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Bad thermometer?
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jgrant Offline
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Bad thermometer?
Question for all the experts out there. I smoked an 8 lb bone-in butt on Saturday on my Chargriller. Put it on around noon, thinking it would take about 12 hours and I would pull it off at about midnight, wrap it in foil and hold in a warm oven until Sunday dinner. Well, things did not go as planned. I had no problem holding between 220 - 250 for the whole cook, but at 5am :? Sunday morning, the meat had just reached 180 and it was time to add more charcoal! I was tired at this point, as I had not planned on an overnight cook. I pulled it off, wrapped in foil and finished in a 225 oven, as to avoid having to add more charcoal. Now, I know that each piece of meat is different and 1.5 hours per pound is just a rough guess, but after 17 hours at the temps I was holding, I feel like something else is at play. I was measuring pit temperature with a Maverick remote therm stuck through an onion to keep it just above grate level. Could the therm be way off? What is everyone else's experience with the Maverick remotes? Are they typically accurate out of the box? It was towards the smoke stack side, so it was not getting a lot of extra heat from the firebox. I imagine another hour or two in the smoker (thats all it took in the oven) would have finished it to around 195, is an 18+ hour cook "normal" for an 8lb butt?

Thanks for the help!

Josh
06-16-2008 11:12 AM
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SmokinJoe Offline
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Mavericks are usually some of the best, but you should still calibrate right out of the box.

You're right about each piece of meat being different, but that seems like a pretty wide margin there.

Try sticking your probe in some boiling water. Should read about 212. Then try putting the probe to an ice cube, and see how close to 32 it reads.

I'm no expert, but that's what I do, and I could be way off as well!

-joe

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06-16-2008 11:22 AM
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SoEzzy Offline
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SmokinJoe;p="9901 Wrote:Try sticking your probe in some boiling water. Should read about 212. Then try putting the probe to an ice cube, and see how close to 32 it reads.

I'm no expert, but that's what I do, and I could be way off as well!

Around Salt Lake Valley you are looking at 203 - 204 for boiling water due to the elevation above sea level.

Up at Snowbird at the competition next weekend boiling point will be down at 198 or 199.

The 32 for ice water should be the same at any altitude above sea level.

Respice, adspice, prospice. Latin proverb.
Respice = you didn't use enough spice the first time! adspice = you ought to add spice, you know? prospice = you should be an advocate for spice!
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06-16-2008 11:57 AM
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SoEzzy;p="9902 Wrote:Around Salt Lake Valley you are looking at 203 - 204 for boiling water due to the elevation above sea level...
Actually, the fluctuation is a function of elevation and barometric pressure, which is constantly changing. When calibrating thermometers I recommend that you always calculate the current boiling point using a calculator like the one linked below.

Boiling Point Calculator

John
06-16-2008 12:06 PM
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sampson Offline
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Re: Bad thermometer?
Rule #1 for doneness, given to me by a VERY famous cook. "it's done when it's done..."

Rockin' on two 22.5 WSM's, a GOSM gasser and missing them old drums...
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06-16-2008 12:40 PM
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SoEzzy Offline
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PatioDaddio;p="9903 Wrote:Actually, the fluctuation is a function of elevation and barometric pressure, which is constantly changing. When calibrating thermometers I recommend that you always calculate the current boiling point using a calculator like the one linked below.

Boiling Point Calculator

John

Good point!

I was just giving the rough guide, (hence the spread), but with the calculator you can get it spot on when your calibrating your therms. :wink:

Respice, adspice, prospice. Latin proverb.
Respice = you didn't use enough spice the first time! adspice = you ought to add spice, you know? prospice = you should be an advocate for spice!
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06-16-2008 12:51 PM
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jgrant Offline
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Re: Bad thermometer?
Thanks for everyones help! I'll test for accuracy tonight. Short of a bad thermometer I am at a loss; not an uncommon scenario for me when it comes to barbecue. This is why I am only signed up for the CBJ class and not attempting to cook in competition.
06-16-2008 01:35 PM
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jgrant Offline
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Re: Bad thermometer?
I think I can rule out a bad thermometer. Using the boiling point calculator, I calculated the boiling point at 203.1. When testing the therm in the water it bounced from 203 to 204. Spot on. I imagine it is just as accurate taking air temp, even though that isn't really what it's designed for. At least now I can feel confident in my temp readings. I guess it's back to the drawing board. Thanks for the suggestions!

Josh
06-16-2008 08:53 PM
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