What is the difference between dome temperature and grate temperature?

Modified on Tue, 07 Mar 2023 at 11:40 AM

On most ceramic grills or bullet style vertical smokers, there will be a dial thermometer in the lid or upper portion of the cooker which is referred to as the dome. This location is often several inches above the cooking grate where you set your food to cook. Typically the higher the thermometer is inside the cooker, the hotter the temperature will be as heat rises and collects in the dome.


We recommend clipping your pit probe to the cooking grate, so the BBQ Guru controller will monitor and regulate the temperature at the area where your food is actually cooking.


If you’re low on grate space or are used to cooking based off of the dome temperature of your cooker, it is okay to clip your pit probe to the back of the thermometer inside the cooker. Remember that air currents and cooking indirectly can cause dramatic temperature differences between the cooking grate and the dome areas, and it is not uncommon to see a difference up to 50°F.


If you are relying on the dome temperature, check the accuracy of the dial thermometer by placing it in boiling water, then recalibrate or replace it as needed.

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