Originally Posted by fat_bastard
Welcome to the Brethren and good looking UDS!!!
As for the thermo, you want the temp right at your grate in the middle of your drum. What you're really looking for is a turkey frying thermometer or another 12" or so thermometer. The longer probe will be right under the center of your cooking grate. I use a brass 3/8" tubing nipple threaded into side of of the drum with the barbed side inside the drum just below the grate for mine. This holds it in place quite well.
The thermo in the top of your drum will read hotter that where your food is since heat rises and it's being held there by the lid. The short one in the side, well, the drums just run cooler on the sides.
Thanks! Makes perfect sense. I had read earlier in the thread about adding about 30 degrees for a short thermometer on the side of the barrel. I just wasn't expecting a 90 degree difference. I suppose had I not been exhausted from the 24 hour build I could have pieced that info together lol! I'll pick up a long thermometer tomorrow before I start my first smoke session.