Why are my thermometers failing?

Started by yelloweye, January 17, 2011, 10:55:22 AM

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Hi Everyone,

This is my first post, but I've gained lots of valuable information from the site that you all share so generously.

I've now purchased 2 digital thermometers to monitor IT when smoking.  They both are now not reading correctly.  The only think I can think of is that moisture is entering the probe when I clean them, even though I have tried to avoid submerging them in/under water.  Is there something else going on here?  Should I not even try to clean them with water?  I can't afford to buy a new thermometer every time I smoke something up.

Thanks for helping!


Welcome yelloweye.

Yep, water getting into the back of the probe is a bad thing. When the probe is inserted into meat be sure place it tilted down so any juices will drip off and not run down the wire and into the crimp where the wire inters the probe. As far as cleaning I clean mine with a damp soppy cloth being very careful not to let water inter at the crimp. Good luck!


I use a alcohol wipie towelette that you can get at Wally World cheap.


Welcome Yelloweye - Yeah, I spotted my wife pulling the probes of my Maverick out of the sink as she was so generously cleaning up after a marathon meatloaf smoke. I didn't say anything...I'll just give them a couple days to dry out and hope for the best. I do think that the type that have the cable-like wire are more forgiving than those with the silicone covering. I've never paid much attention to the direction I inserted the probe into the meat before, but after TR's comment, I figure I'll pay a little more attention. I too generally just grab the soapy sponge and clean the probe itself.

Just saw CRG's note. That's a brilliant idea. I've got a load of those that I just happened to walk out of the local crab shack with ;D



Thanks for the great suggestions.  I hadn't thought about liquids dripping down the wire, but I'll bet that's part of the problem.  And the alcohol wipes sound like a winner also.

As an update, I heated up both of the probes today to nearly 500 degrees and was surprised to see liquid boiling out the ends of the probes.  After heating them up for about 15 minutes, I let them cool down, and surprise, they appear to be working again.  I thought that might helps others having problems.

Again, what a great forum!