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Latest Bar-B-Que Tool

September 11th, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments
This entry is part 4 of 4 in the series Yankee's Guide to BBQ

The most important tool that a bar-b-que cook needs is a good thermometer. In fact, a bar-b-que cook needs more than one. Because to really produce a good final product, the cook needs to monitor the temperature of the BBQ pit, and the food.

Most commercial pits come with one or more thermometers. But the accuracy of these dial thermometers is dubious. Meathead over at Amazing Ribs has one of the best articles on BBQ thermometers ever written on his site. You should read it. Now. Go on….

After reading the pit boss grill reviews, I agree that the ThermaPen by ThermoWorks is the best instant-read thermometer and I own one myself. I even recommend it in my own list of must-have BBQ equipment. There will come a time in your BBQ career though when you will want to simultaneously monitor the temperature of two separate things to a high degree of accuracy. Like the temperature of the pit and the shoulder cooking in it. Or the temperature of the grill and the juicy T-bone you have on it.

Model TW8060 2-channel thermocouple sensor.

For this very application, ThermoWorks has come t the rescue again. My newest addition is their new model TW8060 2K Two-Channel Thermocouple With Alarm. Here is a pic of it in action during my recent summer BBQ party. It worked fantastically over two days simultaneously monitoring my pit and my food.

The coolest thing about this device, and what sets it apart from the BBQ thermometers you buy in the store is that this is simply a read-out for any standard industrial/commercial Type-K thermocouple. And ThermoWorks sells a bunch of different ones for whatever application you need, from simple food probes that work as fast as the ThemaPen to ceramic-sheathed probes which cam measure up to 2500°F. There is a sampling of available probes on the TW8060 page linked directly above.

I bought mine with two probes – the 113-177 smokehouse penetration probe which I leave in whatever I am cooking and the 8468-22 hi-temp alligator clip oven probe (good to 950°F). The alligator clip probe clips right t my smoker or grill grate and gives me a temperature right down by the food where I need it. Both performed flawlessly through 12 hours of shoulder, 5 hours of ribs, and 4 hours of bacon cooking. You can set a high and low alarm point for one channel which I used for my pit temperature. But if you wanted to, you could easily use this with dual food probes and monitor things cooking on different areas of your grill at the same time. Or multiple pit probes to look for hot spots.

The unit itself is inexpensive at only $69 + tax and shipping direct from ThermoWorks, but you will also have to buy two thermocouple probes and they are expensive. The smokehouse probe I bought costs $52 and the alligator clip probe costs $59. But for accurate measurements I can’t think of anyone besides ThermoWorks who makes this kind of quality equipment available to the home cook. And, their customer service is second to none. My interaction with them when I placed my order was excellent. I placed it on the web and the alligator clip probe was listed as out of stock. The site said t order anyway and a representative would contact me. Sure enough the next day I heard from someone named Lisa via e-mail and she was extremely helpful in exploring other probe options and telling me what was available and when they expected their backorder to be available. I couldn’t have been happier with their service.

28 lbs. of great shoulder!

All of this leads up to the results … using this new temperature monitor I cranked out 28 lbs. of about the best shoulder I’ve ever made. Thanks ThermoWorks!

So if you’re looking for a versatile tool to add to your arsenal I recommend the TW8060 from ThermoWorks. With the right selection of thermocouple probes you can have a highly accurate instant-read food thermometer, a BBQ pit thermometer, a grill thermometer, and even a high-temp oven thermometer for something like a wood-fired pizza oven. Nothing you are going to find in your local hardware or cooking store is going to match that kind of versatility.

Go out and get yourself one of these!

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Series NavigationA Yankee’s Guide to Bar-B-Que Part 3 – So You Wanna’ Buy a Grill?

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