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That topic again .. Grid Temp vs Dome Temp

HubHub Posts: 650
edited July 2012 in EggHead Forum
Hi Folks,

I've been egging for years and have read and reread the
threads here, but I am still confused about this whole temperature
thing.  I have a Maverick ET-732 with the "BBQ" probe in the middle of
my grid, not touching anything, while cooking some ribs.  The temp reads
205.  My dome temp says about 255.  Last week, when doing a brisket, it
was just the opposite.  My grid probe was about 235 while the dome temp
was 195.  What gives? I've tested my probes in a glass of ice water and
at room temperature and both are accurate.

What is the general
rule? Grid temp higher than Dome? Dome temp higher than Grid? I'm having
trouble figuring out which number to trust and go by.  Please advise. 
Thank you.
Beautiful and lovely Villa Rica, Georgia


  • xraypat23xraypat23 Posts: 421
    depends, when I'm using my temp controller(ique) they're basically the same because of the high volume of convection. As far as non controlled. When i do pizza cooks, my dome says 600, and the oven thermometer on the stone says 550. Never really paid that close of attention to it on 225 cooks
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    go by dome temp.  if it is unspoken, it's always dome temp.

    only time you care about grate temp is when someone suggests 'x' temp at the grate.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,833
    When I first started reading the forum, someone else who was new proposed to use a couple of remote therms to measure the temperatures in several places. Another Egger responded that it was futile, because the temperature in various places was just too variable depending on time and set up.

    Here is what I know from various tests w. low temperatures.

    If the cook is direct, nothing blocking the IR from the coals, the air temperature at the grill gets hotter than the dome fairly quickly. Its hottest at the center, as on might expect.

    In an indirect cook, the temperature at felt level starts a good bit cooler, at least -25F, than the dome. As time goes on, they even out. Around 5 hours w. ribs on, the temperature is equal.

    The volume of the food, its shape, and its starting temperature will alter both set-up, but indirect more. It is possible to load the grill so much that even a fairly hot direct cook will result in a low dome temperature. Any probe or dome therm within an inch of a big mass of cold meat is going to read much lower. I've measured air temps as low as 180F w. a dome of 250F from a probe just an inch from a cold pork picnic.

    And then there are other factors. With a dome of 250, the area above a platesetter might be just above 200 while the platesetter is warming up, But once the 'setter is warmed, a few inches above it can be 400F.

    Tho' the Egg is a fine cooker, there are just too many variables. I'm doing a cook right now, which I hope to report on tomorrow, that is going along quite outside of anything I've had before. But its not the hardest or most tedious thing to go check what going on every houor. The aroma, at this point at least, is really good.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    there are variables in every cooker.

    has anyone here actually measured the grate temp of their electric oven? how about close the the element?
      back of the oven vs. front/

    information does not equate to understanding.

    an egg at 250 is an egg at 250  doesn't matter what temp is elsewhere.  ...unless that's the temp you are interested in tracking.  and so if it is, stop tracking the dome temp and just follow whatever benchmark you prefer.

    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • ducksbuddyducksbuddy Posts: 56
    Thanks stike,
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 5,833
    there are variables in every cooker.

    Indeed! Except maybe the restaurant ovens that start around $11K

    has anyone here actually measured the grate temp of their electric oven? how about close the the element?
      back of the oven vs. front/

    Umm, no electric oven, but  I'd be the one measuring the insides of both my last and my present kitchen oven. It would be a worthwhile experiment if folks compared what happens when a kitchen stove is opened, and when an Egg is opened. My experience is that the Egg is much more stable.

  • OutcastOutcast Posts: 112
    I'm no expert, but here is my theory FWIW.  I use the dome temp as my target, i.e. pork butt=250. I have the maverick in the meat for my target meat temp, and the grid probe on to tell me if I'm overshooting my temp badly.  Seems to be working pretty well.  I agree with Stike, "information does not equate to understanding"  Sometimes the KISS principle is best.
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