Yoder Smokers at Fiery Foods Show


Yoder Smokers is returning to Albuquerque, New Mexico this Spring as a sponsor of the National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show, March 4-6 2016 at the Sandia Resort & Casino.

The show, now in its 28th year, is the largest and most visited exhibition of spicy foods and barbecue in the world, featuring 200+ exhibitor booths filled with more than 1,000 different products.

VP Joe Phillips and Customer Service/Forum Manager Herb McBride will be on site, bringing several of our most popular cookers from Kansas to showcase in the Yoder Smokers booth in the Sandia’s Grand Ballroom. These cookers will be available to take home at show’s end and we are accepting preorders by telephone only, starting today. See a list of the Yoder Smokers models we will be bringing to New Mexico on the Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/251288168535632/ Call 620-802-0217 during business hours to make a deposit and reserve one of the display units before they sell out!

Some photos from Yoder’s trip to Fiery Foods last year:

Yoder Smokers at the Fiery Foods Show

Rumor has it that the Yoder Gnome will be back, by popular demand.

Yoder Smokers at the Fiery Foods Show

Stop by to check out our cookers and ask some questions. These are the folks who have all the answers you need to know about Yoder Smokers!

Yoder Smokers at the Fiery Foods Show



Bob’s YS1500 Pellet Grill

One of the best ways to learn about Yoder Smokers is to join our Community Forum. It’s an incredible resource, with Yoder owners putting our cookers to the test, troubleshooting, and sharing insights and helpful hints with each other. Competition pitmasters and backyard grilling newbies assemble on even ground, to discuss the ins and outs of barbecue and how to get the most out of your Yoder. We peer in and try to answer questions and generally be helpful, but Yoder owners are an independent breed and tend to make their own decisions!

Here’s a recent post from Community Forum member Bob Parrish, summing up his thoughts about his new YS1500 pellet cooker.

Yoder Smokers YS1500 Pellet Grill

My new cooker sitting on my super secret leveling device.

I took delivery of my brand spankin’ new YS1500 two weeks ago. Since then I’ve cooked four rounds of ribs, one lonely chicken and pastrami. I’ve done all the temperature measurements to learn where the hot and cool spots are and to generally find out how stable this thing is when actually cooking. The conclusion? Set your temp on the controller and quit worrying.

During the first two cooks I saw temperature swings as high as 40 degrees from set temp. These swings were always high. I’d have it set at 225º and see the grate temp go to 270º. And then I realized something; those swings were always within the first two hours of the cook. I had an “aha” moment and took Yoder_Herbs advice; when I fired it up I did so at 350º and only after I reached that temp would I put on my ribs, turn the temp down and start cooking. My thinking is that this thing is so damn big that at 225º it just takes a while to completely settle in.

When I did that, the swings essentially went away. Yeah, you still get some, but only for a few minutes and then it stabilizes again. Nothing to worry about.

I found that on my cooker there is about 5-8 degrees difference in temp from left to right on the bottom grate and about the same on the top. The top grate settles in at about 10 degrees hotter than the main surface. I think this is truly exceptional and pretty much mitigates the need to rotate meat. Lots of times the temps were identical. The only hot spot I’ve found is the upper left near the fire box on the main grate and near the stack on the top.

Clean up is a snap and is much easier than my now gone YS640. Lift out the grates and the heat management plates and you’re in clean mode. The gunk on the heat management plates scrapes right off and the inside of the cooker is easy to scrape and vacuum.

So how’s the food? In the words of Anthony Bourdain, “it does not suck.” I would say it cooks more gently than my YS640. The 640, (and my even older Traeger) tended to burn the ends of the ribs a bit unless I wrapped. The 1500 just chugs along and when those bits of pig are done, pull them off and get happy. I’d say it cooks them almost as well as my 500 gallon stick burner without any of the heat management problems of such large cooker.

Oh yeah, the bark is damn near perfect. I’m hoping that in the next 100 lbs. or so of pellets I’ll have the bark dialed in.

I cooked a chicken because my wife wanted chicken. Being the good husband and seeing that 98 cents a pound was a small price to pay for a dead bird, I obliged. I cook poultry at 275 to keep the moisture in the bird and at least for me, it works. It had beautiful color, perfectly moist and nice crispy skin. It was as good as my stick burner.

A delightful surprise was the smoke. No matter what temp I’m cooking there is always, always thin blue smoke coming out of that big fat stack. It’s a thing of beauty to watch and that wonderfulness ends up in your mouth. When the first racks of baby backs were finished I sliced one off, admired the color and texture for oh, about two seconds and took a bite.
The conversation with myself went a bit like this:



“This is some good sh*t.”

“This is some damn good sh*t.”

“In fact, this IS the sh*t.”

Is it worth the whopping four thousand dollars?

It depends. I’m 60 years old and have been barbecuing for 30 years. I’ve been chasing that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow trying to get my stuff to taste as good as that BBQ joint that built their pit in the ’20s. A stick burner properly managed will get you there. I don’t have the energy or desire to stay up most of the night tending the fire on long cooks and like being able to relax a bit on the shorter ones. As involving and fun as tending the fire is, it got old. This cooker gets me to 95% or maybe a tad better to what a stick burner can do. For me it was worth the price of admission.

Yoder Smokers YS1500 Pellet Grill

8 racks of baby backs. I supposed I could have used the top shelf, but I didn’t have to! I could have squeezed two more racks on the main cooking surface.

Ribs on the Yoder Smokers YS1500

Three hours in to the cook.

Ribs on the YS1500 Pellet Grill

A close up.

Yoder Smokers Pellet Grills produce thin blue smoke

Thin blue smoke. All. The. Time.

Ribs about to come off the Yoder YS1500

About to come off the cooker.

Ribs cooked on the Yoder Smokers YS1500 Pellet Grill

The finished product. They look a bit dry in the picture, but I can assure they were not!

Yoder_Herb and the Birth of the Yoder Smokers Forum

The Yoder Smokers Community Forum is a great resource for learning about our cookers, both for new owners and those considering buying one. Forum discussion is driven by owners, not created by our staff, and features conversations about everything from competition tips to photo brags and troubleshooting. It’s overseen by Yoder_Herb who was, himself, a customer deciding between a Yoder YS640 and one of our competitors. (We just dug up the 2012 email to prove it!) He became a Yoder owner, and then one of our most dedicated fans until we unceremoniously pulled him out of retirement and put him to work – manning the forum he suggested we needed! Here is his story, as told to a recent customer.

Yoder Herb and his trusty trailer

Yoder Herb and his trusty trailer

I was also retired, and live in Arizona. I say “was,” because a passion for a product brought me out of retirement. I have been cooking on Yoder pellet grills since May of 2012. To date I have burned through almost 3 tons of pellets, all in Yoder pellet cookers.

I spent 32 years in Information Technology, so when I received my first Yoder pellet grill, I had 6 temperature probes in the cooker, attempting to map out every inch of it to see where it was hot, etc. Along with this, I spent hours documenting what the controller display was showing. I then spent time attempting to correlate the temperature probe data with the controller display data, in an attempt to understand why the cooker wasn’t working the way I had envisioned that it should. I spent hours talking to Don Cary, and even made a trip to Wichita to speak to him in person. I also sent Don a lot of email questions and I made statements about the product. All of this was my attempt at telling Don that the product was faulty, because it didn’t work the way I thought it should. I had bought it sight unseen, had it shipped to me and now, after all of this, I was concerned that I had made the wrong decision to purchase the Yoder product. There is much, much, more to this story that I won’t bore you with.

I want to share with you that during all of hours and hours and hours that I spent documenting, watching the controller display, etc., I was also cooking some of the best BBQ we had ever eaten. Unfortunately, I was focused on proving my point with Don, and ignoring the fact that the best BBQ ever was coming off the Yoder. Then friends and family started to ask me to cook for them. My daughter asked that I cook for her wedding reception. After that, I was being asked by people that I didn’t even know if I would cook for them. At one point, my wife and I took a 30 day trip through 14 states to visit family and, yes, I loaded up the Yoder in an enclosed trailer, and took it with us. I cooked for everyone along the way. They are all still begging for us to do it again.

Why am I babbling about all of this to you? Because I want you to focus on what really matters, which took me almost 6 months to realize. The Yoder cooker just plain works, and will cook you some of the best BBQ that restaurants can only wish they could be in the same league with. Yes, there are technical reasons that the cooker does what it does, but, if you follow the best practices from the link I sent you, use quality pellets (BBQr’s Delight are the best, hands down), and keep your cooker clean and maintained, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

I invite you to learn more on the inner workings of the cooker by visiting the Support Forum and reviewing the manuals, best practices and experiences of other Yoder owners. The forum is the best place to share experiences, ask questions and to get information about Yoder products. Remember at the top of this email, where I told you about everything that I went through trying to understand my Yoder? The Support Forum is the direct result of the journey that I took, and provides the information to quickly get owners focusing on the end result, the food.

I am always available to answer questions or concerns. You have my email, you can send email to customerservice@yodersmokers.com, or you can post on the Support Forum. Yoder has an awesome support team, and we are all here to help you be successful using Yoder Smokers products.

Herb McBride
Yoder Smokers
Customer Service
Support Forum: http://community.yodersmokers.com

Yoder Herb manning the booth at the 2015 Fiery Foods and BBQ Show

Herb manning the booth at the Fiery Foods & BBQ Show

Herb and his lovely wife, Alice

Herb and his lovely wife, Alice