Grilling or Barbequing has always been a game of temperature. Whoever can maintain and control their temperature better will have better-tasting meat.
So when the built-in thermometer of an expensive grill like the Big Green Egg is causing issues, that is a severe problem.
But worry not! The fix is usually pretty simple. Understanding the problem is the more difficult part. Today I’m going to discuss all about the Big Green Egg thermometer not working!
Let’s jump right to it:
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“Cooking is an art, and a Big Green Egg thermometer is your trusty paintbrush, allowing you to create masterpieces on the grill.”Papa J.
Why Is Your BGE Thermometer Not Working – The Reasons
The exact problem with the thermometer can be a bit tricky to figure out as it can range from just a dirty tip all the way to a thermometer that is damaged beyond repair.
Unfortunately, the faulty temperature gauge is a very common issue among the proud owners of a Big Green Egg.
Either way, the biggest reason your BGE thermometer may not be working as intended is incorrect calibration.
Since these sensors are of the analog kind, they will need some manual calibration done to them so that they show the correct readings.
Another common reason is when water gets stuck inside the gauge and stops the hand from moving freely. This can happen if your grill is left outside during a storm, rain, or hail.
Other internal and external issues can also cause malfunction. For example, the internal battery may die, or the tip of the probe may have so much gunk built-up that your readings may be off by a big margin.
How To Fix If Big Green Egg Thermometer Not Working
In this section, we will go through each of the problems and how you can solve them. I will start with the most common problems and then try to solve a couple of niche issues that I faced as well.
Thermometer needs calibration
While all BGE thermometers will come factory calibrated, over time they may become undone or adjusted. This primarily happens during the spring or fall when the ambient air temperature goes through big swings in a small window of time.
If you live in a geographical location that is a lot higher than the sea level or the air has more moisture than average, your thermometer may be susceptible to this issue as well.
The way to spot this issue is when the grill is on, you will notice the hand of the thermometer moving as it should but the reading will always be too high or low.
You can use another set of thermometers to be sure of the delta between the reading and the actual temperature inside the egg.
If your BGE thermometer needs calibration, the following are the steps you need to follow:
- Using your gas stove, bring a pot of water to a boil.
- Remove the thermometer retention mechanism and take the thermometer out of the BGE dome.
- Once your water is boiling, place just the temperature-sensing tip of the sensor inside the boiling water (and not touching the pot) and look at the reading rise.
- After the hand stabilizes, you should see a reading of 212 degrees F or 100 degrees C.
- If you are living above sea level, you will need to do some calculations to find the right boiling point of water. For every 150m above sea level, the boiling point will reduce by 0.5 degrees C or 0.9 degrees F.
- If your thermometer is not showing a reading of 212 degrees F, you will need to get a set of pliers or wrenches to adjust the nut on the back of the thermometer.
- Adjust the nut until the temperature reading is 212 degrees F (or the correct reading adjusted for altitude).
- Let the thermometer cool down and carry this test out a couple of times to get precise readings.
- Reinstall the thermometer inside the dome of the BGE.
And now you should have a thermometer that works perfectly!
Leaving the BGE or any other grill out in harsh weather is a really bad idea. If by any chance, your big green egg was stuck in the rain or storm, there might be water inside the dial of the thermometer and that water might stop the hand from moving freely or showing the correct reading.
The way to spot this is also incredibly simple. You just need to take a quick look at the dial and if you see water droplets or even stuck water inside your temperature gauge has faced some weather damage.
First, you need to undo the retention mechanism and take the probe out of the dome. Use a clean and nonabrasive cloth to give the dial and probe a nice wiping. You can then leave the entire sensor to dry in a cool shaded place.
If that does not solve your problem, take a bag full of rice and stick your thermometer inside the bag and leave the bag in a cool dry place.
The starch from the rice should draw out all the moisture and leave you with a properly working thermometer again.
A Dirty Probe Tip
After a year or so of use, the leftover grease and fat from the cooks will build up on various parts of the egg. In that case, big green egg clean burn helps to prevent the thermometer issue from happening.
While it is fairly uncommon to see severe build-up on the probe, I have seen it happen to users who are liberal with the cleaning routine of their grills.
A problem like this will give you readings that are just slightly off from the actual temperature. However, that small delta might be the difference between a juicy tender brisket and an overcooked gray one.
Given that your temperature sensor has that much of a gunk build-up, it might be time to do a clean burn on your egg. Just leave the thermometer in as intended and wipe it down after the burn is done.
For whatever reason, if the rest of your grill is clean, take out your thermometer as usual and wipe the probe with a clean non-abrasive piece of cloth. You can even use some sort of cleaner to make this process easier.
A Dead Battery
Over a long period of usage, the internal battery inside a BGE thermometer might give up and not provide enough voltage for the readings to be accurate. If the battery is old enough, your thermometer hand might even stop moving completely.
This usually does not happen for any reason other than the fact you have used your grill for a long time and the battery has just died on you. So it is not really your or anyone else’s fault.
Unfortunately, the Big Green Egg thermometer has no way to replace the internal battery. You instead just have to buy a new one and replace it.
A Stuck Hand
Foreign objects getting inside your thermometer will stop the hand from moving accurately.
Basically what happens is the rotation mechanism of the hand will have dirt or grime stuck inside or the hand may be stuck to the plastic face of the dial. This can happen for various reasons like weather damage or leftover grease buildup.
Facing this during a cook, you can just give the dial face a hard tap and the thermometer should be working for the length of the cook. However, that is only a temporary solution.
In my years of experience, I have not really found a proper solution to a stuck thermometer like this. The best option is probably to chuck it and buy a new one.
Like I said earlier, the fix to a malfunctioning thermometer is pretty easy. However, like the last 2 problems we talked about, your thermometer can be permanently damaged and that may stop it from working at all.
In these cases, rather than going through lengthy troubleshooting measures, you should just buy a new one.
There are a lot of options in the market and you can get a thermometer that is a lot better and will last a lot longer than the stock one.
Upgrade Your Big Green Egg Thermometer Now
The first-party Big Green Egg thermometer is the one that comes with every BGE and for that reason is the most used model. But buying replacements of that exact model is a bad idea IMO.
There are a lot of other brands that are making temperature sensors for the BGE that are just better than the stock model. These alternatives are even lighter on your wallet!
Here are my top 3 picks:
WEMEIKIT Big Green Egg Thermometer Replacement
The WEMEIKIT thermometer made for all sizes of the BGE aims to solve a few of the shortcomings that come with the stock BGE and this amazing product does that perfectly.
- Waterproof design
- Stainless Steel build
- Fits all Big Green Egg Grills
- 150 to 900 degrees F reading
- A 3.3” Gauge Dial with a 3.25” long Temperature Probe
|Item Length||3.3 inches|
|Upper Temperature Rating||900 Degrees Fahrenheit|
With its large 3.3-inch diameter dial, this WEMEIKIT already blows the small BGE thermometers out of water.
The dial design is done in a way that will not clash with the green aesthetics of a BGE and the waterproof design ensures no moisture or water will get inside the dial face.
Additionally, there is a silicone gasket on the backside of the dial so that no smoke leaves your grill through the thermometer hole.
The temperature-sensing part of the probe has a protective cover that you can leave in during storage.
My one gripe with this thermometer is that it does not have readings in Celsius. Only F is fine for America but in most other parts of the world, a Celsius reading is a must.
- Large dial makes visibility easy
- Strong Stainless Steel construction
- Waterproof design ensures long-term usability
- Helpful smoke, grill, and sear markings in the dial
- Quality control issues
- Only Fahrenheit reading in the dial
DOLAMOTY Waterproof Replacement BGE Thermometer
The DOLAMOTY Waterproof Replacement BGE Thermometer sports all of the features of the WEMEIKIT and comes in multiple different sizes for your preference.
- A 3.3” or 2” dial
- Fits all Big Green Egg Grills
- 150 to 900 Degrees F reading
- Waterproof and no-fog design
- Up to 4 seconds response time
|Unit Count||1 Count|
|Upper Temperature Rating||482.2 Degrees Celsius|
|Response Time||500 Milliseconds|
This product is included in this list only because I have noticed the availability of the WEMEIKIT to be a bit unreliable at times.
Either way, both these brands must be using the same OEM because these two products are virtually indistinguishable from each other.
You get the same 3.3” dial (with an option to get a 2” one) and the same waterproof stainless steel design that makes it far superior to the stock BGE thermometer.
Additionally, you will get a dial that can sense 150 degrees all the way to 900 degrees F
Unfortunately, you get the downsides of the previous one with this too. No celsius readings and some customers reported receiving faulty products.
But their customer service has been top-notch in my experience and you will get a replacement unit pretty easily.
- Great after-sales service
- Strong Stainless Steel Build
- Large dial for easy visibility
- Water and fog proof design
- Helpful smoke, grill, and sear markings in the dial
- Quality Control Issues
- No Celcius reading in the dial
KAMaster BGE Stainless Steel Thermometer Replacement
If you absolutely can not live without a dial that gives readings in celsius, this KAMaster thermometer is the right product for you. It covers all the basics well enough and comes in multiple size and color options!
- Big Silicone Gasket
- Waterproof and Fog Proof
- Stainless Steel construction
- Comes in both black and white dial options
- 150 to 900 degrees F or 50 to 450 degrees C reading
|Upper Temperature Rating||48.2 Degrees Celsius|
|Response Time||2000 Milliseconds|
Of the three alternative thermometers, this one is my favorite. It has all the functionality of the previous two options like big sized dial, weather resistance, and stainless steel construction. On top of that, the dial is marked in celsius as well as Fahrenheit!
If you liked the stock BGE thermometer aesthetics in white, this one comes in white too! Additionally, the silicone gasket in here is a lot bigger and thicker than the previous two, and that makes the seal a tad bit stronger.
Overall, I could not find even one downside of this product and if a C reading is what you need, hands down these are the best thermometer to get!
- Has both C and F markings
- Strong Stainless Steel Build
- Water and Fog Proof Design
- Big silicone gasket for a perfect seal
- Has multiple options in dial size and color
- Come Quality Control issues
- The mounting clip is a bit weak
So, if your BGE thermometer needs replacement or you were just planning to upgrade, look no farther than these three.
Depending on what you need, one of them is sure to satisfy you for years to come.
How To Know Big Green Egg Thermometer Not Working
Knowing if your BGE thermometer is working can be a pretty easy task if the thermometer has stopped responding completely.
You just light some charcoal and close the dome to see if the hand in the dial is rising corresponding to the temperature rise inside the grill.
However, knowing if your thermometer is giving wrong readings can be more difficult.
Without years and years of experience, you will need a second thermometer to cross check the results and if there is a difference in temperature reading that is more than 10 degrees in F, your built-in thermometer is probably not working as intended.
How To Remove A Big Green Egg Thermometer
Unlike other brands who use nuts and screws, BGE uses a simple metal mounting mechanism for their thermometers. This makes it incredibly easy to install and reinstall.
Looking inside the dome, you will see a triangular piece of metal holding the thermometer probe inside the dome.
All you need to do is press the longer side of the metal bracket using your thumb and pull the whole piece down. It should come out effortlessly.
Once the metal mounting mechanism is out, you can just pull out the thermometer holding the dial.
If your grill has a cleaning due, the sensor might not come out easily and then you will need to use a metal tool to gently pry it out.
How Do You Install A New Thermometer On Your Big Green Egg?
A thermometer may have a different mounting mechanism but most ones made for the BGE will have the same triangular metal mounting bracket. Installation is just as easy as removal.
First, put the probe of the sensor through the thermometer hole in the dome of the grill. Then hold the triangular metal bracket and see that there is one hole each in the flat and the long side. The flat side will rest against the dome.
Gently press these sides so that the holes line up and pass the probe through the two aligned holes and adjust the bracket until the flat side is pressing against the inside of the dome.
And your new thermometer is installed!!
Where Does The Thermometer Go In A Big Green Egg
The big green egg comes with the thermometer that shows you the ambient temperature inside the grill. The dial will be hanging on the green exterior while the metal probe will be inside the closed dome.
If your thermometer is not already installed, look at the face of the dome just below the top vent. There should be a hole in the ceramic body and that hole is there for the thermometer to go in.
How To Take Care Of BGE Thermometer For Long-Lasting Life
The thermometer of your BGE usually does not require any additional attention. You just need to give it a good clean whenever you are cleaning the rest of your grill.
That is, of course, assuming that you clean your BGE every couple months and do a clean burn at least once a year.
During these cleaning sessions, take the thermometer out and give it a good clean as well. Also do not leave your grill outside in harsh weather conditions and consider investing in a grill cover.
And there it is! Everything you need to know about a Faulty BGE Thermometer in one neat article! Hopefully, this will help you prevent any misfires this grilling season and your meat will come out as juicy and as tender as can be!