House of Q Cooking Classes at ATBBQ #TeamYoder

Our Wichita retailer All Things Barbecue hosts monthly cooking classes in their teaching kitchen. It’s a fantastic set-up with an indoor demo kitchen that features overhead cameras so students can see what the chef’s is doing from all angles and a big outdoor patio with a fleet of smokers and grills to cook on, many of which are Yoder Smokers. ATBBQ’s House Chef Tom Jackson, who creates the recipes for their blog The Sauce leads classes with the help of friends like pitmaster Andy Groneman of Smoke on Wheels BBQ and occasional guest instructors.

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We’ve been lucky enough to have BBQ Brian Misko from Vancouver’s House of Q to preside over classes at ATBBQ twice now and it is always a lot of fun. Brian uses a Yoder Smokers YS1500 in BBQ competitions, taking top calls at such prestigious events as the Jack Daniel’s World Championship Invitational Barbecue and the World Food Championships. He released his first cookbook, Grilling With House of Q, last year and it quickly became a bestseller in his native Canada. ATBBQ is the exclusive US distributor of House of Q’s popular BBQ sauces and rubs.

Brian Misko of House of Q at All Things BBQ

Brian Misko at ATBBQ YS640

There are certain folks we expect to see at All Things BBQ classes. Steve Hamous, for example, is always there to lend a hand with the Yoder Smokers:

Steve Hamous at ATBBQ Cooking Classes

And Kim’s smiling face is always front and center at classes:

Brian Misko and Kim Rosen at ATBBQ Cooking Classes

Sometimes there are new faces in the room, mostly people from the Wichita area or greater Kansas, often from neighboring states like Oklahoma, Missouri, or Nebraska. But this last class of Brian’s brought visitors who flew in from almost as far away as he did! Randy and Chris came in from Billings, Montana and took the time to drive out and see the factory in Hutchinson where their Yoder Smokers pellet grills were made. They found out about Yoders via social media and learned about the classes through subscribing to ATBBQ’s newsletter and The Sauce’s YouTube channel. Elaine flew in from Nashville, where she cooks on a Loaded Wichita. She enjoyed Brian’s Grilling With House of Q and wanted to meet the guy who could come up with a recipe called “Cockroach Chicken.”

Brian Misko Cooking Classes at ATBBQ

What did Elaine think of her trip?

OMG! It was worth every cent to meet Brian and attend his classes. I learned so much and have already tested my learning. I smoked the best brisket that I have ever eaten! Thank you Brian Misko! My ribs were so good that my next door neighbors deemed them: “out of the park” as in that good! I love my Yoder Loaded Wichita and she is such a pleasure to smoke and grill on. My favorite is “Cockroach Chicken.” Brian’s secret brine is awesome. ATBBQ is such a friendly and warm place to shop and come to classes.

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Here’s Brian’s Cranked Up Meatloaf recipe from ATBBQ’s The Sauce YouTube Channel:

If you’re a Yoder Smokers owner or contemplating becoming one, ATBBQ is a great place to see a wide selection of our cookers all in one place and there is usually something cooking on their patio. Check out their upcoming cooking classes and see if there is anything that piques your interest. And let us know if you’re coming!

Yoder Smokers on Set of Longmire

Yoder Smokers on Set of Longmire

Our Customer Service/Forum Manager Herb McBride and his better half, Alice, got to spend some time in New Mexico recently on the set of TV series Longmire. If you’re not familiar with the show, it is a contemporary western set in Wyoming and it has a fan base that is truly fanatical! Longmire just started filming their fifth season for Netflix and we were pleased as punch that they decided to not only bring back the YS1500 pellet smoker but also to add a new Yoder Smoker 24″ x 48″ charcoal grill! Randy Moore of Great FX keeps us up to speed with onset Yoder-ing on his Instagram #LongmireFX.  Randy’s comments about the new flat-top grill: “I have a habit of buying only the best tools. That’s why I bought the Yoder smoker and grill. The charcoal grill is excellent for burgers like we made in the scene here. Maggie is also looking forward to grilling tomatoes and chili for her salsa. Awesome product. Welds are perfect, steel is thick, design of charcoal grate is neat, and it’s built 100% in the USA! Thank you!

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Herb and Alice had a great time being extras on the show and helping Randy and the Longmire FX crew out with their pits.

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Herb and Alice with Longmire stars Katee Sackhoff (“Vic” Moretti) and Robert Taylor (Walt Longmire):

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Herb and Alice with Tom Wopat (Sheriff Jim Wilkins):

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There was a ton of food, of course, but Herb’s Smoked Crack-ers were, in his own words, a STUPENDOUS hit.

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Having eaten my fair share of these, I know this is the absolute truth! Those things are addictive, hence the name Crack-ers.

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Herb said that in the middle of filming, Katee Sackhoff turn to them and said “you better not hand out all those crackers before I get some!” He reassured her that he and Alice had set aside a small bag just for Robert and her. Phew! You wouldn’t want to tick that lady off…

Herb's Smoked Crack-ers on the Yoder Smoker

Visit the Yoder Smokers Community Forum for Herb’s Smoked Crack-ers Recipe! It’s easy and so addictive that you will never look at a humble saltine the same way…

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.

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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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!

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:

“Damn.”

“Damn.”

“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!