Traeger invented the concept of the wood pellet grill. The brand has been a pioneer since day 1, and its products come with many handy features.
The food probe is one of these features (probably one of the best, in my 100% biased opinion). The probe connects to the grill controller on one end (via a jack connector). It is inserted into the meat at the other end (probe terminal), thus allowing the user to determine the internal temperature of food while grilling. No more guessing required!
However, the probes can be a little tricky to use. For instance, they require regular calibration. This post gives you a simple set of instructions for calibrating the Traeger probe.
Table of Contents
- How To Calibrate A Traeger Probe?
- How To Offset A Traeger Probe?
- What to Do in Case of Calibration Failure
- Traeger Meat Probe Replacement
- Why Use a Food Probe?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- My Final Thoughts
How To Calibrate A Traeger Probe?
First, it’s helpful to know that only the WiFIRE models can be calibrated (the models that can connect to Wi-Fi). To do this, all you need to do is:
Make a simple ice bath by filling a glass or a bowl with water and ice. This will create an environment that you know will be 32°F or 0°C – which will be your reference point.
Plug the probe into your Traeger grill and turn the grill on. Using the screen, press MENU. Then click on SETTINGS. Finally, select PROBE CALIBRATION.
Once you have reached this point, click on CALIBRATE PROBE.
Plunge the probe into the ice bath. Stir the probe inside the ice bath for approximately one minute so that the entire surface of the probe is at the same temperature.
The probe should read 32°F.
- If it does, the probe is already reading the temperature accurately and doesn’t require calibration.
- If it doesn’t, the probe is out of calibration.
One thing you can do is offset the probe (more on that below). Another is to contact the customer service department.
How To Offset A Traeger Probe?
Offsetting a probe only works when you get minor discrepancies (a few degrees) between the probe reading and the reference temperature.
If your probe is way off (in the high single digits or above), then calibration is unlikely to solve your problem, and you’ll likely need to buy a replacement probe.
Ensure that your food probe has been plugged into the grill.
Go to the screen and click on MENU, then SETTINGS. Instead of clicking PROBE CALIBRATION, as you did in the previous set of instructions, instead, pick PROBE OFFSET.
Using the dial, adjust the offset by however much the temperature is off.
For instance, if the probe is reading 5°F, set this as the offset temperature. This will allow the probe to make these minor adjustments in the future.
What to Do in Case of Calibration Failure
Despite following the steps above, you might still be met with a “CALIBRATION FAILURE” message. This means your grill controller cannot make your probe fall back in line!
But before concluding that your meat probe has gone bad, try this first.
Check The Connection
To ensure that your probe calibrates successfully, check that it’s properly connected to the grill via the jack and firmly in place before trying the calibration/offset procedure again.
You would be surprised by the number of problems loose connections can cause.
Power Cycle The Grill
This si troubleshooting 101. So simple, in fact, that we often forget even to try it. But it’s effective as hell!
- Switch the grill off.
- Wait for 10 seconds.
- Disconnect the probe.
- Reconnect the probe.
- Switch the grill on again.
If you still get the error message after trying both of these techniques, your best bet is to contact Traeger’s customer support (especially if your grill is still under warranty) or go ahead an order a replacement probe.
Traeger Meat Probe Replacement
If your probe is gone bad, here are a few places where you can order a new one:
Once you get your new probe, you will need to :
- Connect it to your grill (plug and play)
- Run through the calibration & offset procedures above.
It’s really that simple!
Why Use a Food Probe?
Food probes, also known as thermometers, are designed to inform the user of the internal temperature of the food they are cooking. They offer two main benefits.
Better Food Safety
Without a food probe, it’s hard to know if your food is safe to eat. In particular, white meats such as poultry or pork need to reach a specific minimum temperature to minimize the risks of food poisoning.
Consequently, you should use the probe to check that the meat has reached at least 160°F. For food hygiene reasons, you should not serve foods below this temperature. 160°F can be used as a general rule, no matter the type of meat cooked.
Cooked To Perfection
Without a food probe, it’s hard to know if your food – particularly animal protein – is done the way you like it (e.g., rare, medium, well-done).
Before food probes, this was a guessing game. Some cooks poke their meat with their index finger and can gauge how cooked it is by how soft or firm it is. Others eyeball it! If it looks cooked, it’s good enough for them.
And kudos to those guys! It takes some skill. But if the technology is available, why not make life easier and use it?
Ease Of Use
Food probes are also extremely easy to use, so there is no excuse for not utilizing one. All you need to do is insert the probe into the thickest part of your meat. The probe will then provide you with an internal temperature reading throughout the length of the cook.
If your grill is equipped with WiFIRE, you can even monitor the temperature from an app n your phone and set the grill to take specific actions once the desired temperature has beeen reached.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know if Your Traeger Meat Probe Is Accurate?
It can be difficult to determine if your Traeger meat probe is accurate without going through the calibration and offset procedure. After all, most people will only notice if their thermometer is giving wildly inaccurate results resulting in very overcooked or undercooked food.
Is the Traeger Meat Probe Any Good?
From my experience, the Traeger probe is awesome. Many Traeger grill models come with a probe, so you won’t have to pay for one separately. It’s also super simple to use, which is another advantage.
And, while it has somewhat of a reputation for not giving laser accurate readings compared to some other models, it’s good enough for me. In fact, most Traeger owners I’ve spoken with seem to be very pleased with its performance.
How Far to Insert Traeger Meat Probe?
Insert your Traeger meat probe at least 2″ (5 cm) into the protein and avoid sticking it up against or into the bone. Try to position it in the “middle” of your piece of meat – which is generally the thickest section – so you’re sure that the entire cut of meat is at least at the same temperature.
What Are the Best Meats to Cook with A Traeger Meat Probe?
You can cook all types of meat and fish with your Traeger probe. It can help you get your beef “just right” (i.e., rare, medium, or well done) or ensure that your poultry or pork is safe to eat without overcooking them.
Do You Leave Traeger Meat Probe in While Cooking?
Traeger meat probes are designed to be left in the meat during the cooking process. Their special design enables them to withstand high temperatures for sustained periods of time.
My Final Thoughts
The Traeger food probe is a brilliant feature, and I recommend paying a little extra for a model that offers this feature. It will help you cook safer, tastier food – more easily.
While it can be irritating having to calibrate the probe, it is actually straightforward. In fact, with the instructions above, you should be able to calibrate your probe(s) in just a few minutes!