Using a Thermometer When Smoking Meat

maverick-et732To check temperature with any smoker I recommend a good Thermometer. The ones I have learned to love are the digital meat thermometers with a probe and a 3 foot metal cable. They run around 15 dollars but are worth their weight in gold in my opinion.

You can push the probe into the thickest part of the meat in whatever you are cooking. The metal cable attached to the probe is flat and easily runs through the door even with it closed or you can run it out of a vent or other opening.

The cable attaches to the monitor which sits on top of the smoker and gives you real-time readings on the temperature of the meat you are cooking. Most of them also have an alarm to alert you when a target temperature (set by you) is reached.

Now they have some that are remote so that the cable attached to a sending unit on top of the smoker. You have the monitor on your wrist or belt and know what the temperature is even if you walk off to do other things around the yard, in the garage or whatever.

These can be purchased at or you may also be able to find them at places like Walmart,Ace Hardware, Lowes, Home Depot, etc..


TIP: Do not let the metal probe touch any other metal or it will fry the probe and you will have to get a new one. Replacement probes run around 5 dollars but there is shipping cost from the company and the hassle of having to wait for a new one to arrive. As with any tools, just be careful and you should be fine.



  1. your article would have been of greater value if you would have stated where to place the probe, big difference in a brisket, not hitting a bone, etc

  2. kingkoch42 says:

    Should the probe touch the bone or not ?

    for example, a bone-in ham.

  3. kingkoch42 says:

    Thank you.

  4. Tulsa Jeff… For the average grill or smoker guy not having these temperature devices is like driving in snow without your headlights on. those that say they can tell by touch are fooling themselves. If you are a chef and cook a hundred steaks a day… Maybe. When I smoke I use 2 digital devices. 1 that I insert in a potato that I have cut the end off of, about an inch an a half. I put the probe thru it to keep it off the metal grates and away from the sides of the smoker. Why…? Because the temp gauges they put on most grills and smokers are off by at least 20/30 degrees. Then I use the other one for whatever meat I’m smoking. I bought 2 of the same brand and can read both probes off of 1 hand held monitor. So you are always aware of the smoker temp and them increase of the meat temp at every minutes during the cook. Then… I also have a hand held all in one digital temperature device that I use to double check the meat probe of the other 2 when that one is telling me it is done. Paranoid… Maybe but I figure if you are going to spend hours and hours doing this… Get it right!

  5. How about some recommendations on brands. Which are good and which are crap?

  6. Sonic98 says:

    Yeah I have that little $15 one Maverick that’s supposed to measure both oven and food temperature, and it’s been working pretty good for me.

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