I admit it - I am an amatuer. When it comes to grilling, I am a novice. Honestly, I cheat with lots of seasonings. My biggest challenge is when is the meat done? Depends on the meat. I don't know much, but I know the general rule is, if it's mushy in the middle, its not cooked.

Over the years, I have got pretty good about grilling a decent medium-rare Tri tip. I got burgers down as well. I use the old fashioned "gut" method - as in, "I think it's done?". It has served me well thus far.

Grill 2

I got my new grill for Fathers Day. I love it. Best of both worlds - Propane on one side, charcoal on the other side. Purists will scoff. That's alright. I don't live my life for purists.

A few weeks ago, I was at The Wal Mart on the west side and saw a electonic temp probe for grilling. It was decently priced, wireless and I have always wanted one. I thought, "Why not?" I have been guessing all this time, so how could it hurt?

Heh heh. Tell that to meat I sacrificed to the Tri Tip Gods last week.

Grill 3

I used the probe for the first time on a 3lbs Mortons Tri-Tip from Costco.

The probe has several settings including presets for all kinds of meats, beef, turkey, chicken, lamb etc. When the inside temp hits the optimum temp, it beeps. I fired up my grill, threw on the meat and watched the temp climb. I set it for 145 degree inside temp and walked away. I kept an eye on the temp and kept checking the tri-tip to see if it was mushy. As the meat firmed up, I noticed the temp was still low, around 110 degrees. I was concerned because the outside of the tri-tip already developed the required "bark" on the outside.

Grill 4

After about 45 minutes, the temp probe alarm went off. I took the barky dark brown meat inside and cut into it. I soon discovered that dissapointment was afoot. The tri-tip was over cooked and dry.

Stupid probe. Should have went with my gut. Oh well, enjoy the sacrifice Tri-Tip Gods.

Earlier tonight, I used the probe on some turkey burgers in an effort to allow the probe another chance. The preset for turkey burgers is 165 degrees. Fine. I am gonna trust you inanimate probe.

After 15 minutes, the alarm went off and I plated the burgers. I baconed it along with tomatoes, cheese and avocados on sourdough.

Grill 1

I bit into it with anticipation. They came out, perfect.

Now I am unsure as to the validity to this probe. Yeah, It hasn't got my trust yet.

Question to the grillmasters amongst us - Is using a temp probe for grilling taboo? Am I breaking the rules? 

All I know is, I still trust my gut over the probe. Is that your experience? Am asking for a friend...


All My Best,

The JimShow

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