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Father and Son Pitmasters

Yoder Smokers YS640

Meet Matt and Max Wydra. Father and son pitmasters cooking and creating homemade recipes on Matt’s Yoder Smokers YS640S pellet grill. Theirs is a backyard barbecue journey exemplifying the profound ways in which a shared passion for cooking can not only foster a deep bond but also serve as a beacon of hope and growth in the face of life’s adversities.

Their story began with Matt. He has always had a knack for combining creativity and cooking to prepare a delicious meal for friends and family. This knack for cooking moved out to the backyard in 2018 when he began to dabble with smoking meat, and from there it quickly became his new favorite hobby. That said, it wasn’t long before that hobby transformed into a passion for outdoor cooking. As he began looking for a more capable barbecue pit he found his new Yoder and level-up with the addition of the YS640S pellet grill. It was around this same time his 5-year-old son, Max, had been diagnosed with epilepsy just months earlier. And this is where the pair’s roads began to merge.

While Max faced many challenges with the diagnosis, his parents found that anytime Matt started a cook on the Yoder, their son Max was right there with him. Glued to his side, Max had taken an interest alongside his dad when it came to outdoor cooking. And watching his dad cook on the YS640S quickly turned into a desire for Max to get his hands directly in on the action. So Matt did what father’s do and began teaching Max the fundamentals — how to chop vegetables, prep meat for the grill, and get acclimated to being around the Yoder pellet grill. Max was quick to ask for his own equipment, too, such as a proper knife set like his Dad. In the case of this knife set the two settled on his very own child friendly plastic knives, eventually graduating to a blunt tip metal knife for kids.

Max’s desire to learn the art of smoking and grilling continued to grow and without fail, every time Matt was preparing a menu, Max was right there providing his input on the cook.

Fast-forward to 2024, Matt and Max have spent countless hours together shopping for just the right cut of meat, prepping for the grill, working the smoker, and grilling deliciousmeals on the Yoder. In fact, neighbors, family, and friends often request that the pair cook for them. Just last summer they supplied a barbecue “dream spread” for Matt’s older son’s 8U travel baseball team. The team feasted on tri tip, picanha, bacon-wrapped jalapeño poppers, hot sausage dip, and jalapeño cheddar brats. Needless to say, there weren’t any leftovers.

Max is now 8 and his love for cooking continues to grow. He has baked dozens of cookies and desserts, made hundreds of homemade pierogis, and smoked countless meats, dips, vegetables, and homemade concoctions on dad’s Yoder Smokers YS640S. All the while, his Dad has been by his side; teaching, guiding, and encouraging him. Max’s mother even remarked, “So often we find ourselves laughing because if dad has some new gear for cooking or smoking, Max is sure to be requesting the same tools for his own personal barbecue arsenal.” And why not, as Max has a dream of one day having his own Yoder so that he can open a barbecue business!

We’re rooting for you Max, and we’re eager to see what you and your dad do next!

Follow Matt and Max here:

Follow @wydra_13 on Instagram:”>

Follow @chef_max24 on Instagram:”>

2 thoughts on “Father and Son Pitmasters”

  1. So proud of Max. I have tasted his delights on and off the smoker. I sure hop he gets his dream of his own yoder smoker. Proud Mimi.

  2. This story is truly a ” warm your heart ” scenario. Matt is such a dedicated and patient dad to his chef assistant. Its evident that one day in the future, Max will have his own BBQ business with a Yoder Smoker as his #1 piece of equipment. Keep up the great work Matt and Chef Max.

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