View Full Version : WSM and ET-732 Pit Probe Placement

07-16-2012, 02:32 PM
I have a question for everyone that uses a Maverick ET-732 or any other digital pit probe in the WSM. I was doing my first cook this weekend on my 22.5" and everything was going I brought the WSM up to temp nice and slow it was pretty steady at 250 when I decided to put the two 9# pork butts on the lower cooking grate. That is where I had the pit probe placed and I was going to be putting spares on the top rack later.

So I put the butts on and to make room I slide the pit probe all the way to one side of the grill and the butt was about 1/2" away from the probe.

The question I have is could the close proximity of the butt and the inner wall of the WSM effect the readings I was getting on the pit probe? Should I keep the pit probe as close to the center of the cooking grate as possible? My pit probe was reading 230 but when I went outside the dome temp was reading almost 340. I know the pit and the dome temps will not match but I haven't read about one that was over 100* off. I pulled the Maverick and tested it in a ice bath and it was good. So I put it back in the WSM this time on the top rack right in the center and the dome and Maverick probe was 15* off. Just looking for some suggestions of what might have went wrong. In my mind the closer I get to the inside walls I would think the Maverick would read higher not cooler.

07-16-2012, 02:42 PM
Two big butts will have a chilling effect on your temp. I think you want to stay away from the very edge but you don't have to be centered.

07-16-2012, 03:00 PM
I try to keep my probes as close to the middle as possible on the top rack. If I'm cooking two butts on top, I put the probe right in between them. If you had water in the pan, that may have caused that big difference between your probe and the dome temp as well.

07-16-2012, 03:04 PM
I've found that the outer edge of the WSM is the hottest. While there will be a difference between the top and bottom grate, I'd suggest putting it on the "less full" grate, somewhere not touching food or near an edge.

07-16-2012, 03:58 PM
The proximity of your probe to the meat will have a HUGE effect! I find it is best to keep the probe a couple inches from the meat AND to ignore it for like 30 minutes after putting meat on. Maybe longer. If you can't put it at the center, just mentally adjust the temp. I use my maverick everytime, but until i learned and understood my smoker it made me worse.

If the smoker was steady temp before, it will take a while to come back up to temp, but it will get there. The probe will tell you the temp, but not what the fire is doing. You want to keep the fire the same.

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07-16-2012, 05:53 PM
I put my pit probe as close to the center of the cooking grate as I can, and as far way from the meat as I can.

The dome thermometer usually reads at least 25F lower than a grate level pit probe. It's normal for them to differ, even by a lot.


Happy Hapgood
07-16-2012, 06:35 PM
KSU, I added a Cajun Bandit Grommet at top grill level. Since you have an ET-732 with the curved food probe, you would need the ones with the 3/8's inch opening. As you can see by the pic, they both fit fine.


They come in 2 packs so you could mount one for upper and one for lower racks.

You can do the same thing with 3/8 " lamp allthread pipe.

As for adding cold meat, and dropping the temp in your rig, you can plan that ahead of time. Longest cook on bottom and shortest on top.

Good Luck!

07-16-2012, 07:00 PM
I just drop my probe down through the vent hole so it hangs lower than the OEM therm in the lid but not so low it hits the meat.

07-16-2012, 07:13 PM
I ran into the same problem when I added ribs on both grates on the 4th of July. Because I left the rib tips on instead of trimming them down St. Louis style, I only had about half an inch between the probe and the meet. It took about 30-45 minutes before she started cruising. She over came the cold and stayed between 248 and 252 for over 6 hours.