Temp Question

buckrogers71

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Glassboro, NJ
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Pro Series 34
Hey guys, newbie here. I have a pro series 34 and I am doing my first smoke. Question about the temp gauge on the hopper. I had the temp set at 225 but my thermo pro thermometer was reading 160, cranked it up to 250, got up to 180ish, just cranked it up to 275 and its @ 208. Am i doing something wrong or is this normal? Ive had it on for about an hour
Any advice is appreciated
 
I have a Pro 34 that I purchased in March 2023. The Pro 34's have the thinnest gauge steel and no gasket around the door. Not a big deal to me. However, all pellet grills are subject to temperature fluctuations based on the ambient temperature outside, wind, cloud coverage, directly in sunlight, etc. The temperature gauge on the hopper is going to be effected by the items listed above. Plus the RTD on the Pro 34 is on the left side of the Traeger. whatever you are cooking is located somewhere else from the RTD.

Get a good (non-Traeger) temperature probe such as a Meater, ThermoWorks Smoke EX2 or EX4, or any of the other ones mentioned on this forum and enjoy Traegering.

I add a couple of hours to any cook that I do to account for ambient outside temperature, wind, etc. Always cook to temperature, not time. I smoked a 8.5 pound pork butt Monday with a starting outside temperature of 28* F. By the time I pulled it off the Pro 34, the ambient outside temperature had risen to 43*F. I had set the temperer to 250*F. I saw wild temperature readings on the hopper from 165 up to 283 throughout the cook which I ignored. My Meater2 + showed ambient temperature swings as well in the Pro 34 but not as much as the hopper temperature readings.

Bottom line-don't worry about it.
 
I have a Pro 34 that I purchased in March 2023. The Pro 34's have the thinnest gauge steel and no gasket around the door. Not a big deal to me. However, all pellet grills are subject to temperature fluctuations based on the ambient temperature outside, wind, cloud coverage, directly in sunlight, etc. The temperature gauge on the hopper is going to be effected by the items listed above. Plus the RTD on the Pro 34 is on the left side of the Traeger. whatever you are cooking is located somewhere else from the RTD.

Get a good (non-Traeger) temperature probe such as a Meater, ThermoWorks Smoke EX2 or EX4, or any of the other ones mentioned on this forum and enjoy Traegering.

I add a couple of hours to any cook that I do to account for ambient outside temperature, wind, etc. Always cook to temperature, not time. I smoked a 8.5 pound pork butt Monday with a starting outside temperature of 28* F. By the time I pulled it off the Pro 34, the ambient outside temperature had risen to 43*F. I had set the temperer to 250*F. I saw wild temperature readings on the hopper from 165 up to 283 throughout the cook which I ignored. My Meater2 + showed ambient temperature swings as well in the Pro 34 but not as much as the hopper temperature readings.

Bottom line-don't worry about it.
Sorry for the super late reply, but thank you! Put my mind at ease a bit. I guess it'll just be one of those "play" with it and see what happens.
 
If would be nice if the Traeger RTD probes were indicating the correct cook temperature, but your experience is too normal. I have a Ironwood 884, which is double walled, but I still have to set my controller to 250 to achieve 225F as measured by a 3rd party thermometer. When cooking at 400F, I have to set the controller to 450F.

I drilled a hole in my lid and installed an analog grill thermometer such as is used on offset smokers. However, I also use wired temperature probes. If you budget allows, sensors like the Fireboard are great, but it is not necessary to spend that much to get a decent temperature reading. Just do not expect the Traeger to give you an accurate reading. Always set the controller to produce whatever cook temperature you desire based on an independent measurement.
 
Totally agree. I bought my Pro Series 34 in July, did my burn off, then smoked 2 pork butts (8# each). I couldn't wait. I had an electric smoker for about 10 years but this was my first time with a pellet smoker. Well, after 18 hours and the internal temp on the butts were only up to 165 degrees I decided to start taking internal temp readings in the smoker and realized that the smoker was ~35° off, so with the grill set to 225° it was really only maintaining an internal temp of around 190°. This is in July mind you, with a low that night of around 75° and a daytime high in the 90's, so definitely not "cold" outside. I also noticed the meat probes were reading ~20° higher than they should. Well, fast forward to September, I have endured 6 customer service calls with Traeger trying to understand why it wasn't working right and they finally sent me a new internal temperature probe. Tried it again, same issues. So another 2 calls to customer service and they agreed to send me a new controller for the grill. Same problem. What baffles me is that I still see the grill cycling through a temperature range, so it's not like the grill just can't get hot enough. Also, why is it that when I have my own temp probe physically touching the internal probe on the grill they are reading 50° different (mine says 225 and the grill says 275)? I was really hoping the new controller and probe would fix the issue. I guess it's possible I am doing something wrong, but that still doesn't explain why the grill is reading 50° higher than it should, verified with another temp probe in the same location. For now at least when I set the control to 275° I can maintain an internal smoking temp of 225° (see attachment), so I can use the smoker, but I would still like to know why it isn't reading correctly or if I am doing something wrong.
 
Totally agree. I bought my Pro Series 34 in July, did my burn off, then smoked 2 pork butts (8# each). I couldn't wait. I had an electric smoker for about 10 years but this was my first time with a pellet smoker. Well, after 18 hours and the internal temp on the butts were only up to 165 degrees I decided to start taking internal temp readings in the smoker and realized that the smoker was ~35° off, so with the grill set to 225° it was really only maintaining an internal temp of around 190°. This is in July mind you, with a low that night of around 75° and a daytime high in the 90's, so definitely not "cold" outside. I also noticed the meat probes were reading ~20° higher than they should. Well, fast forward to September, I have endured 6 customer service calls with Traeger trying to understand why it wasn't working right and they finally sent me a new internal temperature probe. Tried it again, same issues. So another 2 calls to customer service and they agreed to send me a new controller for the grill. Same problem. What baffles me is that I still see the grill cycling through a temperature range, so it's not like the grill just can't get hot enough. Also, why is it that when I have my own temp probe physically touching the internal probe on the grill they are reading 50° different (mine says 225 and the grill says 275)? I was really hoping the new controller and probe would fix the issue. I guess it's possible I am doing something wrong, but that still doesn't explain why the grill is reading 50° higher than it should, verified with another temp probe in the same location. For now at least when I set the control to 275° I can maintain an internal smoking temp of 225° (see attachment), so I can use the smoker, but I would still like to know why it isn't reading correctly or if I am doing something wrong.

Your experience is common to nearly every Traeger owner and also to many other pellet grill brands.

If you have a 3rd party temperature sensor you trust, just set the controller to give you whatever temperature you want for the cook.

The internal meat probe can be calibrated using a ice/water bath, but I am not sure that calibrating the probe at 0C/32F is useful when you want to measure meat temperatures between 125F and 205F. If the probe is linear, then adjusting the intercept might help, but proper calibration requires a minimum of two temperatures.
 
Your experience is common to nearly every Traeger owner and also to many other pellet grill brands.

If you have a 3rd party temperature sensor you trust, just set the controller to give you whatever temperature you want for the cook.

The internal meat probe can be calibrated using a ice/water bath, but I am not sure that calibrating the probe at 0C/32F is useful when you want to measure meat temperatures between 125F and 205F. If the probe is linear, then adjusting the intercept might help, but proper calibration requires a minimum of two temperatures.
Thanks for the info, it’s good to know I’m not going crazy or doing something stupid 😊. Although it would be great if it was a little closer to being correct.

I’ll continue to use my own temp sensor for now and adjust accordingly. I really like the time graph on the sensor I have so I can see trend data and adjust up/down based on average temp. Thanks again for the confirmation, I appreciate it.
 
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