HELP - Temp reads 30 deg higher than actual. Is this normal?

Hank Sinatra

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I got a Silverton 810 about a year ago, and never really got it dialed in. (And I've been bbq'ing successfully for years with my Big Green Egg.)
A Thanksgiving turkey was a raw nightmare.
But I think I've found the problem.
I recently got a Thermoworks Signals unit. It turns out that the grill is ALWAYS running 25-40 degrees cooler than the indicated temp.
(Check my photos.)
Yes, I positioned the probe right next to the grill thermoprobe, only an inch away.
And I then I put the Thermoworks probe in the middle of the grill... same result.
Talking to Traeger, the only thing they say is to check the temp of the cold grill, and if it's reading close to the air temp, then it's all good.
Yeah, right! I don't cook at air temp.

Anyone have some insight to share?

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Slimpicker

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Anyone have some insight to share?

 

Jrp

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I have the same problem with a new Ironwood 885. I purchased a Traeger thermometer - their Meater - to check the temps after Traeger told me the controller rules no matter the inside temp, because they do not recognize third party thermometers.
Results were - controller indicated temp vs actual per Meater thermometer - 225/180 350/300. I have called Traeger at least 8 times previously to discuss this. The first issue was replace the thermocouple - no change in temp difference. Follwed by lip service and references to the Traeger website and manual. I seem to have more heat coming out the back vent than in the cook chamber, fan blowing too high, I don't know and Traeger refuses to acknowledge I have a meaningful issue. I truly would like to enjoy the grill but so far it has been been a pain. I have been on the planet long enough to know better but I failed to research the Ironwood and the related warranty and return policy. Lesson learned however distasteful so thanks Traeger for helping me waste $1,600 not including tax, wasted pellets, wasted food, and wasted time and aggravation.
 
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Hank Sinatra

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and Traeger refuses to acknowledge I have a meaningful issue. I truly would like to enjoy the grill but so far it has been bee


Thanks for the links to all these posts.
Wow! This really sounds like a 'baked-in' issue with Traeger stoves reading 20-40 degrees below actual temp.
This is depressing.
How the heck am I supposed follow a recipe or even have consistent cooks?
 
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Hank Sinatra

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I have the same problem with a new Ironwood 885. I purchased a Traeger thermometer - their Meater - to check the temps after Traeger told me the controller rules no matter the inside temp, because they do not recognize third party thermometers.
Results were - controller indicated temp vs actual per Meater thermometer - 225/180 350/300. I have called Traeger at least 8 times previously to discuss this. The first issue was replace the thermocouple - no change in temp difference. Follwed by lip service and references to the Traeger website and manual. I seem to have more heat coming out the back vent than in the cook chamber, fan blowing too high, I don't know and Traeger refuses to acknowledge I have a meaningful issue. I truly would like to enjoy the grill but so far it has been been a pain. I have been on the planet long enough to know better but I failed to research the Ironwood and the related warranty and return policy. Lesson learned however distasteful so thanks Traeger for helping me waste $1,600 not including tax, wasted pellets, wasted food, and wasted time and aggravation.

Thanks, JRP.
Sorry to hear you're have the same issues.
I'm surprised... no, astounded... to learn that this is considered to be acceptable.
I guess I can just assume that all the pit temps reported by the Traeger to be about 30 degrees low, but consider this...
What about the Super Smoke feature?
The Super Smoke stops working at 225 degrees, so if the RTD probe is 30 degrees off, then really that means that Super Smoke cuts out at 195 degrees.
This considerably limits our flexibility in using this feature, which was one of the reasons I opted to get a more expensive model.
Seems like fraud to me.
 

Murphy's Law

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I find the offset is not constant across temp ranges. For example, it’s pretty accurate at 180 degrees but off by about 30 degrees at 350 (my temp reads low).

Get a good 3rd party thermometer and you’ll have a much better understanding (and control) of your cooks.
 

RayClem

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I find the offset is not constant across temp ranges. For example, it’s pretty accurate at 180 degrees but off by about 30 degrees at 350 (my temp reads low).

Get a good 3rd party thermometer and you’ll have a much better understanding (and control) of your cooks.

I find the same thing. At 225 F my RTD thermocouple, a temperature probe resting on the top shelf of my IW885 and an analog thermometer installed in the hood of my grill all read similarly. As the temperature setpoint is increased, the difference between the RTD and the other thermometers increases. The difference can be as much as 50 F when the grill setpoint is 450F. I adjust my grill setpoint to achieve the cook temperature I desire.

I have a gas oven in the kitchen. The gas burner is in the floor of the oven. Foods that are placed on a lower rack of the oven cook differently than foods placed on the top rack.
 

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Thanks for the links to all these posts.
Wow! This really sounds like a 'baked-in' issue with Traeger stoves reading 20-40 degrees below actual temp.
This is depressing.
How the heck am I supposed follow a recipe or even have consistent cooks?
TRUST your 3rd party probe in your pit and go by that ONLY!!!!
 

RayClem

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I suspect that the difference in temperature between the RTD thermocouple and an independent probe placed on the cooking grate is not as much a matter of calibration as it is a matter of placement. The fire pot is located near the center bottom of the grill. That firepot is covered by a heat baffle and a larger drip tray resides between that and the cooking grates. Thus, the fan forces air through the fire pot and then that air has to flow up and around the baffle and drip tray to get to the cooking area. Since the RTD thermocouple is located near the wall of the grill chamber, it may well experience temperatures higher than the center of the grill where food is normally placed. Since the fan speed changes as the temperature setpoint increases, this effect may well be exacerbated at higher temperature setpoints.

Some of you may say that this a result of the way Traeger designed their grill. That is true. The question is whether or not it is possible to design the grills differently to eliminate this issue. Ideally, the RTD thermocouple would be placed in the center of the grill close to where the food is being cooked. However, this would make the sensor even more subject to damage than it already is. Furthermore, the sensor could interfere with placement of foods on the grill grates. There is no perfect solution. The best available solution may be to place an independent thermometer on the grate adjacent to the food being cooked and adjust the setpoint of the controller to achieve the cook temperature desired. That is exactly what @Slimpicker recommended.
 

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Timmy

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Yep, that’s what I get also.
 

JPSBBQ

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While it does mention hot spots, it gives +\- variables of 25 +\-

+\- means just that. They probably get more inquiries or complaints concerning higher temps in the areas they specifically addressed but they also addressed foil hanging in the way which would cause low temps. Also mentioned pellets which are a huge factor as different brands will burn differently and produce various BTU. Not just old, but ones with higher or lower moisture or diameter.

It’s much a do about nothing as far as I’m concerned. Simply adjust to your preferences. Once you understand what you’re dealing with it’s pretty predictable.
 

dleewoods

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I got a Silverton 810 about a year ago, and never really got it dialed in. (And I've been bbq'ing successfully for years with my Big Green Egg.)
A Thanksgiving turkey was a raw nightmare.
But I think I've found the problem.
I recently got a Thermoworks Signals unit. It turns out that the grill is ALWAYS running 25-40 degrees cooler than the indicated temp.
(Check my photos.)
Yes, I positioned the probe right next to the grill thermoprobe, only an inch away.
And I then I put the Thermoworks probe in the middle of the grill... same result.
Talking to Traeger, the only thing they say is to check the temp of the cold grill, and if it's reading close to the air temp, then it's all good.
Yeah, right! I don't cook at air temp.

Anyone have some insight to share?

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Yes! I have the EXACT same issue. All my recipes were taking 50% longer than expected, 12 hours brisket took 20 hours, 30 minute chicken breast takes 50, 20 minute salmon takes 30+ minutes, so I got to checking. I have almost identical photos of my Silverton 810 being consistently low 30-35 degrees. I've chatted with support, called them, and had the local repair guy come by. Every time they stick their head in the sand. The more I talk to them the more insulting their responses get: maybe you're opening the lid too much, maybe the cut of meat is too thick, the recipes times are only a guideline, and, of course, we can't reply on independent temperature probes. It's frustrating how the problem is clearly written all over my temperature probes (which I confirmed at 34 and 211 degrees) but they keep throwing out the most ridiculous theories.

After chatting with the 4th Traeger service rep (a supervisor) they are now very reluctantly sending me a new RTD, but assured me that this would not solve my problem since there "is no problem". He told me he COULDN'T send me the part, and I told him I COULD just take the grill back to the store, and if that's the only solution, then so be it. Even the service tech listening in was shocked how reluctant they seemed to help or provide me a new part.

My theory is the they installed the wrong RTD for the controller or the controller is pre-programmed for the wrong grill/RTD (as different grills use different RTD's but the same controller). I'd love to test the specifications on my RTD and talk to their engineering to see if that's what the controller programming expects. If I put in an Ironwood RTD would it work better? It may come down to that.

Actually, I'd just take it back to Costco and buy a Pit Boss before my Traeger kills me with salmonella. Terribly disappointed with Traeger products and support at this point.
 

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RayClem

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You have
Yes! I have the EXACT same issue. All my recipes were taking 50% longer than expected, 12 hours brisket took 20 hours, 30 minute chicken breast takes 50, 20 minute salmon takes 30+ minutes, so I got to checking. I have almost identical photos of my Silverton 810 being consistently low 30-35 degrees. I've chatted with support, called them, and had the local repair guy come by. Every time they stick their head in the sand. The more I talk to them the more insulting their responses get: maybe you're opening the lid too much, maybe the cut of meat is too thick, the recipes times are only a guideline, and, of course, we can't reply on independent temperature probes. It's frustrating how the problem is clearly written all over my temperature probes (which I confirmed at 34 and 211 degrees) but they keep throwing out the most ridiculous theories.

After chatting with the 4th Traeger service rep (a supervisor) they are now very reluctantly sending me a new RTD, but assured me that this would not solve my problem since there "is no problem". He told me he COULDN'T send me the part, and I told him I COULD just take the grill back to the store, and if that's the only solution, then so be it. Even the service tech listening in was shocked how reluctant they seemed to help or provide me a new part.

My theory is the they installed the wrong RTD for the controller or the controller is pre-programmed for the wrong grill/RTD (as different grills use different RTD's but the same controller). I'd love to test the specifications on my RTD and talk to their engineering to see if that's what the controller programming expects. If I put in an Ironwood RTD would it work better? It may come down to that.

Actually, I'd just take it back to Costco and buy a Pit Boss before my Traeger kills me with salmonella. Terribly disappointed with Traeger products and support at this point.

You have a ThermoPro multiprobe thermometer. All you need to do is place one of the probes on the grate immediately next to your protein and set the Traeger controller at your desired temperature. The temperature at the location of the Traeger thermocouple is never going to be exactly the same as the temperature at the grate near your cook. I get differences similar to yours.

I also drilled a hole in the hood of my IW885 and added an analog thermometer as that was what I was accustomed to using with my gas grill.

With the grill controller set at 225 F, both a diginal thermometer on the top rack and the hood thermometer read within 5 degrees of the controller reading. If I increase the setpoint to 300 F, the other thermometers will read about 25 degrees low, similar to what you are showing with your grill. Thus, if I want a cook temp of 300F, I set the controller for 325F. If I increase the controller to 400F, the other thermometers now read 50 degrees low. If I want a cook temp of 400F, I set my controller at 450F. It really is no big deal unless you make it one.

I am sure if I were to repeat this test on the bottom rack, the results might be different, but I normally use a sheet pan on the bottom rack to catch drippings to make cleanup easier.

Many people cover their drip tray with aluiminum foil to make cleanup easy. However, the foil can interfere with air circulation in the cooking chamber. That can affect temperature differentials.

As for sammonella and other food borne illness, that is why all cooks should be done to a final internal temperature rather than cooking for a set amount of time ad a specified temperature. Also remember that any time you open the lid of your grill, the temperature will plummet and it will take a while for the temperature to recover. Every time you open the lid, cooking stops and you will extend the cooking time. "If you're lookin', you ain't cookin'."

You have a decent multiprobe digital thermometer. Make sure you calibrate it in an ice water bath so you know it is accurate. Then put it to good use with every cook to monitor grate temperature as well as internal temps. A reliable instant thermometer is another good investment if you do not already have one. While Thermapens are highly recommended, it is not necessary to spend that much for a reliable device that will give you readings in 2-3 seconds.
 

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