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Thermometer for Turkey Day

 
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walknbluez72
BBQ Fan


Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Nov 17 2006    Post subject: Thermometer for Turkey Day Reply with quote

I need a thermometer to monitor the internal temp of the 2 turkeys I'll be cooking in my WSM. What would be a good one for this and where can I buy one locally?
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Bedlam BBQ
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 1610
Location: Broken Arrow, OK

PostPosted: Nov 17 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are two thoughts in thermometers. You have the type that you leave a probe in the meat to monitor throughout the entire cooking -- like a Taylor or Maverick. Then you have the instant read probe that you just stick into the meat when you want to check the temp -- like a Thermopen. The problem I've always run into is that with poultry, I don't get accurate readings with the Taylor because on a turkey you have thick areas of meat (the breast meat) and then you have thin areas of meat (thighs and legs). So it's hard to just leave the probe in one area to monitor the meat during the entire cook.

My recommendation is to get one of the instant read pen type thermometers like the Thermopen. But there is a big price difference as well. The Taylor or Maverick is around $20 but the Thermopen is around $85 -- you pay for the convenience. They make some other "pen" type of thermometers, but they aren't "instant" read and you have to hold the pen in place for awhile to get an accurate read (thus losing your heat from your pit while you try to get a temp reading).

Sorry for the long response but this is a bigger issue than just a simple answer.
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walknbluez72
BBQ Fan


Joined: 17 Jun 2006
Posts: 126

PostPosted: Nov 18 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks that helped. I currently have a simple inexpensive one that I purchased from the BBQ store (I believe Weber makes it) and I use that to stick through the top of the WSM to monitor temps. I have used that before to check meat and it works but since I saw all the pics on this site with the kind that stays in the meat I thought that was the "pro" method.
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Bedlam BBQ
BBQ Super Pro


Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 1610
Location: Broken Arrow, OK

PostPosted: Nov 18 2006    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use my Taylor thermometers with the probes that connect to a base unit for long cooks on thick meat like brisket and pork butt. You can stick the probe in to the middle of the meat and leave it there during the entire cook. Not sure I'd consider this the "pro" technique. Actually I'd more refer to it as the "lazy" technique because the base unit sends the temp to a remote unit that I keep next to me while I'm laying on the couch. Laughing

But for birds, I have to work a little harder and actually use one of these pen type of probes and just check it every hour or so. I like the digital units better than the dial -- just easier to read IMHO.
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