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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 05-01-2013, 06:25 AM   #1
kirk fortin
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Smile Ok im confused...WSM Thermo question

Ok i think im ready to start using a Thermometer. Not sure which way to go though. Just a Maverick 732, Thermapen? I have heard of the Stokers an this Party Q device i read a lil about. It looks basically like i can just get the internal temps an then know when to take the meat off the grill or smoker right?, or go for more money and get the Stoker or something like it. How many are there with the fan capability so i can set it an forget it? I mean if the fuel is there in the chamber it will use it efficently if the fan is on right? I always cook by looking and wouldnt mind to start learning how to get the internal temp thing going, especially with brisket an pork butt. Thanks in advance for your time too by the way
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Unread 05-01-2013, 06:48 AM   #2
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I don't think you will be happy with your results if you try to use IT only.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 06:50 AM   #3
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Wow... lots of different stuff there

The Stoker, PartyQ and others are fan control devices to control smoker temp. I've never found the need for one on a WSM since they run very well as designed, but having one will give you better efficiency and allow you to monitor the WSM temp and possible meat temp (depending on the controller) from outside the WSM.

The Maverick is a remote thermometer. It will allow you to monitor smoker temp and meat temp at a distance. It is not a temperature controller.

The Thermapen is an instant reading thermometer. It will allow you to read the internal temp of the meat quickly.

They all have their place, but none are absolutely necessary. They can be helpful, however, and lots of the gang have one, two or all three

As far as this statement...

Quote:
It looks basically like i can just get the internal temps an then know when to take the meat off the grill or smoker right?
That's one danger of using the Stoker/PartyQ or Maverick. With meats like brisket, pork butt, chuck roast, ribs and some others you really can't go by internal temperature. Each piece of meat is different and some will be done at 190 internal but some may not be done until 205 internal (or even higher for a chuck roast). Your best bet is to use the controller or remote thermometer to monitor temps and then use a slim probe like a skewer or a thermometer probe to test for done by feel. For ribs you can use the bend test or a toothpick to test for done.

I hope this all helps and that I didn't confuse thing more
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Unread 05-01-2013, 06:56 AM   #4
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I dont own a stoker or guru so I may be wrong but I dont believe they give you the internal temp of the meat they just control the air to the fire and give you a more constant temp.

If you want to get the internal temp of the meat you still need a Maverick or thermapen, with the maverick its got a reciever and you have the ability to be away from the grill and still moniter both the smoker and IT temp of the meat.They also let you moniter it without opening the lid which I have heard can fluctuations in temp with some of the fan controllers.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 07:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onexchef View Post
I don't think you will be happy with your results if you try to use IT only.
^+1. I use thermometers (old school dial type, probes, Mavericks and iGrill) to monitor pit temps and IT, but just as a guide and backup. I mostly rely on look, feel and probing for tenderness, never on IT only.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 07:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smokinrack View Post
I dont own a stoker or guru so I may be wrong but I dont believe they give you the internal temp of the meat they just control the air to the fire and give you a more constant temp.
Yep... You're wrong It depends on the model. Some (actually most) include meat probes to monitor meat temp and will set off alarms, etc. based on low or high temp.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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If you don't want to blow too big a roll at first, you might consider the IQUE110, which works well with a WSM in terms of temp control and fuel efficiency. Along with a 732 (or even a couple of garden variety cheap remote therms like I use) it will make you less prone to temperature spikes on the WSM.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 09:05 AM   #8
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Cheapest option is something like a Maverick Weekend Warrior - about $15. You poke it in meat to check temperature. Step up to a Maverick ET-732 for about $60 to get remote reading meat and cooker temp. I find those sufficient for my needs. The WSM works pretty well w/out a controller.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 09:09 AM   #9
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I have a wireless thermometer and an ATC. On many of my cooks, I don't use either. I use the built in analog thermometer in my cooker and go by look and feel of the meat for doneness. If needed (for chicken or pork) I use a hand held meat thermometer.

I would recommend learning how to cook without all the gadgets. When you feel comfortable with your BBQ, you can add toys later. Toys won't make you a better cook, but they can make cooking more convenient.

Good luck.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 11:29 AM   #10
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I own a BBQ Guru Digi Q and love it! I do not think you really need it if you have time to monitor cooker all day but with my busy life it is perfect.

I only use the food temp feature on it as a guide. I set it on pork butts at 185 and start to probe the meat at that temp until it is tender.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 11:38 AM   #11
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i have an iq 110 on my wsm and use reqular kingsford alot and it helps alot with the ash alot, i guess the fan knocks of some of the build up. i use it without it and with it. i prefer with it but electonics and bad weather dont work well, yesterday was cold and snowy and windy, so it chugged along outside with all vents wide open. with a controller it really saves on fuel. to do a 5hr cook yesterday in bad weater used pretty much a load of coal.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 11:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Yep... You're wrong It depends on the model. Some (actually most) include meat probes to monitor meat temp and will set off alarms, etc. based on low or high temp.
That sucks, now I want one
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Unread 05-01-2013, 11:58 AM   #13
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Simply put, a temperature controller will make smoking on the WSM pretty close to "set it and forget it." I use one on my WSM, and I am happy with it. Other folks like to tinker with their cookers.

For thermometers, there are instant read thermometers, like a Thermopen, that you use to check internal temperatures intermittently. There are also probe thermometers meant to stay in the meat throughout the cook. I stick a wired probe thermometer into my meat, and leave it there, to monitor my cooking progress. When the IT gets pretty close to when it could be done, I start probing the meat for feel, not temperature.

With either kind of thermometer, don't use internal temperature to decide when the meat is done. You need to go by feel. Your probe should slide into the meet "like butter."

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Unread 05-01-2013, 12:03 PM   #14
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You can easily cook without any controller or thermometers, but I like to know two things: 1) the approximate temperature inside my WSM and 2) the internal temperature of the meat I am cooking. #1 will help keep you close to your projected completion time #2 will help to ensure that your meat has reached the proper temp to be safe to serve. It usually takes two thermometers to do this easily (or two different probes in the case of the maverick et-732) choosing a thermometer that can be used [B]without[B] opening the lid will also help to keep things consistent.
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Unread 05-01-2013, 12:06 PM   #15
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It all boils down to experience. When you are first starting out and not so certain of the temps, they are helpful. After you gain a lot of experience, not so much. A controller can be helpful on long overnight cooks. I own a DigiQ DX2 and love it.
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