Is it done yet? That's a tough one to answer if you don't use a good cooking thermometer when smoking meats.
Without a good smoker thermometer, you're flying blind. It's impossible to know exactly when your briskets and pork shoulders are ready to pull from the smoker to rest. It's a little disappointing when your smoked meat hasn't been cooked enough to shred easily.
And it can be dangerous to you and your loved ones if you serve under-done ground meats, turkey or chicken. Knowing for sure that your smoked meats have reached safe done temperature is a safety concern, and a good reason in itself to own at least one quality meat thermometer.
Good quality smoker and grill thermometers will give you improved results, plus will make your smoking and grilling experience easier overall. Here are a few good reasons to own one:
Support This Website!
I use and recommend the Maverick ET-73 smoker thermometer. Buying Amazon.com products through the links found on this site is appreciated, and helps Smoker-Cooking.com remain online.
When looking for a thermometer to use when smoking and grilling, or even for kitchen use, there are lots of choices and considerations.
Do you mind having to spend the bulk of your time hovering over your smoker and minding the temperature? If so, you need a digital remote thermometer with a wireless receiver. If you don't, you can use a simple digital thermometer connected directly to a probe, with the display unit sitting next to the cooker.
You could even use an analog dial thermometer. It'll do the job, but it's not ideal since you have to open up the smoker whenever you check the meat temperature, losing precious heat each time. Whenever a smoker is opened cooking time is increased by up to 30 minutes. And that's the reason I use remote thermometers!
Pocket size digital instant read thermometers are great for taking a quick temperature reading of cooking foods.
Remote thermometers are great for monitoring the temperature of the meat or the smoke chamber. With these you're able to watch the temperature without opening the smoker or grill. For the ultimate in convenience, there are digital remote thermometers with pagers you can take in the house, some with up to a 100 foot range.
These thermometers bring the latest technology to the everyday consumer. The surface temperature of foods and cooking surfaces is sensed by these units. However, for reading the internal temperature of meats, a probe thermometer is still required.
Usually mounted on the lid or cover of the grill or smoker, these indicate the approximate temperature of the interior cooking area. However since the thermometer isn't at the same level as the food, they tend to give an inaccurate reading. The following page explains how to mount a thermometer on your grill or smoker.
Although not used for cooking, these thermometers are an important part of a well functioning kitchen. Food is a major investment, and these thermometers help you protect that investment by preventing spoilage.
I use three different cooking thermometers. My smokers and grills each have a mounted thermometer for keeping track of the cooking temperature. I use both an instant read dial type thermometer and a remote digital thermometer for checking the meat temperature. My next will be one of those fancy infrared non-contact thermometer. That should be a fun one to play with!
Return to Top: Cooking Thermometers