How to Install a Grill Thermometer [Gas, Charcoal and Kettle]


A good grill thermometer is key to perfecting your grilled food. But not all grills come with one installed. Fortunately, this can be easily fixed. Here’s my guide to installing a thermometer on your grill.

Many of today’s modern grills come with thermometers already installed, either digital or analogue. However, this is not the case with  all  grills, especially older models.

However, it is crucial to get an accurate reading of the grilling temperature. If your grill doesn’t already have a thermometer installed either, I highly recommend getting one. thanks, it’s not difficult to do it yourself.

Grill thermometer installed in the lid of the webcam

If you have a digital sample, you can simply place it on the grill or stick the sample into the meat. However, for analogue thermometers, we need to install them on the lid.

In this guide I will show you how to do this with a charcoal grill and also with a  built-in gas head.

Is required:

  • A drill
  • A ⅜ screw
  • Ruseoleum High Temp Rust Spray(Available here on Amazon )
  • An analog grill thermometer

Also install a thermometer in a Weber kettle grill

If you have the older version of the Weber kettle that didn’t have the thermometer removed, do the following.

You will need a drill and a sharp 3/8 bit and a thermometer. While some analog thermometers might work well here, I’d recommend getting a Weber thermometer for the sake of simplicity. You also know that it fits.

You then need to decide where to place it on the grill lid. We want to position it so that the end of the probe is as close to the center  and the cooking surface as possible. That is not directly over the center of the rack, but also not right next to the edge of the lid.

It is recommended to replicate the height location of the vents but on the other side of the lid. This is done so that airflow does not disturb the thermometer reading and give you an inaccurate reading of the overall internal temperature of the grill.

If you are unsure, see a picture of a Weber kettle with a thermometer. I would say there is no “wrong” position, but the closer you can get it, the closer the probe can be to the center of the grilling surface. , then better.

Weber grill lid with analogue thermometer

Begin drilling the cap carefully, making sure the cap is firmly pinched or locked while drilling. Drill and with even pressure to avoid slowly healing the enamel behind the drilled hole.

After piercing the cap, rub off any chipped paint on the inside and outside of the cap. This will reduce the resistance when YOU insert the thermometer into the lid.

Then we need to spray it with anti-rust spray paint. This so none of the piercing scars oxidize. For this I use Ruseoleum’s High Temp Antioxidant Spray,  which you can find here on Amazon.

Just put a few light sprays on each side of the hole. You might want to use tape on the outside to keep it clean, but that’s up to you. When you’re done, let the lid dry.

Once dry, slide the thermometer in and secure with the appropriate wing nut. Get to squeeze it tight, but be careful not to tear it. And then it is time!

So, install a thermometer on a gas grill

While many modern gas grills have built-in thermometer systems, this is not always the case with older systems. Gas grills can be a bit more intimate given their size and the fact that they’re propane, but thankfully, attaching a thermometer to them is pretty easy too.

Close the lid of your gas grill and use a tape measure to find the horizontal center of the lid. As with the Weber kettle, we want the thermometer to sit in the hood so its probe can be close to the top of the grill and also the center point. You also don’t want to install too high or too low on the lid.

Once YOU have decided where YOU want to install it, YOU use a marker pen to mark where you want to drill.

Use a drill with a 3/8 screw to drill. Go slow and steady, being careful not to overload the enamel behind the hole you are drilling.

Cover the edge of the hole with anti-rust spray(link above) to protect it from rusting. Spray lightly on both sides with just one or two sprays. let dry.

Once the grill lid is dry, insert the thermometer. Be careful here: If your probe has threads, whenever you make sure to screw it in without preventing the grill cap or the threads on your probe.

Install the wing nut and tighten.

Grill thermometer in the gas grill hood

You can also calibrate your grill thermometer

As I said, precision is a must when grilling. If you think your thermometer is not reading the temperature correctly  , you need to recalibrate it.

Luckily this is very easy to do. Remove the thermometer from the grill cover and, using oven mitts or tongs, hold the stem in boiling water.

The dial should be as close to the boiling point(212°F/100°C) as possible. If this does not display WILL, the stem can be rotated to align closely with the actual display.

To do this, hold the dial in one hand and then use pliers to rotate the shaft. You can then test it again in boiling water to see if the reading is closer.

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