Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Braaimaster

Temperature readings

Recommended Posts

G'day folks, noob to the forum and relative noob to the Kamado. I have several years of direct grill experience growing up in South Africa where its practically a national sport, however, this slow cooking is a different beast in itself.

I've had good success with the reverse sear however its the low and slow which is proving to be tricky. Having watched numerous videos, most (if not all) cooks use a secondary thermometer on the grill itself rather than the built in Kamado. I'm starting to think that my brisket and short rib cooked at a higher temp than expected. 

How crucial is it having a secondary thermometer and is there any deviation out the box that needs to be adjusted.

 

May thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The secondary thermometer with a wireless remote is crucial to not sitting by the grill all day (or night). Where you put the probe will change what it reads, but once you get to know your grill, it's really a matter of convenience. Alarms are helpful in long cooks, as are multiple probes. 

 

Play with it, you learn more that way. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On my Akorn the dome thermometer will have barely budged off 0 degrees when my grate probe is already reading 150-200 degrees.  So I'd say it's a pretty good tool to have especially when firing up the cooker.

 

BTW if you decide to get one I highly recommend the Thermoworks Smoke.  Might seem pricey comparatively but worth every last penny.  Buy cheap, buy twice as the saying goes :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started learning low & slow cooking 3 years ago on a plain old Weber kettle using charcoal briquettes.  I purchased a dual-probe remote thermometer because a probe on the grate was the only way to track what was going on inside the thing, and the alarm feature was necessary because the briquettes tend to burn very quickly (I usually had to add more every 90 minutes or so).  I was terrified of running out of fire 3/4 of the way through a 10 pound boston butt cook.

 

I purchased my first kamado (Kamado Joe Classic) two months ago, and used the grate probe for my first couple cooks out of habit.  In doing so I noticed the dome thermometer readings were very close to my grate probe readings - about 5 - 10 degrees F warmer, but consistently so.  Certainly close enough for my purposes.  The KJ thermometers are adjustable if necessary, but I found mine to be just fine out of the box.

 

Things matched up well enough to the point that I don't use the grate probe very often anymore; I built enough confidence in the grill's thermometer that I don't worry about it at all.  I'll probably end up purchasing an additional meat probe since my unit supports two, and that way I'll be able to track two cuts of meat independently.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use mine for safety and convenience when I can't monitor the grill. E.g., I sleep better during an overnight cook knowing I have an alarm to alert me if the temperature should get out of hand. But if I'm keeping close to the grill I trust the dome thermometer more than the grill level thermometer which seems too sensitive to temperature swings due to hot spots or simply the meat getting hot. As my meat approaches doneness my grill level thermometer tends to drift way up in temperature while my dome thermometer holds steady.

 

It's a good tool, though. I often just use the food probe without the grill probe to track my meat temperature. If you're prioritizing purchases a good instant read thermometer is crucial where I wouldn't say the same about the leave in thermometers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In all honesty if I'm doing low and slow I will bring the temp up slowly to where I want it e.g. 250f  using the dome thermometer and then let it stabilise at the temp I want it at for half an hour before I put on the meat with a meat thermometer in it then close the lid and then stop looking at temps on the dome. I will then just be looking at my meat thermometer and checking the dome temp just to make sure the fire is still burning and not gone out. My thinking is if the grill is stable at say 250f for half an hour cold meat will cool the kamado and won't really properly recover until the meat gets hot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/23/2019 at 10:40 PM, Braaimaster said:

G'day folks, noob to the forum and relative noob to the Kamado. I have several years of direct grill experience growing up in South Africa where its practically a national sport, however, this slow cooking is a different beast in itself.

I've had good success with the reverse sear however its the low and slow which is proving to be tricky. Having watched numerous videos, most (if not all) cooks use a secondary thermometer on the grill itself rather than the built in Kamado. I'm starting to think that my brisket and short rib cooked at a higher temp than expected. 

How crucial is it having a secondary thermometer and is there any deviation out the box that needs to be adjusted.

 

May thanks

The dome gauge can be 50 degrees off from the air temp over the meat. I learned all my BBQ knowledge at Amazingribs.com and if you read it through you'll see it's all about temperature control. A $150 temperature controller can turn a $60 grill into a set-n-forget smoker on the first try. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thermometers can drive you nuts (short trip for me sometimes) I've been smoking and grilling for about 35 years, and found a few things out . 1: Location,Location, Location. on my classic 2 the thermometer is not at grate level so it will most likely read different  than the grate temp. usually every so often i'll put a thermometer  on the grate and compare the two. If it's 20 degrees off then next time you cook use it as a reference next time i cook. if i'm doing a long smoke i use a grill thermometer 2: in direct sunlight heating the dome thermometer  it can affect the reading of it. 3: the bimetal thermometer will never be as accurate as a thermistor probe. i don't want to admit how i found this out but when you buy a probe check the rating on the probe and the temp rating  ON THE CORD some do melt at a lower temp that the probe rating. And above all else enjoy your grill

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A secondary thermometer that measures temp where the meat is will be one of the best investments you make, and will make you more successful.  I have seen temp differences between 10-65F between the dome and grate, and this can vary throughout a long cook.

 

Buy one!  You won't be disappointed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever you do pick one (dome or grate) and stick with it. Once you learn your kamado either one will work. 

 

For a long time I've been using dome exclusively. Now I have the CyberQ controller, I guess I've switched to grate.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just did a brisket and two pork butts, so 24 lb. of meat on the grate. I ended up using five thermometers, the mechanical dome thermometer, and four remote probes located:

- grate center

- top vent

- center of brisket

- center of pork butt

 

Here's a pic at 3 hrs. Grate probe is in the center, directly over the water pan. You can see the second probe going to the vent. Additional probes not placed yet, hadn't needed them yet. 

The_Sun_finally_went_in_at_3_hrs.thumb.jpg.9d6f3f02c5fab7856a85074c7fee7b75.jpg

 

I usually see ~30F difference between grate center and exit vent, with the dome reading close to the exit vent. For this cook, the difference was 60F until the water pan ran dry. Then the grate temp rose, so I refilled the water pan. 

 

First time I've done a mixed low-n-slow cook, and I was surprised how differently pork butt and brisket cooked. The brisket hit 155F in 2 hours, then stalled for 4 hours. The pork butts were 10F behind when the stall started, and 10F ahead when the brisket cam out of the stall and started to rise quite quickly. Ironically, the pork butts had diverged as well, so only one was foiled at 8 hrs, the other two pieces weren't ready until 9 hrs. That's how I ended up needed two more remote probes!

 

BTW, I still use the dome reading as the final arbiter, due to its accuracy and reliability. @ckreef I suspect you'll still keep an eye on it, even as you figure out where to to put the controller sensors. I'd start with the exit vent, but that's me. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

Edited by fbov

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, fbov said:

 

 

BTW, I still use the dome reading as the final arbiter, due to its accuracy and reliability. @ckreef I suspect you'll still keep an eye on it, even as you figure out where to to put the controller sensors. I'd start with the exit vent, but that's me. 

 

Have fun,

Frank

 

Great looking cook!

 

My current setup has a ThermaQ Blue monitor for my dome temperature and the CyberQ grate probe will be directly opposite from where I start the fire.

 

I do have a ThermaQ long (8") meat probe that I could probably dangle down from the top vent. Will explore that idea before I do my butt cook this weekend. My original thought was stick that in the meat along with the CyberQ meat probe. Hmmmm, options..... 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I usually move the vent probe to the meat after a few hours of watching it burn. Only problem is the grate temp changes when the water pan runs dry in a long cook. That's why the reliance on the dome. 

Frank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...