Internal meat probe vs instant read: which to trust?

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Internal meat probe vs instant read: which to trust?

Post by Subie_WRX »


I have a leave in meat probe that I use when smoking. I've noticed that I get quite large differences between the leave in probe and the instant read thermometer (even after leaving in the instant read probe for 5 seconds).

For instance when cooking a bolar blade (in deepest part) or chicken (thickest part of the breast), the internal probe gave me significantly higher readings (up to 6-10 degrees Celsius) higher than the instant reads, so I wasn't sure which one to trust.

I know with things like beef and pork you go by the feel of it and whether it's probe tender, but still interested to know why I am getting large differences in readings (especially with chicken).

For reference, I've tried two different instant reads at the same time, and a different internal probe unit and I get similar differences between them - neither line up.

I'm assuming (but could be wrong), that the internal probe is heating up a lot more since it's in the smoker, and thus gives off a higher reading.

Any advice on this? I appreciate any help, thanks.
Old Dave
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Location: USA--Indiana

Re: Internal meat probe vs instant read: which to trust?

Post by Old Dave »

Decide which type of thermometer you want and purchase a good unit as the internal temperature of all you are cooking is very important and especially so with poultry. For an internal, look at something like a Thermapen as they are as good as it gets.

Be sure and learn where the pick up is on all your probes. Do this using a cup of hot water and you will find that about all of them are different. Kinda hard to get an accurate internal reading on a chicken breast with a 4-5" probe and not knowing at what point on the probe is doing the measuring of the temp.
Old Dave
Ribs & Bibs BBQ Team
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