This is a membership forum. As a guest, you can click around a bit. View 5 pages for free. If you are a member you must log in now. If you would like to participate, please join.

[ Pitmaster Club Information | Join Now | Login | Contact Us ]

There are 4 page views remaining.


No announcement yet.

Thermocouple Accuracy (or lack thereof)

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Thermocouple Accuracy (or lack thereof)

    I've somehow acquired quite a few different probes of various types and am having trouble getting any of them to agree with each other. I've got a Thermoworks armored cable probe, another metal probe that came with an Auber controller, and a couple of the naked end ones for monitoring air temp in the cooker. They'll mostly agree with each other within a degree or two at ambient air temps of 65 degree and I've done the boiling water test and they are showing anywhere from 206 to 213 degrees, but then I put them in a WSM and I'll get a range from 310 to 375 degrees from 3 or 4 different probes. Seems like 5 or 10 degrees would be a large but still reasonable amount of disagreement, but 50 or 60 degrees is way too much and it doesn't seem as if it's just one particular probe that is out of range.

    Wondering if anyone has any ideas of what may be going on here or is this just the nature of these types of probes? I've read that accuracy is supposed to be within about 2 deg celsius.


    douglasbialor The only thing that I can think of would be, that your getting moisture on the probes or inside of the probes themselves from the humidity inside the cooker. Or depending on the food, fire or the combination of the two, you may have hot and cool spots developing inside the cooker. Those are the only things that I can think of.
    Good Luck



      Hey Doug, Welcome to the pit. If your probes are right in boiling water (or close) than their right.

      ​Are you putting all the probes in the WSM at the same point? I experienced big temp variations in a WSM. It takes hours to balance it out.

      As an example My WSM top grate is normally 30°- 40° different than the bottom. Its also always much hotter at the wall over the "gap" then the center of rack. I call the gap the open space between the water pan and wall. This is true no matter which rack you set on.

      The heat inside that thing is not as even as I thought it was for sure. Ive spent a lot of time testing probes thinking there just no way that they could be right inside that bullet. Its odd.

      Last edited by Jon Solberg; April 23, 2015, 11:21 AM.


        Thanks, Guys. I do have the probes all in the same spot, within an inch or so of each other right above the grate. I think I need to start over with the boiling water test and make sure they are all really testing at out the 212 degree mark and go from there. Wondering if a few degree difference at 212 becomes a larger 20 or 30 degree discrepancy at 350 degrees.



          Probes do go bad. Industry standard on K type probes is that they can be off by about +-2F, but the better ones should be spot on.


            A way to test at high temps, say 300-350f, would be to use oil instead of water. Heat some on the stovetop in a large Dutch oven - the oil temp should be fairly constant throughout. But be very careful with the hot oil! Make some fried food when you are done so as not to waste the oil!



            No announcement yet.


            These are not paid ads, they are a curated selection of products we love.

            All of the products below have been tested and are highly recommended. Click here to read more about our review process.

            Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

            Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our “buy now” links. This has zero impact on the price you pay but helps support the site.

            The Pit Barrel Cooker May Be Too Easy

            The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It’s among the best bargains for a smoker in the world. This baby cooks circles around cheap offset smokers because temperature control is so much easier. Click here to read our detailed review and the raves from people who own them.

            GrillGrates Take Gas Grills To The Infrared Zone

            GrillGrates amplify heat, prevent flare-ups, make flipping foods easier, kill hotspots, flip over to make a fine griddle, and can be easily moved from one grill to another. Click here for more about what makes these grates so special.

            A Propane Smoker That Performs Under Pressure

            The Masterbuilt MPS 340/G ThermoTemp XL Propane Smoker is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’. Click here to read our detailed review.

            BBQ And Grilling Gifts For Every Occasion

            Looking for the perfect gift for the BBQ and grilling enthusiasts in your life? Here’s our suggestion for platinum and gold medal-winning products at a variety of price points. Click here to see our list of Gold Medal Gifts.