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Accurate Internal Temp Monitoring on Large Big Green Egg

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    Accurate Internal Temp Monitoring on Large Big Green Egg

    This is my first post!!!
    Hello fellow members,
    My wife gave me a BGE for Christmas. The first thing I did was remove the standard temperature gauge that came with it and swapped in my Thermoworks air probe and did some test burns @350 to set the seals. I have a Thermoworks Smoke X4 and Billows, so I’d like to get a very accurate temp feed into the Billows for low and slow cooks. The problem is this - the air probe is quite short and I am afraid that the close proximity of the tip of it to the ceramic wall at the top of the egg is going to affect the accuracy of the air temp reading. I have some longer meat probes that go a lot deeper into the egg, and I think this will be a better read of the air temp closer to my food. Any thoughts on alternative accurate internal air temp monitoring on the BGE?
    Thanks!

    #2
    welcome!

    I doing have a BGE or Kamodo, but I see why you're concerned. My thoughts are that you want to measure the air temp near, but not right next to, the meat. Right next to it, I can see the air being slightly cooled by the meat but a few inches away should be accurate.

    FWIW, one advantage of kamodo style smokers is that they are very stable because of the mass, so I'd strongly consider trying a few cooks without the Billows at all.

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome to the talking side of the Pit! No BGE here, sorry.

      Comment


        #4
        Welcome to the Pit. There are several clips available that will let you place a temp probe on the grate its self. Temp at grate level is the one that matters. When I first started I used a piece of folded aluminum foil to hold the probe just above the grate. It looked crude but worked great until I could get a clip.

        Comment


          #5
          I would put the gauge back in. Those are Tel-Tru Thermos, very reliable and accurate. (Really the only really accurate deal thermo out there) The stem is also short, which is what you want. A long probe going through he dome will poke the food on the top rack. (If you have one) You want the short probe in the dome, rather than a long one.

          Those temps should be very close, if it is properly heat soaked. Think of your BGE as a battery, it is storing all of that heat and energy in the ceramic. You will be getting vey even temps through out the cook, as long as it is heat soaked before you start cooking. Keep the probe equal distance from thereat and the side walls. Allow you BGE to come up to temp and settle in before you cook anything.

          Reading temps closer to the food, is not better. there is a micro layer of cold, moist air around the meat. As the meat cooks and "sweats" and it creates a micro layer of cold air and vapor. (this is what ultimately causes the stall) If you have your probe in this area, you will not be getting accurate readings. With the Billows set up, the best place to put the probe is in the BGE, on the rack and away from the food. Do not let it touch the side wall but you want it closer to the side wall, than you do the meat. Otherwise, if it is reading too close to the meat, you will have the fan running a lot more because it thinks the BGE is colder than it really is.

          (Make sure to read this thread on Taming the Savage Kamado)

          This is a great read and will help you get to know your Kamado. They are great cookers and you will love it, but make sure you get to know it first.

          Comment


          • Old Glory
            Old Glory commented
            Editing a comment
            I am usually afraid to put it too close to the edge thinking it is hotter at the uncovered edge of the plate setter...the gap between the edge and the plate setter where the direct heat can come through.

          • Spinaker
            Spinaker commented
            Editing a comment
            Valid point, my friend. Yeah I try to place it where the legs of the setter go out to the edge of the fire bowl. Old Glory

          #6
          I just leave a probe on the grill grate next to the meat and that works perfectly.

          Comment


            #7
            Well, hello from NW Oregon. Big Green Avocado 😀
            Verity is the spice of life. Hope to learn from you.

            Comment


              #8
              Welcome to the posting side of The Pit.

              Comment


                #9
                I have two kamados. I place a probe or two on the cooking grate about 2-3" away from the meat. The temperature at the lower grate is often 25-50 cooler than at the dome thermometer for awhile until the kamado soaks up the heat and stabilizes.

                Comment


                  #10
                  Hello and welcome from upstate NY! I had a Vision Classic B kamdo for years. I did as other suggested and clipped my sensor to the grate with the holder you likely got with your Smoke. I also used a temp controller with limited success. In the end, after running into an issue on an overnight cook, I just ran the kamado manually.

                  I'm looking forward to reading about your experiences.

                  Comment


                  • syhulyme
                    syhulyme commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Light the lump, wait 8-15 minutes, close the dome, vents fully open. Close vents to usual setting once I get within 25-50 degrees of target. Wait 15-40 minutes depending on type of Tutuapp 9Apps Showbox cook I am doing. Check grill, make adjustment if needed, wait another 15-20 minutes if temp is off more then 25 degrees.
                    Last edited by syhulyme; June 11, 2022, 02:28 PM.

                  #11
                  I have been cooking on a BGE for over ten years and the original gauge typically varies by +25 degrees to the grate temp. I would put the original back in and know that 250 in the dome =225 at the grate level. I only use a controller because the winds gust on and off here in Dallas, Texas. Before I moved here I never used a controller letting it cook unattended over night.

                  Comment


                    #12
                    You don’t want to remove the dome temperature gauge.

                    Put it back. Now.

                    You want to put your Thermoworks air probe on the cooking grate, and just run the wire across the felt gasket. It works just fine. You don’t want to put the probe in the lid like that.just the wrong spot to monitor, and also problematic due to the fact you will burn up your probe at higher temps.

                    Use the dome temp gauge as a general guide, knowing it’s a little higher than the cooking grate level, and for cooks where you CANNOT use the thermoworks probe.

                    You cannot use the Thermowork strobe for cooking pizza or high heat use above 500 degrees for example.
                    Last edited by jfmorris; December 29, 2021, 02:07 PM.

                    Comment


                      #13
                      What others have said. Put the original thermometer back, and instead measure the temp at grate level. Use a clip, a wad of alu foil, half a potato. Make sure there’s 2-3” between the food and the probe so you don’t get false readings (large hunks of meat cool off the adjacent air).

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Calibrate the BGE thermometer. It’s easy, there are instructions on the internet. Then put it back in.

                        As Spinaker and 58limited say, the BGE thermo is actually pretty accurate. Once the ceramic is up to temp, the BGE thermo and the grate thermo will match. Your grate thermo is still useful for grilling, or if you just want to double check. Or if you use a controller, of course. But for long and low and slow, the dome thermo is fine.

                        A good kamado is amazing. Once you get it dialed in, it will hold temp within a couple degrees until it runs out of fuel. I’ve had mine go 20+ hours at 250*.

                        Comment


                          #15
                          Wow, I'm blown away by how helpful you all are! What a great forum! Thanks everyone for your very helpful comments. I just started my third and final practice burn. I'm trying to maintain 225 over a long time. I put the dial back in and clipped the Thermoworks air probe to the grate. After one hour they are both reading the same temp. I guess after 10+ years using my Weber kettle I was very distrusting of the dial gauges. I would typically shy away from the grate clip strategy because I would pack the kettle with ribs in a stacker and there wouldn't be very much room for a clipped air probe that was far enough away from any piece of meat. I would always drop a food probe down through the top and have it positioned about halfway between the top of the ribs and the top of the dome. Very impressed with how stable this BGE is with temps in different spots, just like some of you mentioned. I became addicted to using the Smoke/Billows with the Weber kettle because it works great. Dial in 225 and after some wild temp swings in the first hour as it settled down, it would mantain between 220 and 230 without fail. I guess I can part ways with it now. Thanks again everyone!

                          Comment


                          • smokin fool
                            smokin fool commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Agreed. I've only had one experience with a BGE and was amazed by how well it holds temps for extended periods of time.
                            Quite the opposite of my BKK which some days, not all, needs constant baby sitting.

                          • jfmorris
                            jfmorris commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I’ve got a temp controller as well that I used with my Weber Performer, but have only used on my SNS Kamado once in a year. I find I just don’t need it on the kamado, as it is so much more stable, and the vents are pretty precise and repeatable. And s you have seen, after about an hour I find the temps at upper and lower grates come pretty close on the kamado. I attribute that to the ceramic thermal mass.

                          • Mosca
                            Mosca commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Even though I’ve had my BGE for 10 years or so, and know how to hold temp, I still use my temp controller fan. Gadgets are fun. It’s nice to know I don’t need it, and if I’m doing just an afternoon cook like ribs, I often don’t use it. But if I’m going to start a whole packer at 11PM, I’m putting the fan in there.

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