Question: I want to know if it is really necessary to monitor the catalytic element temperature. I use a thermometer on the stove top to give me an indicator of proper operation. I have read you can tell if the catalytic element is operating OK by checking for smoke from the chimney, What is the value to be gained by installing a temperature probe in the catalytic combustor area?", Answer: I do not think you need an internal monitor. The Encore is designed well enough so that if the stove if up to any decent temperature, the cat will operate correctly. Use a surface them on the griddle. The most critical stage of the fire (as far as the cat) is startup, until you have a good bed of embers. Once you have these embers, it should always work OK."