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Out of the Blue

As spring approaches, I'm starting to make plans to up my game this year at the man stove. My grill has a side fire-box for smoking, but I don't think it's an ideal smoker at that, and obviously using it as a smoker prevents using it for grilling, so I'm looking at dedicated smokers (though the draw of a kamado-style ceramic grill is quite strong). The thing is there's such a variety of them out there to choose between, I think I should have started researching this before last spring for this one. I certainly am interested in hearing anyone's personal experiences on the topic.

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16. Re: Out of the Blue Feb 23, 2012, 22:21 cappy
Ohnos wrote on Feb 23, 2012, 14:04:
Wow, that CyberQ is pretty amazing! But for $30, I love this Maverick remote thermometer:

I actually prefer the Maverick ET-7 more than the ET-73:

The ET-73 has two temperature probes, but one of them monitors the pit temperature. If you're familiar with how the pit cooks and are keeping track of it every now and then, the remote smoker temp probe probably isn't needed. A Weber, Big Green Egg, Cabinet-style smoker, and heavy offset smoker should be consistent enough on their temps to be all right.

The ET-7 has two temperature probes but they are both intended for cooking. They can be separately programmed to different meat temperatures. If you're cooking more than one brisket, or a turkey (where the thigh and breast have different final temperatures) a second meat thermometer becomes a lot more useful than the pit temperature probe.

Regarding pit temperature fluctuations - some people twist themselves into knots trying to remain within a few degrees of their "perfect" temperature for an entire cook. Brisket can be smoked in easily a 125 degree range - as low as 225 and as high as 350 - and the results are pretty much identical (a lot of champion cookers as well as Texas barbecue places cook north of 300 degrees). Smoking meat is not like baking a delicate cheesecake. A 15-25 degree variation during a cook is not going to ruin anything. A 75 degree variation, though, means you're having problems controlling the fire size and amount of fuel.

This comment was edited on Feb 23, 2012, 22:29.
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