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New Maverick et-732 user, need tips


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When I got my Akorn and joined this site in May I thought yall were crazy for having dual probe thermometers.  My, how we evolve so quickly.  I just bought a Maverick et-732 and am planning on smoking a pork butt tomorrow, care-free. Plan on letting the IT get just over 200, then wrapping in foil and a towel for an hour (if there's a better method, please share.)

 

My question is, before I do this, should I test the Maverick?  Is there a calibration that needs to be done?

 

When I do it, should I stick the meat probe through the top, through the length side, or through the width of it?  How far from the bone should I be?

 

Just want to make sure I get this done right.  Couldn't find quite the answers I was looking for using the search function.

 

Thanks in advance!

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You certainly want the tip of the probe in the middle/thickest part of the meat, but away from the bone as it will throw the temp off.

 

You can take the temp of some boiling water (whatever it is for your altitude) to see if the probe is close - but I doubt you need to do this.  Measurements with digital equipment and thermocouples are very accurate.

 

I am a little over-cautious by nature, but the only "extra" I do is to protect the lead with a little extra foil underneath where it passes across the grill to the outside.

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Exact temp isn't really important anyways, butt will be done somewhere between 190 and 205F and can cook anywhere from 200 to 350 with good results. The biggest thing I use the Maverick for is to make sure my fire hasn't snuffed/run away and to give me a prompt to go check for tenderness (probe tender is the only real test, internal temp just lets you know when to check). If I'm doing low and slow I set my alarm at 203 because I know going over a little bit won't hurt the meat at all and that way I can get a good nights sleep, at 350 I'll usually set it at 195 because an overshoot can dry out the meat a bit.

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You certainly want the tip of the probe in the middle/thickest part of the meat, but away from the bone as it will throw the temp off.

 

You can take the temp of some boiling water (whatever it is for your altitude) to see if the probe is close - but I doubt you need to do this.  Measurements with digital equipment and thermocouples are very accurate.

 

I am a little over-cautious by nature, but the only "extra" I do is to protect the lead with a little extra foil underneath where it passes across the grill to the outside.

 

Are you saying you wrap the grate-exposed lead in foil, or just place foil underneath it?

 

Exact temp isn't really important anyways, butt will be done somewhere between 190 and 205F and can cook anywhere from 200 to 350 with good results. The biggest thing I use the Maverick for is to make sure my fire hasn't snuffed/run away and to give me a prompt to go check for tenderness (probe tender is the only real test, internal temp just lets you know when to check). If I'm doing low and slow I set my alarm at 203 because I know going over a little bit won't hurt the meat at all and that way I can get a good nights sleep, at 350 I'll usually set it at 195 because an overshoot can dry out the meat a bit.

 

By "probe tender" you mean when the probe can be inserted and removed with no resistence, right?

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Are you saying you wrap the grate-exposed lead in foil, or just place foil underneath it?

 

By "probe tender" you mean when the probe can be inserted and removed with no resistence, right?

 

 

I just place a piece of foil underneath so any direct heat rising up from underneath isn't directly hitting the probe.  Probably isn't needed, but certainly doesn't hurt anything.

 

Yes, probe tender means take something like a thick kabob stick or something and insert...should just go in nice and easy with no resistance.

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I am a little over-cautious by nature, but the only "extra" I do is to protect the lead with a little extra foil underneath where it passes across the grill to the outside.

 

I wrap the lead in foil as a precaution in case the temp runs away.  I wrap as opposed to laying the foil down to ensure the lead is always protected... over catious, but better than "I should have".

 

In terms of calibration, the unit is not adjustable, but you can test for accuracy. 

Put the tip of the probe in a pot of boiling water, without touching the sides or bottom of the pot... see how close you get to 212

at the opposite end of the temp spectrum, fill a glass with water and ice and let it sit a few minutes...  stir it and get the tip of the probe below the ice... it should be pretty close to 32.

 

As others have stated, I also use an instant read (thermapen and themopop) to check different spots of my meat when I'm close to final temp.

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Agree with foil wrap on the probe leads. Make sure the pit probe is not exposed to direct burning lump, it has to be in the shadow of the deflector or something else, if not it will read way to high. Food probe in the thickest part of the meat, I like to insert from the side and away from the bone. i set my food probe for about 180º then move from there to avoid an overcook. Best feature on the 732 is the timer - wish the 733 had it. Reminds me I have a cook going when I tend to wander off or take a nap.....

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Just to circle back, the butt turned out great.  Even better I got to stay out of the 100 degree weather for the majority of the day.  At first I found myself fretting over a 5-10 degree swing, and I'd go out and adjust, just to have it swing 15 degrees the other way.  After awhile when it would fall 8ish degrees I found myself saying "you're not foolin me" and would wait it out.  Sure enough, it would bounce back.  Great investment and delicious pork.  7 lbs came and went fast!

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