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Old 12-28-2020, 09:40 AM   #1
JeffinNE
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Join Date: 04-15-20
Location: Lincoln, NE
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Default Replace temp gauge on Shirley?

New Shirley 24x36 was delivered in November and first couple cooks seemed hotter than the River Country gauge was reading. Purchased some oven gauges and just got a Thermoworks Smoke X4 and did a prime rib cook yesterday with the Smoke X4 ambient probe in the middle of the smoker. It was reading 50 degrees hotter than the River Country gauge.

Wondering if a Tel Tru with a 4 inch stem would be more accurate than the current 2.5 inch RC stem? Or just keep using the Smoke X4 ambient probe and just go by this?

Oven gauges showing hotter on top than bottom and hotter left side vs right side of cooker. Anything I'm possibly doing wrong as videos and posts from others seem to achieve very close temps all over the pit.

Absolutely love tending the fire and food has been amazing thru my first cooks as a newbie to the smoking world!
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Old 12-28-2020, 09:51 AM   #2
-Chris-
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Gauges mounted on doors are rarely accurate. Take your gauge and put it in boiling water to see if it is accurate. I had a Myron Mixon H2O with a massive tel tru that read 40 degrees below grate temp, but guess what, put it in boiling water and it was perfectly accurate.

I don't think you have a gauge accuracy issue, you have a probe location issue.

Chris
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:12 AM   #3
SirPorkaLot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffinNE View Post
New Shirley 24x36 was delivered in November and first couple cooks seemed hotter than the River Country gauge was reading. Purchased some oven gauges and just got a Thermoworks Smoke X4 and did a prime rib cook yesterday with the Smoke X4 ambient probe in the middle of the smoker. It was reading 50 degrees hotter than the River Country gauge.

Wondering if a Tel Tru with a 4 inch stem would be more accurate than the current 2.5 inch RC stem? Or just keep using the Smoke X4 ambient probe and just go by this?

Oven gauges showing hotter on top than bottom and hotter left side vs right side of cooker. Anything I'm possibly doing wrong as videos and posts from others seem to achieve very close temps all over the pit.

Absolutely love tending the fire and food has been amazing thru my first cooks as a newbie to the smoking world!

I got mine in August and found the same thing.
I’ve had a River country thermo in the past and it was also not accurate. The one on my Shirley was like yours and ran much lower than the actual temp.

I replaced it with a 4” stem Tel-tru and it is spot on.

Highly recommended modification

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Old 12-28-2020, 10:12 AM   #4
okiej
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I found mine was also off about 50 degrees when I compared against digital. I pulled it off and calibrated it to match my digital on the middle grate at 250. It's much closer now. I still go by the digital, but at least looking at the door therm doesn't bug me now. If I replace I would probably get a 4" stem. But I'm in no hurry since I Know where I'm at now and I use the digital anyway
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:13 AM   #5
SirPorkaLot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Chris- View Post
Gauges mounted on doors are rarely accurate. Take your gauge and put it in boiling water to see if it is accurate. I had a Myron Mixon H2O with a massive tel tru that read 40 degrees below grate temp, but guess what, put it in boiling water and it was perfectly accurate.

I don't think you have a gauge accuracy issue, you have a probe location issue.

Chris

Nope, I can confirm, in this case it is a gauge accuracy issue.
Replacement gauge stays within 1 degree of digital probe
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:14 AM   #6
SmoothBoarBBQ
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Every River Country gauge I've used has been adjustable. So I'll run my cooker for a couple of hours at my normal cooking temp. I tend to cook at 275° on my offset, so I'll run it for a while to make sure all the metal is warmed up, and there isn't much of a temperature difference. For this process I'll use my Thermoworks Smoke and put the probe near the grate so I'm measuring the temp where the food will be on the grate. Then I'll adjust my River Country gauge to read exactly what the Thermoworks Smoke temp is reading.

This is more of a "zeroing" type process rather than anything else, but I 100% trust my Thermoworks Smoke, and I want to know the temperature at the grate.

There should be a nut of some sort on the back of the River Country gauge which will rotate the internal faceplate. That internal faceplate contains the display for the temperatures, so if the Thermworks Smoke is showing 275 then I just rotate that internal faceplate until it is also showing 275. I've done this quite a few times on different cookers and it always works...kind of surprising but those gauges hold true even years down the road.

I would try this method before dropping $50-75 on a Tel-Tru or other type gauge. Just recognize that even if you do put in a new gauge you'll likely still need to configure it in some manner.
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:17 AM   #7
okiej
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Yes. There is a screw on the back of the River Country gauge you can use to zero/adjust/calibrate. I just did mine a few days ago. Clockwise moves needle down and counterclockwise moves it up. Takes a few tries to get it right.
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:31 AM   #8
blackdogbbq21
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I cant speak for the River Country thermos but my smoker has a tel tru w/ 4" stem installed.
I've tested my tel tru with boiling water and my thermoworks smoke and the tel tru is spot on. I just use the tel tru when cooking, I trust it and I think the digital is a little too sensitive with a stick burner IMO.
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Old 12-28-2020, 10:37 AM   #9
-Chris-
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirPorkaLot View Post
Nope, I can confirm, in this case it is a gauge accuracy issue.
Replacement gauge stays within 1 degree of digital probe
That is why I suggested checking it with boiling water...

Chris
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Old 12-28-2020, 11:11 AM   #10
cdhbrad
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I use a Tel-Tru with a 4" stem in my Shirley 24x36 and I put a probe for my Thermoworks Signals on the middle grate just about where the Tel-Tru stem would be located. As you can see from the attached photo, they are within a degree or two of each other......that is close enough for me.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Tel Tru - Signals.jpg (55.1 KB, 105 views)
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Old 12-28-2020, 01:39 PM   #11
JeffinNE
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirPorkaLot View Post
I got mine in August and found the same thing.
I’ve had a River country thermo in the past and it was also not accurate. The one on my Shirley was like yours and ran much lower than the actual temp.

I replaced it with a 4” stem Tel-tru and it is spot on.

Highly recommended modification

Thanks, John! Congrats on your line of rubs and brines and also your recent recipe being published!
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Old 12-28-2020, 02:02 PM   #12
JeffinNE
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Thanks for the adjusting info Smoothboar and okiej! Will try this before a Tel Tru purchase.
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