I decided that the plain temperature gauge or “heat gauge” as I like to call it, on the lid of the smoker wasn’t enough. It basically only shows “warm”, “ideal”, and “hot”. Here is a simple way of adding a thermometer to a smoker on your average non-expensive vertical smoker’s lid.
I looked in your typical Lowes’s and Home Depot stores and decided on a CharBroil Universal Temperature Gauge. I knew I didn’t need all of the numerical temperatures that were on it, but I figured for $8, that it would be worth the purchase.
I took the lid off and measured exactly where I wanted it to go. Since the lid is the furthest point away from the heat, and doesn’t have any direct flames, it would be the perfect place for it. The packaging said that it was a replacement gauge to fit a 3/8″ hole. Since I was going to keep both gauges, I figured I could just as easy drill another hole. I ended up drilling a hole the same distance up from the bottom of the lid as the already existing gauge. I inserted the gauge and used the wing nut that was included and tightened it for a secure fit.
After firing up the smoker, I was relieved to find that my smoker was averaging the exact temperature that I was hoping for … and now I can be sure of what I am going to be getting in the future.