There is not much to talk about when it comes to thermometers on grills because many are built-in now. However, here is a guide on how to use a grill surface thermometer for you.
To cook the food perfectly, you need to get to the right temperature. You cannot just say that the grill is hot enough and put the food on it without knowing the temperature.
Even though you think you are doing just fine without one, trust me, you have to try cooking at the exact temperature, which would completely change your cooking game.
Cooking on the grill is all about the right temperature and wit…
While it is good that you know when your grill is hot enough just by looking at it, it is also important to know the exact temperature to know how long it will take to cook the food.
Now, if you choose to go down that road and buy a grill that does not have a built-in thermometer, then you can still get an accurate reading of the temperature on the grill.
Just use a grill surface thermometer and see what your grill temperature actually is. This device is pretty easy to use as they come already preset to measure the temperature accurately.
If you oversimplify it, you can say that using a grill surface thermometer is as simple as just putting it on the grill.There, you will be able to get the reading and see if the grill is hot enough.
However, there are some specific steps and ways where you can still use the grill surface thermometer. That way, you will be cooking the best food that you want on the grill.
So read on to know more about these simple devices and what you can do with them. In no time, you will be making steaks or smoked meat with the perfect temperature and finish.
What Is A Grill Surface Thermometer?
Grill surface (the name can be interchanged) thermometers are accurate thermometers that measure the grill grates’ temperature. They do not depend on the convection heat.
That means that if you use one of these thermometers, you will be measuring the exact temperature of the surface that it is sitting on. It does not affect the temperature around it.
These are placed on top of the surface where you are going to put the food. That way, you will know if the cooking surface has reached the temperature you need for cooking.
See, some thermometers measure the temperature of the grill. That means that they collect information from the surroundings and not the actual platform where they are placed.
So to measure the accurate temperature on the grill grates, you will need a grill surface thermometer. Then, you can wait for it to reach the right amount of heat to cook the food.
Uses of Grill Surface Thermometers
Yes, in a general sense, the only purpose of the grill surface thermometer is to measure the surface. However, you can use the information that you just learned for other purposes.
Find Your Heat Zones
Most grills that are not that advanced tend to create heat zones. These are the areas where heat is concentrated, leaving other areas with a slightly different temperature.
Now, to find the heat zones of your grill, you will need the grill surface thermometer. Please place it in the middle of the grill and then wait for at least 5 minutes before checking it.
Read the temperature of the center of the grill and then list it down. That will be the base temperature for your grill, as the center part usually has the average temperature of the grill.
From there, move the hot thermometer to the right corner of the grill. Please do not push it all the way through and leave at least six inches of space between the thermometer and the corner of the grill.
Wait for around 30 seconds until the thermometer stabilizes and then move it to the left corner. After you measure the temperature there, put it between the heat deflector at the top.
After doing the top part of the grill, do the same process in the center and the grill’s bottom part. There, you will be able to see where the temperature rises or falls to see your heat zones.
Make sure to use something that will protect you from burning your skin when transferring the thermometer; you can use a spatula to do that, or, even easier, use tongs for moving it.
If your grill has a multi-tier racking system, you should also do the same process on the top racks. Now, you know where your heat zones are and see which part has a cold or hot temperature.
Grill surface thermometers can also help you in cooking. The hotter spots on the grill are where you would prefer your steaks to be seared and the colder spots for vegetables and such.
With the information of where the heat zones are, you will have an easier job placing the food. You can put larger portions on the hot zones and smaller ones on the cold spots.
You can also leave the thermometer on the grill while cooking. With that, you will know if you need more fuel or if you need to adjust the fuel consumption to limit the heat.
Leaving The Grill Surface Thermometer On The Grill
Once you are done cooking, you can remove the thermometer from the grill and clean it, or you can let it stay in the grill, so you do not have to set it up the next time you want to cook.
Most grill surface thermometers have hooks on either side. That hook is meant for keeping it on the grill grates by placing it between the heat deflector and the grill grates themselves.
You can use a metal skewer to keep the grill surface thermometer pressed against the cooking surface. There, it will be able to read the temperature accurately the next time you use it.
You should keep in mind that the grill surface thermometer gives more accurate readings when your grill uses stainless steel grates for the cooking surface.
If your grill has a cast-iron heat deflector or grill grate, then the thermometer might have a hard time giving you the accurate temperature. So make sure to leave it in the grill longer.
When you have a grill that does not include a built-in thermometer, your best option to get an accurate reading of the temperature is to use a grill surface thermometer.
It uses the grill’s surface and measures the exact temperature, so you know what to cook on it and how long you should let it cook in that particular area. This is really helpful for basic grills.
When you know how to use the grill surface thermometer properly, you will be able to use the information in many ways. You can cook anything that you want on the grill if you know the temperatures.
So follow the simple guide above, and you will be more familiar with your grill. Make sure to keep both the grill and the thermometer clean at all times to make accurate measurements.