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Why Grill Hood Temperature Gauges are Useless

Written by Appliance Dude | March 31st, 2015

Last year a gentleman purchased a DCS grill from us but he was really concerned about the fact that it did not have a temperature gauge on the outside of the hood. He likened it to flying a plane or sailing a boat in fog with no navigation system. Really?
Every other premium grill manufacturer – Viking, Wolf/Twin Eagle, Alfresco, Lynx, Kalamazoo – uses a temperature gauge. So I’ll have to admit I had to question DCS’ decision not to use one.

Then I decided to dig a little further. After purchasing an infra-red temperature gun and playing around with my Wolf OG-36 grill, the answer became crystal clear – hood temperature gauges are USELESS, unless you want to know the temperature at the top of your grill.

The temperature that is critical to grillers is the surface temp of the grates. The grates are what the food is in contact with, not the top of the hood.

As you can see by these pics I took this weekend there is a huge disparity in the temperature that is read on the external gauge on the hood, and what is actually going on at grate-level.

Here’s the temp of the grill as reported by the temp gauge on the hood.
Wolf OG36 Temperature

After opening the hood and taking a read of the temp at the top of inside, you can see the temp is nearly identical (50 degrees off) to what the outside gauge read.
Wolf OG36 Grill Infrared Temp - Curto's

Now look what happens when I get a read from the grates themselves.
300 degree temp increase!
Wolf OG36 Grill Infrared Temp - Curto's

Moral of the story – the hood gauge is only going to give you the ambient temp of the grill at the hood level. This may be useful if you are using a rotisserie but for any application where you are grilling on the grates you might as well chuck those readings in your garbage pail. You want grate-level temperature!

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