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Temperature difference

maellison

New member
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.
 

MAK DADDY

Moderator
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.
 

TentHunter

Moderator
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! :D

And Welcome to the forum! Be sure to get some pics to share with us! :cool:
 

maellison

New member
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?
 
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mcschlotz

Member
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 20ºƒ 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 :rolleyes:
 

sschorr

Member
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.
 

TentHunter

Moderator
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!
 
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maellison

New member
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.
 

sschorr

Member
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.
 

maellison

New member
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.
 

MAK DADDY

Moderator
The Grate will always be slightly different from the overall pit temp measured by the MAK Sensor on the left side.
We worked really hard (3yrs) on the new flame zone pan (2017 release) to get these as close as possible. The hotter you cook the more radiant heat you will get from the grease pan directly below the grate. Long story short if you just trust the MAK to cook/smoke great foods and not stress over temps at different parts of the grill you will be very happy with the results!

See the Temperature Testing thread for MAK testing here at the factory.
 

SteveM488

New member
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!

My momma was the first one to tell me to "never trust an oven thermostat" and that the first few cooks would tell her whether her new appliance ran hot or cold or was pretty good. The temp that is being read on the Mak is not an average . . . . it's the temperature at a location in the oven - selected by the engineers and design team as most representative. . . . of the total oven cook temp. But for that to work well - air circulation (starting with the fan - thru the auger, thru the fire pot and out the vents - needs to be consistent. Which is why keeping your vents clean is important. If air circulates differently than the designers intended - - - indicated temps can start to get wonky. But here's my point - the temperature at which sugar caramelizes is only 10 or 15 degrees below the point at which it begins to turn into a really badly burnt and bitter tasting concoction The temperature of my "rare" filet is only 5 degrees less than a medium rare steak . . . . . .so - my point is temperature matters. That said - pellet smokers (I have a Mak 1) like my Lynx propane - like my Weber kettle - all have "hot spots" and some pretty wild swings in temp from what is indicated on their built in thermometers. Learn you grill is the short answer . . . but, at the end of the day - temperature DOES matter.
 

TentHunter

Moderator
My momma was the first one to tell me to "never trust an oven thermostat" and that the first few cooks would tell her whether her new appliance ran hot or cold or was pretty good. The temp that is being read on the Mak is not an average . . . . it's the temperature at a location in the oven - selected by the engineers and design team as most representative. . . . of the total oven cook temp. But for that to work well - air circulation (starting with the fan - thru the auger, thru the fire pot and out the vents - needs to be consistent. Which is why keeping your vents clean is important. If air circulates differently than the designers intended - - - indicated temps can start to get wonky. But here's my point - the temperature at which sugar caramelizes is only 10 or 15 degrees below the point at which it begins to turn into a really badly burnt and bitter tasting concoction The temperature of my "rare" filet is only 5 degrees less than a medium rare steak . . . . . .so - my point is temperature matters. That said - pellet smokers (I have a Mak 1) like my Lynx propane - like my Weber kettle - all have "hot spots" and some pretty wild swings in temp from what is indicated on their built in thermometers. Learn you grill is the short answer . . . but, at the end of the day - temperature DOES matter.


I wasn't implying that relative cooking temperature didn't matter. Of course you want to cook things at SUITABLE temperatures so you don't burn the sugar in BBQ sauce, or get a proper rise on pizza crust, or a sear on steak, or get that extra smoke from cooking low & slow, etc. Of course you want to cook a steak to your desired finished internal temperature. That's not what this thread or my earlier post is about.

My point was simple. Precluding obvious problems (uncontrolled temp swings, faulty thermocouple, etc.) you don't have to OBSESS over temperatures in/across your pit, etc. Instead relax, cook on it, get to know it and the temp differences, and adjust as necessary. :)

This expresses the same idea:
Big Poppa's Tips - Obsessing over pit temps?





On a related note: For those who want the ability to dial in the pit based on the temperature of a given grate (upper or lower), you will LOVE the new Roaming Thermocouple in the new 2019+ MAKs! I've tested it and it works amazingly well!

P.S. Speaking of that, hopefully I'll be completing my long overdue review of the 2019 MAK 2 Star soon! It's a beast!
 
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