Temperature difference
Drum Smoking Big Poppa Smokers
Temperature difference
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Thread: Temperature difference

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2018
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    Bellevue WA, Montana
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    Temperature difference

    I have a 2 Star and have used it extensively in "low and slow" mode with the blank grease pan. I checked the temperature at the grill and it is consistently higher then what the Boss reads: Boss 225, actual 260, Boss 275, actual 327, Boss 325, actual 392, Boss 375, actual 455. This was done with nothing in the grill but get the same result when cooking. These were not spot temp since I let the temperature stabilize and used an industrial grade Thermoworks Q measuring device that I had checked in boiling water. I left the probe in the entire time and the higher readings were very consistent and did not fluctuate more then 5 plus or minus from the stable temperature. For cooking I use the grill temp and adjust the controller temp accordingly. I understand that the Boss uses some algorithm to do temperature averaging but do not understand how the difference between the Boss and the actual can be so different. Since the food is cooking at actual grill temperature not what the Boss calculates is the only way to cook at the desired temperature is to put an additional probe in the grill and adjust the Boss accordingly? Would prefer just setting the Boss and have it cook at the desired temperature.

  2. #2
    The MAK's temp sensor is in the left corner of the grill to read the average overall pit temp. If you place your sensor in different areas of the grill it will read different then the display. Think of it like your house, the thermostat is located away from the vents pumping out heat to get an average temp but not all rooms will be the same. Food, Foil grease build up etc. will also play a role in your temps.

    Couple tips:
    Be sure to clean your MAK sensor (it should be metal colored when clean) so it reads the correct temp.
    Double check your diffuser under the pan as well (square plate) to make sure the flanges are pointed down (it has "top" stamped on it).
    Make sure your grease pan is installed correctly, there is an F stamped on one side for "front", if you cant read it anymore the larger of the two obround cutouts goes on the right.
    Superior Wood Pellet BBQ Smoker Grills!
    www.makgrills.com

  3. #3
    One more tip: Keep the Thermoworks pit probe out of your MAK, so you don't end up driving yourself nuts worrying about any difference!

    And Welcome to the forum! Be sure to get some pics to share with us!
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2018
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    Bellevue WA, Montana
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    How do I attach or upload photos? You do a great job of that. On the other question concerning temps. The Thermoworks is recording the actual temperature where the food is cooking. Why not use that temp instead of the Boss which is farther from where the cooking is happening and adjust the Boss so the Thermo reads the desired cooking temp?
    Last edited by maellison; 05-09-2018 at 08:17 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Jun 2014
    Location
    Indianapolis
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    The analogy of the house thermostat is a good one. I personally don't spend much time dealing with that one. Agreed there is a temp diff between the center grate vs the PB back left corner. My MAK 2 Star is approx 20 but I know that and adjust accordingly. Yeah it's kind of a PITA but necessary since I really doubt MAK is going to provide an upgrade to allow users to manually calibrate their smoker temps. Although that would be a cool upgrade
    MAK 2 Star #3623
    MAK 2 Star #1915 now w/another smoker
    Twin Eagles Gasser

  6. #6
    MAK folks,

    I have been seriously looking at the MAK 2 Star ( I cannot buy until June). One of the big reasons for considering the MAK is the supposedly great controller, fan system, well engineered smoke/heat delivery system (Flamezone) and superior construction overall (SS throughout). Are you all seriously stating that temp differences of 35 to 80 degrees from controller to actual is "normal" for the MAK. I understand the thermostat analogy, and I understand that the probe is back left versus the food potentially being in many different locations comparatively. However, over 25 degrees variance makes a huge difference in how foods cook.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by maellison View Post
    How do I attach or upload photos? You do a great job of that. On the other question concerning temps. The Thermoworks is recording the actual temperature where the food is cooking. Why not use that temp instead of the Boss which is farther from where the cooking is happening and adjust the Boss so the Thermo reads the desired cooking temp?
    Easy answer:

    Do you do that in your home oven? Of course not, yet your oven is exactly the same way. It's temp sensor is an AVERAGE overall temperature, being read off to the side, and not the actual temperature where you have your food, which varies depending on exactly where you place it.

    Temperatures are somewhat relative and subjective anyway. In fact actual measured temps are a relatively new idea in the history of cooking. Before we had thermostatically controlled ovens, recipes simply called for either a slow, moderate, or fast (hot) oven.

    Also your MAK will settle down as it gets used and the PID controller starts doing its thing. So, set the temp on your PelletBoss and start cooking. After a few cooks, you will very quickly learn what, if any, adjustments you need to make, and you are going to love your MAK!






    On the photo thing: Get an account (if you don't already have one) with one of the Photo Hosting sites Imgur, Flicker, ImgBB, etc. (avoid PhotoBucket). You can upload your photos to you account and most of them have tools that will let you copy/paste a link for posting images to forums. The link in your post will look similar to this (with the image tags):

    [img]https://i.imgur.com/bGrxDO7.jpg[/img]


    Hope this helps. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask!
    Last edited by TentHunter; 05-10-2018 at 06:41 AM.
    <><
    MAK 1 Star General #651 - 2014 Model
    former owner - MAK 1 Star General #171
    22.5" Weber Performer with Stoven Pellet Grill attachment
    27 + year old 22.5" Weber Kettle (still works fine)
    Modified Horizontal Offset Smoker - used mainly for cold smoking.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Jan 2018
    Location
    Bellevue WA, Montana
    Posts
    4
    Since I am the one that posted the temperature discrepancy please do not let that negatively impact your decision. I have used both the Mak 1 and 2 and they both work great. IMHO there is some marketing hype about ALL pellet grills that they are just fill the bin set the temp and come back later and everything will be just perfect that is NOT correct. They are much easier and more accurate then any other type of barbecue to use but there is a learning curve and there is physics to contend with. Since the manufacturers do not know exactly where or how much food you will put in the 450 +square inch area, you can have racks at two levels, you might have one piece of meat on the grill or one or both racks full they have to calculate an average temperature for the entire cooking area and then adjust their one probe to reflect that average temperature. Since it is not feasible for a consumer to put probes all over the inside of the grill we can only put one or two. By definition those temperatures will be different then the average of the entire cooking space. If in the center the temp will be higher if in one of the remote corners it will probably be less. So you have a choice. Go with what the controller says and trust that the manufacturer has done a good job of testing or you can put a probe next to the meat and then adjust the controller to give you that temperature. Both ways will work just depends on your personal preference. Mak does as good or better job then anyone else in everything about their grills including the temperature issue. Hope this helps. Took me a while and lots of questions to figure it out. So do not discount either Mak for my comment. I was trying to understand the process and now I do.

  9. #9
    maellison - I do understand needing to learn how a pit works. I went on quite a journey with my current pellet pooper, a Camp Chef SmokePro DLX (2016), which also has experienced big temp swings. I use a fireboard remote to monitor my cook, so I do understand adjusting to swings that come from a lot of variables - how the controller works, the probe location, air gaps, chimney cap opening and especially winds which can be pretty significant where I live.

    The measurements you originally posted still seem extreme. 35 degrees at the low end and around 80 degrees at the high end. That is still unusual to me.

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
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    Bellevue WA, Montana
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    Actually I do put a temperature probe in my oven. Ovens, even the very expensive ones, have notoriously inaccurate thermostats and controls. If I have something important and/or expensive to cook always put a probe in the oven.

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