermometers and placing them around
on your cooking grate to determine if you have hot spots, etc. I've cooked on many
different types of cookers/smokers and my experience is that the exterior mounted
thermometer is always off by as much as 50 degrees depending on placement, some
high and some low. Once you learn the difference (yours, surface temp to outside
monitored temp) then you can rely on that thermometer, but not until then.
Hance - Lake Dogs Cooking Team - MiM/MBN/GBA CBJ and comp cook
Lake Sinclair, GA (strategically about an hour from darn near anywhere)
Started competing in chili cookoffs back in the 1990's and have competed in more than I care to count. I became a CBJ in MiM in 2005, then MBN and in GBA in 2010. I've probably judged 130+- BBQ comps (sanctioned and unsanctioned) over this time. That said, I really enjoy competing more than I enjoy judging, and hope to get back to doing 4 or 5 a year in the near future.