Choosing The Right Pellet Grill

Yoder Smokers might not have been the first to come up with the concept of a smoker that runs on compressed wood pellets, but we put our experience building high quality offset pit smokers from heavy gauge steel into manufacturing the very best pellet cooker on the market. We’ve put more time and money into research and development than marketing swag and celebrity endorsements, and it’s paid off with a solid range of American-made pellet grills that are durable, dependable, and quite literally award-winning for the folks who cook on them.

Yoder Smokers Pellet Cookers

The YS Pellet Cooker Series is made up of three models: the YS480, the YS640, and the YS1500. The number in each model’s name corresponds to the area of cooking surface it offers, in square inches. Each one offers indirect and direct cooking, offering incredible versatility and ease of use for anything from barbecue to baking. (Note: the YS480 and YS640 are also available with competition cart bases like the one shown on the YS1500 for added mobility.)

We know we’re not the only pellet grill on the block. But we think the difference is obvious, especially when you see one in person. Check our Dealer Locator to see if there is a retailer near you. Yoder Smokers pellet cookers are made from heavy gauge steel, with an attention to detail you just don’t find in pits made outside of the USA. We put a lot of pride into what we put out into the world, so much so that our warranty is the best among our peers: 10 years on the body of the cooker, 3 years on the electronics, and one year on the igniter.

There are plenty of places to find information online about our pellet cookers and those manufactured by our competitors. If you’re looking for a place to ask specific questions about how Yoder Smokers match up to other brands, from pitmasters who have considered and/or cooked on a variety of makes and models, our Community Forum is a good place to start. Facebook groups like Team Yoder Smokers and Yoder Smokers Australia & NZ  are also a great resource.

Take a look around and let us know if you have any questions. We’re always happy to help. We want you to make the right decision for your needs, and we hope it’s a Yoder Smoker.

 

Noah’s Customized YS640 Comp Cart

Noah's Customized Yoder Smokers YS640 Comp Cart

We see a lot of aftermarket customization on Yoder Smokers. It’s pretty great to see how people make them their own, usually with a custom cut logo or decal on the cart. We’ve got to say this old school hot rod pinstriping on Noah Davis’ cooker looks awfully sweet! Pollock Joe did a fantastic job and we love that fiery red on Yoder orange. No word yet on how it affects the food that comes off of it but we suspect it adds a little swagger to whatever Noah is cooking up!

Noah's Customized Yoder Smokers YS640 Comp Cart Noah's Customized Yoder Smokers YS640 Comp Cart
Noah's Customized Yoder Smokers YS640 Comp Cart Noah's Customized Yoder Smokers YS640 Comp Cart


See video of Pollock Joe in action on our Facebook page and check out his website at http://pollockspinstriping.com/.

Smoked Salmon on the YS1500 Pellet Cooker

Our cookers are great for instant gratification, sure, but one of the little-known facts about smokers is they are a phenomenal tool for meal planning and making the most out of your grocery budget. Smoking for more than just one meal is a great way to stretch your dollar and your time manning the grill. Our customer service guru Herb recently came across a stellar deal at his local Sam’s Club and shared his method for brining and smoking salmon on the Yoder Smokers community Forum.

Smoked salmon is delicious plain, but also adds great flavor to many dishes… try flaking some over your favorite mac and cheese recipe or mixing with cream cheese and capers for a delicious sandwich spread. Herb used his YS1500 pellet cooker for this project, but this works just as well on the Yoder Smokers YS640, too– you just won’t be able to pack quite as many salmon fillets on it! Vacuum packed salmon keeps well in the freezer and also makes a great gift.


Salmon was cheap by the case at Sam’s club last week, so we bought a 36 pound case.

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We cut the fillets in half, rinsed it off and dry brined it.

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After about 3 hours in the brine, we rinsed it off.

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Then let it sit to air dry and form a pellicle.

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Then lightly sprinkled some spices on it all.

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Put it all on the YS1500 to smoke at 200 degrees.

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Here is the end result. These were the first two pieces to hit 145º and be taken off the cooker. (The rest are all very close as well.)

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The rest were vacuum-packed, ready for the freezer.

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Machado & Son #TeamYoder

We love hearing stories about teams cooking on Yoders and winning, but this post in one of the Yoder Smokers Facebook groups really warmed our hearts. We asked Joey Machado if it was okay to repost this here, and he gladly obliged, sending us some more photos and telling us the story behind it.

Joey on FB

Joey Machado has been cooking competitively for 14 years and says the Yoder has made his life so much simpler. As a member of the American Petroleum Industry (API), he is responsible for running many cookoffs in the Central and South Texas region, so he hasn’t been competing. Luckily, he’s been grooming his 13 year old son, Ty (shown above with Ernest Servantes), to not only help him prep, but to carry on the family tradition of cooking. And winning!

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He has learned well and I am able to let him cook worry free knowing that the Yoder will do its job and not have to check up on him. He follows my recipes and cook times and is almost able to duplicate my products. Really, without the Yoder it would be almost impossible for him to be able to compete.

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BEST SHOWINGS – all cooking on Yoder 640 all on same pit at same time

  • Carrizo Springs Texas- 2nd Annual Dimmit County Pit Master 2014
    1st Chicken, 2nd Brisket and 3rd ribs
  • Del Rio Texas , API Wintergarden Chapter Bass Tournament and BBQ Cook Off 2015
    1st Cooks Choice, 2nd Chicken and 2nd Ribs (all cooked and prepped by Ty)
  • San Antonio Texas, API San Antonio Roping and BBQ Cook Off 2015
    3rd Cooks Choice , 2nd Chicken, 4th Ribs, 5th Brisket  (all cooked and
    prepped by Ty) Cutting Board and Wooden Boot Jack
  • Zapata Texas , API Laredo Roping and BBQ Cook Off 2015
    4th Chicken  (cooked and prepped by Ty)
  • Seguin Texas, LULAC  Cinco De Mayo Festival 2015 weekend before last
    1st Chicken, 2nd Ribs and 3rd Brisket  Beer Can Trophies
  • Laredo Texas, LAPS ( Laredo Animal Protective Society) 1st Annual Hogs and
    Dogs BBQ Cook-off (my 13yo son and I cooked together) 2015 this past weekend
  • 1st Chicken ($400) 5th Ribs ($75) 5th Brisket ($75)
  • Next Cook Off 22-23 this month in Uvalde Texas

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Thanks to Joey and Ty Machado for being a winning part of #TeamYoder!

The Hungry Heart #WhyIYoder

The first thing you see when entering Wichita’s The Hungry Heart from the parking lot that separates it from InTrust Arena is a bright blue custom Yoder Smokers Frontiersman, beckoning you inside.

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When John David Payne left his corporate job in California to start a gastropub/microbrewery in the middle of the biggest city in Kansas, he knew he wanted to bring some West Coast back with him. Ahi nachos, fish tacos, and Asian-spiced chicken wings are some of the signature dishes at The Hungry Heart. But the Fort Scott native wanted to make sure to offer some hearty barbecue options to appeal to the more stubbornly midwestern appetites – their pulled pork sandwich is their best-seller, so he started to research cookers and stumbled upon Yoder Smokers.

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“I heard about Yoder Smokers through my parents and when I met the owners and toured the facilities I had in mind to buy something bigger but based on what I would be cooking the guys convinced me that I didn’t to spend as much money and would a get a better value on this particular model. So I appreciated that Yoder was willing to not make as much money off of me as they could’ve made. You don’t see that often in commerce.”

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John David says the most surprising thing about The Hungry Heart’s Yoder is how well it holds its heat for such a big cooker. “I have had a great experience with Yoder. The quality of their products is consistent which is needed for my restaurant. I really appreciate the quality of service from Don and Josh. After I got the smoker, they came over to help me break it in and gave me some pointers. I’m very glad I bought locally and from them.”

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The Hungry Heart Gastropub Yoder Smokers

BBQ Brian from House of Q

Doing a bit of cooking today…. 14 pork butts slammed into my YS1500. #whyiyoder

A video posted by Brian Misko (@house_of_q) on

Brian Misko, a.k.a. BBQ Brian, is the pitmaster for House of Q. The Langley, British Columbia-based team has been cooking competitively since 2005, racking up a slew of top calls from contests all across North America over the past decade. In the last few months of 2014 alone, they were named Canadian BBQ Society Team of the Year, took the top international pork call at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue, and also nabbed first place in ribs at the World Food Championships – no small feat!

Brian Misko House of Q World Food Champion in Ribs

House of Q introduced their eponymous line of barbecue sauces and rubs to the retail market in 2007, garnering rave reviews from consumers and competition judges alike. Their popular Slow Smoke Gold BBQ Sauce and Slather took second place honors two years running at the prestigious American Royal World Series of Barbecue. Brian’s first cookbook, Grilling With House of Q, was just released on April 11th. It’s absolutely beautiful to look at and will teach even seasoned pitmasters a new trick or two.

BBQ Brian Misko Grilling With House of Q Cookbook

So when did House of Q join #TeamYoder? According to BBQ Brian’s blog, they added the Yoder Smokers YS1500 pellet cooker to their arsenal in the Spring of 2014, as their primary competition cooker for brisket and pork. He also recently got the chance to cook on our Cimarron for a charity event in Saskatchewan. We think it looks like true love!

Yoder Smokers Cimarron Competition BBQ Cooker

Brian told me he first read about Yoders in a magazine and liked their look but didn’t get a chance to get up close and personal to one until he saw them at the American Royal in 2012. “I like my competition long cooks on my Yoder,” he says. “They get amazing crust, great smoke ring, and they turn out fantastic.”

What’s the most popular recipe Brian has created on his YS1500?

I would have to say “Bacon Bites” which is featured in my new cookbook Grilling with House of Q. It really is a simple recipe however rather easy to screw up too!

Andy Does Australia

One of the most recognizable ambassadors of Yoder Smokers is Smoke on Wheels BBQ‘s pitmaster Andy Groneman. He’s been cooking in competitions for more than two decades and has the trophies and bragging rights to show for it, with over 25 Grand Championships under his belt. Andy is also the instructor for cooking classes at All Things Barbecue, where he shows Kansans how to get the most out of their Yoders by preparing demonstration meals from prep to table.

If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you probably know that Andy spent the last month in Australia. Our exclusive distributor there, Grill Pro, set up a whirlwind transcontinental teaching tour that paired Andy with local meat and produce purveyors, restauranteurs and gastronomes. From what we could see, Australians love American style BBQ and have an amazing locavore scene that rightly celebrates itself, especially in the glow of summertime.

Here are some photos to give you a taste of #TeamYoderAustralia, snagged from Grill Pro on Facebook:

US Pitmaster Andy Groneman & Andy Collins from The Patch Store trimming up Beef Brisket for Masterclass Dinners hosted by Gary Mehigan in Melbourne

US Pitmaster Andy Groneman & Andy Collins from The Patch Store trimming up Beef Brisket for Masterclass Dinners hosted by Gary Mehigan in Melbourne

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Andy showing the Aussie butchers how to trim up a full packer brisket, separating point from flat at Feast Fine Foods, Norwood

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Andy and Gary McBean from Gary’s Quality Meats with a forequarter of beef at “The Smoker & The Butcher” Masterclass and Dinner hosted by Gary Mehigan in Melbourne

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Andy visits Gary McBean at Gary’s Quality Meats in Melbourne

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Andy’s Lamb Three Ways class at BBQs Plus in Port Melbourne

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Andy shows off American-style pork ribs from Rich Gunner’s pigs available ONLY at Feast! Fine Foods

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Andy in the zone, prepping for “GRILL’N AND CHILL’N” at That Little Brewery, hosted by The Patch Store

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Love that the tank piping is Yoder orange at The Little Brewery!

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Planked Huon Aqua Salmon on the YS640 at “GRILL’N AND CHILL’N”

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Andy preparing the mango jalapeño glazed planked salmon and his championship pork ribs in Adelaide (photo #Repost @antimoiannella)

 

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Andy, Chef Dan and Brett from Aussie Pitmaster and a herd of Yoder Smokers backstage at the Melbourne event hosted by Gary Mehigan