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In a recent discussion with a friend of mine he stated that most recipes for Kamado Cooking are based upon Dome Temperature.  For the last three years I've been putting my sensor at the grid level for all my low and slow cooking with very good results.

Does it really make a difference in our cooking using one over the other?

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Since getting a Digi-Q I pretty much consider the Akorn dome thermometer to be decorative.  Off by 30 to 50 degrees most of the time and then occasionally spot-on, not something I want to rely on.

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21 minutes ago, Freddyj said:

the inaurguable answer here is dome temp, definately.

 

 

or, it also could be grate temp (i always confuse the two)

Exactly 

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Grate temp is most important on low and slow, think Ribs, boston butts, etc.  Over time it all evens out, but what I find that if I cook by dome temps on low and slows, I get charring vs when i cook with sensors at lowest grate level, I don't have the same problem.   I have tried clipping the sensor the the thermometer stem and I got charring.   I always clip my sensor to the grate level after that.  Charcoal cooks by infrared heat so things that are closer to the heat source, the lump cook faster than if your farther.  

 

On high temps cooks, this become less and less of an issue.

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1 hour ago, daninpd said:

Since getting a Digi-Q I pretty much consider the Akorn dome thermometer to be decorative.  Off by 30 to 50 degrees most of the time and then occasionally spot-on, not something I want to rely on.

Thank you sir.

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1 hour ago, Freddyj said:

the inaurguable answer here is dome temp, definately.

 

 

or, it also could be grate temp (i always confuse the two)

Thanks for the help.

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34 minutes ago, Benm3 said:

Grate temp is most important on low and slow, think Ribs, boston butts, etc.  Over time it all evens out, but what I find that if I cook by dome temps on low and slows, I get charring vs when i cook with sensors at lowest grate level, I don't have the same problem.   I have tried clipping the sensor the the thermometer stem and I got charring.   I always clip my sensor to the grate level after that.  Charcoal cooks by infrared heat so things that are closer to the heat source, the lump cook faster than if your farther.  

 

On high temps cooks, this become less and less of an issue.

Thanks for the input and responding.

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Im the one guy that doesnt like absolutes, There are lots of variables to take into account and knowing the accuracy of your dome thermometer is just as important as knowing your grate temp. My grate temp on indirects is always cooler then dome and i use both independently at times and together others. In cases with stacked cooks (using raised grates) the temp at the 2nd or 3rd layer is going to be different than the bottom. Now in most cases a few degrees doesnt make much of a difference, but in my experience my dome temp can at times be 50-75 higher then my bottom grate level. In the grander scheme of things this simply means the items i have at the top cook faster than the ones on the bottom. Knowing this slight variable of my particular grill means successful cooks always (unless i get distracted and or forget). Not knowing this could easily yield very dry and or otherwise overcooked items and lots of head scratching.

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9 minutes ago, ifican said:

Im the one guy that doesnt like absolutes, There are lots of variables to take into account and knowing the accuracy of your dome thermometer is just as important as knowing your grate temp. My grate temp on indirects is always cooler then dome and i use both independently at times and together others. In cases with stacked cooks (using raised grates) the temp at the 2nd or 3rd layer is going to be different than the bottom. Now in most cases a few degrees doesnt make much of a difference, but in my experience my dome temp can at times be 50-75 higher then my bottom grate level. In the grander scheme of things this simply means the items i have at the top cook faster than the ones on the bottom. Knowing this slight variable of my particular grill means successful cooks always (unless i get distracted and or forget). Not knowing this could easily yield very dry and or otherwise overcooked items and lots of head scratching.

I agree.  I have a tel tru dome that has been tested and it is spot on, but in the beginning of a cook it registers higher than grate.  Over time, it evens out, but since I am cooking mostly at the grate or slightly above, I measure where I am cooking at.

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My Akorn dome thermometer reads about 50-75 degrees lower than my maverick at grate temp. I use the grate temp for anything where I care about temp accuracy. Problem with the dome thermometer too, is that it takes a while for mine to get back up after the dome is opened. Not a big deal for most cooks when you don't do a lot of opening, but for things like grilling wings where I like to turn them and move them a lot towards the end, it's useless as it never gets back up to what the temp really is.

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3 hours ago, fotoman said:

In a recent discussion with a friend of mine he stated that most recipes for Kamado Cooking are based upon Dome Temperature.  For the last three years I've been putting my sensor at the grid level for all my low and slow cooking with very good results.

Does it really make a difference in our cooking using one over the other?

 

There are a lot of things to consider when using an electronic temperature probe in a Kamado grill.  You will find yourself quite confused by the different readings you will get sometimes, especially compared to the dome temp.  The only 'accruate' place to read grate temp is in the center of the grate when using a heat deflector below the grate.  It makes it more difficult to read that temperature when you have meat on the grate.  If you have meat on the grate, the probe should still be placed in the center of the grate and at least 2" above the surface of the meat to remain accurate.  The thicker the meat is, such as a boston butt, the closer you are getting to the dome temp level.  If you place your probe off tot he side of the meat on the grate, you are placing it closer to the outer edge of the heat deflector.  It will read a higher temperature there because of the hot air drafting around the edges of the deflector plates.  The higher temperature it reads is not really 'grate' temp in this case.  The grate temp is cooler because it's further from the outer edge heat source and it's also being cooled by the meat itself.  This is a complicated topic when you look at it in detail.  

 

EVERYTHING I cook and show people how to cook is based on dome temperature.  Grate temperature just doesn't matter enough to spend the time and effort to worry about it.  It is not going to change the outcome of your cook with any significance at all.  

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