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Thread: Silly (probably) question on temperature probe grommet

  1. #1
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    Silly (probably) question on temperature probe grommet

    This will probably be a silly question, so go ahead and tease. I just bought a new WSM 22, and I have a question about using the temperature probe grommet. I have Maverick 732 thermometers. With my Cajun Bandit rig, I've always clipped the BBQ probe to the cooking grate, and run the wire under the lid. It works, but with the probe clipped to the grate, I have to juggle more as I cook.

    But last night, while assembling the WSM, I started looking at the grommet. And I wonder if this is an acceptable way to use it:







    My first thought is that it's a couple of inches below the cooking grate, but I don't plan on using the lower grate anyway, so the heated air should be well mixed. And yes, there is a slight opening around the probe, but I'm not worried about the heat loss. And I can see an advantage in cooking BB ribs: I can lift the top cooking grate out with all three slabs, making it easier to glaze them and return them to the smoker.

    Am I crazy? Thanks!
    18" Jumbo Joe , 22" OTG-Cajun Bandit "Gambit" , 22" WSM (new!!!)

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    TVWBB Emerald Member Len Dennis's Avatar
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    Looks good to me
    So many recipes, so little time
    : Genesis gas grill 18.5" WSM Maverick ET-732 :

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    I wouldn't recommend that position. The probe will be hit with all the rising heat flowing past it.

    By placing it in the center of the grate you will get an average temp for the entire smoker.

    I would recommend attaching the probe to the center cross rod on the underside of the grate with a small alligator clip. An alligator clip is used on the temp probe for the DigiQ DX2 so I see no difference using one the same way for the Maverick. Besides, using the underside is only about 1 inch lower than the recommended placement using the bracket the Maverick supplies.
    Last edited by Bill Elwell; 07-13-2017 at 06:35 PM.
    Bill: WSM 22.5 BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 : Maverick ET-733 : BHG Gas Grill: His & Hers John Deere Lawn Tractors

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    Bill, I've always placed the probe to the edge anyway. I had assumed that having all the empty space between the water pan and the top grate (I don't use the lower grate) allowed the rising air to mix and even the heat out. But I could be wrong... maybe it's time for an experiment! Two probes: one dead center (hanging down) and one on the edge. (Or as my SO would say, "an excuse to burn up more charcoal.")
    18" Jumbo Joe , 22" OTG-Cajun Bandit "Gambit" , 22" WSM (new!!!)

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    I use my probe exactly as you have pictured. I figure there's not a huge difference in temp at each grate, and being between the two gives you a close-enough temp (a few degrees one way or the other doesn't make any difference), and I imagine the temp across the width of the smoker is fairly even. It's not like it's moving a ton of air if doing a low-and slow cook, it's barely puffing.

    That said, if you do an experiment to check the difference in temp in center of the cooking grate vs near the edge, post up the results! And do it at both a low temp (like 225) and a higher temp (like 350) to see if the additional air flow makes a big difference. #TheMoreYouKnow!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Elwell View Post
    By placing it in the center of the grate you will get an average temp for the entire smoker.

    I would recommend attaching the probe to the center cross rod on the underside of the grate with a small alligator clip.
    Don't you end up with loads of grease and gunk all over the probe and the wire? I've always put the probe on top of the grate, though, of course, that takes up room I'd rather have for meat, so I'm interested by the idea of hanging it from the underside. I'm just not sure I want to clean up the mess afterwards.

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    TVWBB Wizard Bob Bass's Avatar
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    I too place the pit probe just inside. Mine is roughly 1" inside. Is it the higher temperature... yes. But it is the heat that is being applied to the cooking "chamber" IF one runs a waterless pan !

    Started doing so after attending Harry Soo's class.
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    Yes, it does, but washing it down with Dawn, hot water and a sponge cleans it off easily.

    I've never heard of placing it near the edge...so I've never done it. Not that it's right or wrong. Hell, if we knew the REAL answer to that question we'd all be golden.
    Bill: WSM 22.5 BBQ Guru DigiQ DX2 : Maverick ET-733 : BHG Gas Grill: His & Hers John Deere Lawn Tractors

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    All these different answers just goes to show you that its more about preference and what you get use to rather than only one correct answer. Once your familiar with how it works and you do it consistently probe placement is that big of a deal. Which is why I just use a better thermometer in the dome, and save the probes for the meat.
    18.5 WSM. 22.5 OTS

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    Thanks everybody!

    Today I'm going to burn a full load of charcoal with all vents open to season the smoker and burn off any manufacturing oils. Later this week I'll run a second load, but I'll control the temps and use two probes to test.
    18" Jumbo Joe , 22" OTG-Cajun Bandit "Gambit" , 22" WSM (new!!!)

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