How to Install a Grill Thermometer

If your outdoor cooker already has a grill thermometer, great! If not, it's a simple matter to install one. Ideally, the thermometer will be mounted so the probe is at the same level as the cooking food.

Grill Thermometer Mounted On a Brinkmann Propane Grill Lid

The temperature inside a smoker or grill us usually higher near the top. A thermometer mounted there will give a false impression of the temperature.

For the most accurate temperature measurement, mount the thermometer on the side, just a few inches above the grate, at the same level as the food.

Grill Thermometer Mounting Instructions

Mounting a smoker thermometer on your smoker takes only three easy steps.

  1. Drill a Hole...large enough for the threaded part of the thermometer stem to pass easily through. Position the hole 2 to 3 inches above the level of the cooking grate. If there is more than one grate, you could put a thermometer at each level. However, one placed at the top level is all you really need.

  2. Slip in the Thermometer it passes through the hole. Make sure the threads pass completely through.

  3. Attach the Nut...and tighten it up on the threads. Be sure that the dial is positioned correctly. Don't crank the nut too tight...just snug it up. Over tightening can damage the thermometer assembly.

Mounting requires drilling a 3/8 inch hole. This one looks like a good quality thermometer, but for my money, (and yours), you'd be better off going to a large home supply retail store and checking the grill section. You should be able to find one there for a very reasonable price.

That's all there is to it. You can now use your new thermometer to control the temperature of your smoker next time you cook some perfect pork ribs or a beautiful beef brisket!

Calibrating a Grill Thermometer

Checking The Accuracy Of a 2 Inch Grill Temperature Gauge

If you feel that the temperature being displayed on your grill thermometer isn't accurately representing the true grill or smoker temperature, you might be able to calibrate it. Simply remove the thermometer from your cooker, and holding it with pliers, submerge the stem into boiling water.

The thermometer needle should be positioned very close to the 212˚F position on the dial. If not, the stem can be be rotated slightly to line it up to the true reading. On some thermometers the stem is fixed in place, but others can be rotated.

Grip the dial section in one hand, and gently but securely grasp the stem with your pliers. Apply a bit of force to rotate the stem in the desired direction. Re-test in boiling water until your calibration attempts line the needle up in the correct position.

If you want consistently great barbecued and smoked food, a grill thermometer is a must. Keep that fire burning low and slow and you'll end up with great food every time!