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Hawkiphan
06-18-2010, 12:12 AM
I have a Masterbuilt electric smoker that I have used once. I am looking to buy a digital thermometer. What brands and models do you recommend? Do you really think it is necessary to get a remote thermometer or are the wired ones more reliable?

Thanks for your help.

CBQ
06-18-2010, 01:21 AM
If you want inexpensive wireless, a lot of people go with the Maverick.

http://www.amazon.com/Maverick-Remote-Check-Wireless-Thermometer-Probes/dp/B00004SZ10/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1276838281&sr=8-10

The wireless is reasonably reliable, but of course you have more batteries to worry about vs. a wired unit.

I assume you want to monitor the smoker temp, and maybe 1 meat. If you want to do spot checks to see if something is done, you want an instant read thermometer.

The clear choice there is the Thermapen (expensive, but very good), however my fellow Brethren will have to tell you which color is correct. :becky:

http://www.amazon.com/Splash-Proof-Super-Fast-Thermapen-Thermometer-Professional/dp/B002FYS5BA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1276838467&sr=8-1

Gore
06-18-2010, 08:11 AM
Of course you don't need one and half the time I can't be bothered to take mine off the shelf, but sometimes it is nice, especially if you're doing a butt and you want some idea what the temp is at to give you an idea if it may be done in closer to 1 hour or 5 hours.

Like many people here, I went with Maverick for a remote. I am supremely disappointed. There are many flaws in this, like the unit losing signal and not telling you, and the range being somewhere on the order of 10 ft unless you do an antenna mod on the unit. Couple that with the faulty wires which may last for 1 cook or for 20 cooks before going bad, I think this is a brand to be avoided. I also tried and returned their instant read that costs about the same as a Thermapen, except takes about 15 seconds to settle in on a reading.

I have not heard anything bad about Thermapens except their cost. I also have not heard anything bad about Taylors that are used widely and depending on the probe can give you a good reading almost as rapidly as a Thermapen but cost less that $20.

Incidentally, the probes that taper down on the end give a faster reading on all thermometers. Most companies offer both types.

Pyle's BBQ
06-18-2010, 12:15 PM
Red Thermapen. I have a couple Taylors that I have abused and are still working. I would not get the remote style because there are too many things that can go wrong.

I also have a surface thermometer that I set on the grate. I have one like this (http://www.amazon.com/Therm-Surface-Thermometer-13-0002-Category/dp/B00125P9F8/ref=sr_1_188?ie=UTF8&s=home-garden&qid=1276878599&sr=1-188).

BBQ Grail
06-18-2010, 12:19 PM
I'm pretty much at the "don't bother with one" stage. I pretty much just stick my briskets and pork butts with my RED thermapen. I do keep a temp prob handy so I can use it to see if the meat is done, but that's just to see how the prob slides in.

Now if you're using one to check grate temp that's another story and I've found the $6.99 thermometers from IKEA to be the best value.

el_matt
06-18-2010, 12:38 PM
I grabbed an oven thermometer at the $1 Store. It's worked just fine for me, so far. I do want to get a Thermapen, but the cost is a stumbling block. My instant read analog, that I've had since I worked at Taco Bell (many many years ago) is still working great. Kinda hard to justify replacing something that works perfectly, to the wife.

Matt

Pyle's BBQ
06-18-2010, 12:41 PM
I grabbed an oven thermometer at the $1 Store. It's worked just fine for me, so far. I do want to get a Thermapen, but the cost is a stumbling block. My instant read analog, that I've had since I worked at Taco Bell (many many years ago) is still working great. Kinda hard to justify replacing something that works perfectly, to the wife.

Matt

You have to tell her it works in a different way. That way you are not replacing. You do have more than one screwdriver, don't you?

Hawkiphan
06-19-2010, 12:04 AM
Thanks for the advice. I am pretty new to smoking and I need all the help I can get.

CBQ
06-19-2010, 01:24 AM
Kinda hard to justify replacing something that works perfectly, to the wife.

Tell her that although it works, it's the wrong color. :shocked:

Bob G
06-19-2010, 07:15 AM
go maverick. Mine should be here any day now. :-D

Big Jim BBQ
06-19-2010, 08:16 AM
I bought a Maverick dual probe(1-chamber probe and 1-meat probe) smoker thermometer and so far so good but I haven't really depended on the remote. It seems to be pretty accurate in the chamber and the meat. I think it was around $40-$50.

jmilleronaire
06-19-2010, 08:28 AM
Well, a lot of people here seem to think you don't need thermometers, because they learned from their caveman neighbor as a kid how to stick their finger into the meat and know the temp by how much it hurts, and can tell the temp of a grill by sticking their hand in and seeing how long until it catches fire...

And a lot of them will give you the option to get a second mortgage on your house and buy a specific thermometer. Some say red, some say green... If you're going this route, though, you probably should get a pink one and work your way up to the more extreme colors.

For an instant read you'd probably be fine with something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-9842-Commercial-Waterproof-Thermometer/dp/B00009WE45/ref=tag_tdp_ptcn_edpp_url

Or you can get the kind you stick a probe in and leave it in for the whole cook, like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Polder-Classic-Cooking-Thermometer-Graphite/dp/B000P6FLOY/ref=tag_tdp_ptcn_edpp_url

Personally, I bought a cheap one like the second one, and I used it several times before I just replaced them with a seat-of-the-pants "gee, it's been a long time, let's poke it with a stick" method that works for me. Now that I think about it, this should concern me, because I *love* gadgets. Maybe I should see a doctor about my lack of interest in thermometers!

In short, there's no end to the gadgets you can get, and quality may make your cooks better, but you pay for it. Or you can go caveman and just guess. I'm not here to tell you what works for you.

nmayeux
06-19-2010, 08:49 AM
We have the NuTemps that we bought when I first joined this site. They have been great, but we have gotten to the point where we can predict doneness, and use the Thermapen to confirm. Also, the added bonus of the Thermapen is that our local health department is familiar with them, and makes our onsite inspections go much easier. Every bit worth the price!

jestridge
06-19-2010, 01:30 PM
Buy a Taylor they cheap and work pretty well ,, keep in mind we not doing rocket science here

el_matt
06-19-2010, 03:07 PM
Tell her that although it works, it's the wrong color. :shocked:

That's part of the problem, we can't agree which color is better or faster!

Matt

bandityo
06-19-2010, 04:45 PM
I cant believe yall spend $90 on a thermometer ! :-)

hydramax
06-19-2010, 05:23 PM
My Thermapen was steep in price but if you take care of it it will be one of the best tools around. I even stick my burgers sometimes so not overcooked . Fast,accurate, and reliable. Funny how people ask me why I bother checking simple stuff, then at end of day they are asking where I got mine and how they can get one. Getting sick from undercooked meat or burning everything is more of a bummer than 100 bucks.

Gore
06-19-2010, 08:27 PM
Well, a lot of people here seem to think you don't need thermometers, because they learned from their caveman neighbor as a kid how to stick their finger into the meat and know the temp by how much it hurts, and can tell the temp of a grill by sticking their hand in and seeing how long until it catches fire...

And a lot of them will give you the option to get a second mortgage on your house and buy a specific thermometer. Some say red, some say green... If you're going this route, though, you probably should get a pink one and work your way up to the more extreme colors.

For an instant read you'd probably be fine with something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-9842-Commercial-Waterproof-Thermometer/dp/B00009WE45/ref=tag_tdp_ptcn_edpp_url

Or you can get the kind you stick a probe in and leave it in for the whole cook, like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Polder-Classic-Cooking-Thermometer-Graphite/dp/B000P6FLOY/ref=tag_tdp_ptcn_edpp_url

Personally, I bought a cheap one like the second one, and I used it several times before I just replaced them with a seat-of-the-pants "gee, it's been a long time, let's poke it with a stick" method that works for me. Now that I think about it, this should concern me, because I *love* gadgets. Maybe I should see a doctor about my lack of interest in thermometers!

In short, there's no end to the gadgets you can get, and quality may make your cooks better, but you pay for it. Or you can go caveman and just guess. I'm not here to tell you what works for you.

Thanks, I'm always amazed at how people argue about the accuracy. Fark, I've never had an instant read thermometer that was off by a degree and whatever I'm cooking varies by a few degrees depending where I stick it. The only thing of interest to me is response time. Another Taylor can be found here. It is almost as fast as the Thermapens:
http://www.amazon.com/Waterproof-Digital-Thermometer-Ferinheight-degreesC/dp/B001U23QPI/ref=pd_sbs_k_55
If you zoom in on the photo you can see what I'm talking about with the tapered tip.

jestridge
06-19-2010, 08:40 PM
I have always buy Taylor because I do forget to take the out I have bbq several of them. So what if your pull pork is a few degree off not much differance in 194^ pork than 198 degree pork like I said before bbq isn't rocket science