Insomniacs BBQ | #TeamYoder Mexico

Insomniacs BBQ Team's Yoder Smokers Cimarron Offset Wood Smoker

Barbecue brings people together, it’s the simple truth, and we are proud to be a part of that legacy. Yoder Smokers can be found all over the globe, from the Netherlands in northern Europe to New Caledonia in the South Pacific. If we don’t have a dealer in your area, we’ll try our darnedest to get you the Yoder Smoker of your dreams. Case in point: Hermosillo, Mexico competition barbecue team Insomniacs BBQ, who cook on not one but THREE Yoder Smokers!

Insomniacs BBQ Team's Yoder Smokers Cimarron Offset Wood Smoker

Sergio Castelo had been cooking with charcoal for over a decade when he first started researching pellet grills last year and discovered Yoder Smokers. Because there is not currently a dealer in Mexico, he reached out to owner Don Cary who informed him that YS Customer Service and Forum Manager Herb McBride lives in Tuscon, Arizona – only about an hour across the border. Even better, Herb had both the YS640 and YS1500 pellet cookers Sergio was interested in learning more about and was more than willing to demonstrate them. After visiting and seeing the two pellet cookers side by side, Sergio decided on the YS1500 and ordered his first Yoder Smoker.

Back home in Hermosillo with his YS1500, Sergio was in constant contact with Herb about methods, best practices, recipes, gadgets, etc. He was cooking almost daily, infected with the “BBQ bug,” which he passed on to his friends.

One of those friends, Guillermo Olaiz, had developed a love for American-style low and slow barbecue when he lived in Nogales, Arizona. Moving back to Mexico where the intense heat often surpassed 125º F or more, Guillermo’s interest in spending all day manning a smoker dampened, and for over 16 years his cooking leaned primarily towards grilling. Sergio’s new pellet grill seemed like a great way to get the flavor results he craved without manning a smoker all day, and Guillermo decided to order one for himself – a Yoder Smokers YS640. He started selling ribs and pulled pork on the weekends, with great reviews.

Insomniacs BBQ Team's Yoder Smokers YS1500 and YS640 Pellet Grills

In summer of 2015, Guillermo co-founded Sociedad de Parrilleros de Sonora, a local barbecue society and Facebook fan page that promotes outdoor cooking. He and Sergio wanted to elevate their barbecue community to a higher level, to learn from quality pitmasters and be able to cook KCBS-standard food that would  fit in at US BBQ competitions. Herb mentioned that Canadian championship BBQ team House of Q would be coming through Arizona after competing at the Jack Daniels BBQ championship and the World Food Championships and would be willing to visit Hermosillo to teach a private competition BBQ class to Sergio and Guillermo.

House of Q and Insomniacs BBQ Teams

BBQ Brian and his team went through their normal three day competition schedule and routine with Sergio and Guillermo, spending extra time sharing recipes and cooking local food items. After the House of Q visit, Sergio and Guillermo felt more confident about their BBQ skills and they have formed a competition team: Insomniacs BBQ. Fired up with inspiration – and adding a customized Yoder Smokers Cimarron offset wood competition cart to their arsenal – Insomniacs BBQ are planning on competing in both Mexican BBQ competition in 2016 and have high hopes of qualifying for the nationals in Monterrey in August.

 

House of Q and Insomniacs BBQ cooking on a Yoder Smokers YS1500

“It’s been a great experience to have Herb’s help available and to have entered the world of BBQ with Yoder Smokers,”  says Guillermo. “The quality of their smokers and all the products from All Things BBQ keep us well equipped to provide good food to our friends and customers and provide the best tools to enter the world of competitive barbecue. Our goal is simple, get Insomniacs BBQ into the Jack, the KCBS and Memphis in May!”

House of Q and Insomniacs BBQ Teams

Click here to view more photos from House of Q’s workshop with Insomniacs BBQ in Mexico on Facebook.

Cattleman’s Grill Steakhouse Parmesan Cheese Fries

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Just like every cowboy needs a sidekick, every good steak or burger can be made even better with a great side dish.

One of our all-time favorites: Parmesan Cheese Fries, dusted with Cattleman’s Grill Steakhouse Seasoning and fresh herbs. They go with anything, and also make a great main dish – just add leftover brisket, a little more cheese, and call it Irish Nachos. Substitute cheese curds and add gravy for classic Canadian Poutine. The possibilities are endless, especially when you cook them in cast iron on your Yoder Smokers YS640.

INGREDIENTS

Serves 4, as an appetizer

3  medium sized potatoes, washed and cut into strips
2  Tbsp Cattleman’s Grill Steakhouse Seasoning
2  Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 – 1/2 Cup  parmesan cheese
1   clove garlic, minced
1   Tbsp fresh parsley, minced

Salt & Pepper to taste

Preheat your YS640 for direct grilling at 425º F. (Be sure to remove the diffuser plate or the trap door of your two-piece diffuser plate.) When your pit comes up to temp go ahead and place your oven safe skillet on the grates over the firebox to preheat. We’re using a 12″ Lodge cast-iron skillet.

Make sure to clean your potatoes before cutting, since we are leaving the skin on. (Note: You can slice your french fries any size you want, ours are cut about a 1/4″ the entire length of the potato.) Put your potato slices in a large bowl and coat them with the olive oil, Cattleman’s Grill Steakhouse seasoning, and garlic.

Head to the cooker and place the fries in your preheated skillet. Stir or rotate every 10 minutes to make sure you get that delicious crisp all around. Around the 30 minute mark, or when browned to your liking, sprinkle the fries evenly with parmesan cheese. Shut the cooker door, allowing the cheese to melt over the fries for an additional 5 minutes or so.

Remove from the skillet and top with scallions or parsley to serve.

Add additional toppings (pulled pork, brisket, chili) as desired or dip into ketchup or ranch dressing.

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Competition Cart Upgrade? Try This YS640 Cart DIY

You don’t hear much buyer’s remorse among Yoder Smokers owners in regards to cooking performance. One regret we DO hear a lot, though, is owners wishing they had gone ahead and ordered the competition cart option instead of trying to scrimp and save a little cash by ordering their pellet cooker mounted on a standard cart. They are thrilled to discover you can always upgrade to the competition cart for your YS480 or YS640 whenever you’re ready. But then you’re left with an empty cart on wheels… what do you do with the perfectly good, durable steel Yoder Smokers cart that’s left behind?

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Owner Randy shared his reuse idea on the Team Yoder Facebook Group. He bolted an old tool box onto the YS640 cart, turning it into the perfect accessory caddy/prep station to sit alongside his cooker. Simple but ingenious, much like the Yoder Smokers YS640 pellet cooker itself!

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Tilapia En Papillote on the YS640

Rosemary Tilapia En Papillote on the Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Cooker

Weekday meals can be a struggle, especially at the start of a new year when you’re coming down from the holidays and trying earnestly to stick to all of those resolutions about staying in shape. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be a raw deal, especially when you own a Yoder Smokers YS640 pellet cooker. This versatile cooker makes it easy to avoid the temptation of fast food when you’re on the go: throw a couple of extra chicken breasts on the cooker and cube them up to serve over pre-washed greens from the deli section. On weekends, smoke turkey breasts or pork loin and slice thin to make your own lunchmeat without added preservatives or salt. Incorporate more healthy seafood into your diet by trying new flavor profiles and cooking techniques on your YS640.

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Grilling, smoking, sauteeing and baking are all great methods of preparing fish on the Yoder Smokers YS640 but this recipe features our take on the classic French method called En Papillote – “in paper.” You essentially make a cooking pouch out of parchment paper that steams food in its own juices. This method is not only simple to assemble and quick to cook, but there is very little clean up involved… just slide the fish out of the pouch and onto a bed of greens or some brown rice and you’re golden.

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Fin & Feather Rosemary Tilapia En Papillote

INGREDIENTS

Serves 2

1/2 lime, juiced
1 small jalapeño, seeds removed and diced
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
Plowboy’s BBQ Fin & Feather Rub
2 tilapia fillets, skin removed
parchment paper

Set up your YS640 for indirect grilling at 250º F, with the diffuser plate in place.

Fold a 18″-20″ length of parchment paper in half and place fillets along inner crease. Mix lime juice, jalapeño, garlic, onion and pour over fish. Sprinkle with Fin & Feather rub and place rosemary sprig on top. Fold parchment to cover fish, then fold ends over to create pouch.

Place pouch on the bottom rack of the YS640 and cook for 25-30 min, or until the internal temp of the fish is 140 degrees. The pouch puffs up during cooking, filling with steam, so cut open carefully. Serve immediately.

 

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Public at the Brickyard | #WhyIYoder

Public Gastropub in Wichita uses a Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill

Tucked away down a flight of stairs just off the square in Wichita’s Old Town district, Public at the Brickyard has the look of a secret club or speakeasy but the friendly atmosphere of your favorite neighborhood bar. Smoked meat was the cornerstone of Travis Russell’s menu concept for Public, which he opened with partners Brooke Russell and Drew Thompson in 2012 in a space that used to be overflow storage and a small kitchen for The Brickyard, the popular open-air nightspot and live music venue that his parents have run for over fifteen years.

Brooke and Travis Russell of Public with their Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill

Since their space available was limited, Travis’ goal was to create rich, layered dishes without a full-service kitchen and he knew that smoking meat on the patio could add a lot of versatility to their menu without taking room away from the cramped cooking quarters. It was important to Public’s owners to differentiate their food from traditional bar fare, which leans heavily on deep frying and frozen goods.

Public's Travis Russell harvests herbs at Public for cooking on the Yoder YS640

They wanted to showcase the depth and variety of locally grown produce and meat, using Wichita-area vendors as much as possible, and change the menu seasonally according to availability – a commitment carried over from the restaurants they worked at in college. (The Russells met at KU, while working at Pachamama’s in Lawrence, and they credit owner Ken Baker for instilling the entrepreneurial spirit in the generational staff there. Travis also worked at Cafe Osage in St. Louis while in graduate school, a restaurant that is housed within an urban garden and is heavily involved in community organization and sustainability.) Using local produce and meat gives back to the community, but it also helps to strengthen entrepreneurial growth. Brooke notes that when Public opened, it was hard to find many local vendors to work with but they have since tripled that number and seen a lot of new growth in the Wichita farm, foodie and beer arena.

Interior | Public at the Brickyard

The idea of using what is available is evident in Public’s decor, much of which was built themselves or salvaged in what they like to refer to as a gigantic art project: the tables and floors were made with antique maple wood reclaimed from the Lemp Brewery in St. Louis, a lot of the newspapers and ephemera come from Drew’s grandfather who was the editor of the KC Star, and the lamps that provide the warm glow above the bar were made with a mason jar collection from an aunt in Medicine Lodge, diners receive their bills tucked neatly between the pages of old hard-bound books.

Public Gastropub in Wichita uses a Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill

True to their DIY spirit, Public’s initial foray into smoked meat started with Travis rigging his backyard charcoal kettle grill with a fan. They quickly moved on to a pellet grill Travis’ dad had purchased from a big box store but were constantly dealing with issues: the auger kept jamming, fire blew back into the chamber, it flat-out died. They went through three of them before they realized they should have just gotten a Yoder Smokers YS640. “We did it backwards,” Travis laughs. “The only thing we need now is a bigger Yoder!”

Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill | Public at the Brickyard

“You have to get to know your cooker,” says Travis, who praises the control and consistency of the YS640. “Pellet is the way to go!” Public uses a blend of apple and pecan pellets for a slightly nutty, sweet smoke that reminds Travis of the annual Walnut Valley Folk Festival held in nearby Winfield. Their gastropub-esque plates blend equatorial and subtropical inspiration with classic Americana: their Vietnamese Banh Mi and Cuban Sandwich co-exist peacefully with Papa Bear’s Brisket Tacos and bison/beef Prairie Sliders as House Favorites. Other fabulous menu options include smoked chicken, ribs, house-made pickles, chicken and waffles, pizzas, and more… many fine choices, many featuring YS640-smoked meat or vegetables.

Chicken on the Yoder Smokers YS640 Pellet Grill at Public Gastropub

“Having the YS640 on our patio is the best advertisement,” Brooke jokes. “The smell of smoked meat is hard to resist.” Luckily, Public also excels at something that goes very well with smoked meat: beer.  They feature a vast, rotating selection draft brews from some of the country’s finest craft breweries, including several from right here in Wichita. It’s not a hard sell to sidle up to Public’s behemoth carved wooden bar to try a pint or two.

Craft Brew on tap at Public

When we were setting up the photos for this story, Joseph from Public’s kitchen staff ran out to make sure the YS640 was staying put. “You’re not taking it away, are you?!”

No way, Joey! Public and Yoder make a pretty great team here in Wichita.

The Staff | Public at the Brickyard

 


Public at the Brickyard
129 N. Rock Island Road
Wichita, Kansas 67202
(316) 263-4044