St. Louis Style and Baby Back Pork Ribs


Creekstone Outdoor Living / Yoder Smokers dealer

Looking for a weekend recipe? Try these mouthwatering pork ribs smoked on a Yoder Smokers YS640s pellet grill:

Recipe for St. Louis style or Baby Back Pork Ribs:

1. Pull membrane off back of rack (hint:use a butter knife and a paper towel to grip)⁠
2. Season back side with Meat Church Hot Honey Hog⁠
3. Flip and season meat side with Meat Church Honey Hog ⁠
4. Smoke at 275 for two hours⁠
5. Layout 2 layers of foil ⁠
6. Add brown sugar, butter, and honey⁠
7. Remove ribs from smoker, lay meat side down on brown sugar bed⁠
8. Wrap both layers of foil tight and return to grill⁠
9. Cook additional 2 hours at 275⁠
10. Prepare glaze – mix 1/2 cup maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons Hotline Pepper Products Evil Ooze, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup ketchup, 2+ tablespoons lime juice (to taste), simmer 15 minutes ⁠
11. Remove ribs from foil, glaze, and cook for 5-10 minutes to set glaze⁠
12. Pull off grill, cover with foil, and rest for 15 minutes before serving. ⁠





A custom Yoder Smokers trailer is at the heart of Paul Hartman’s business and community life.

Emblazoned with the American Family Insurance logo and phrase “This is my dream, what’s your dream?”, he uses it to promote his emerging insurance agency and provide a perk for clients. At times, he even parks it outside his office building to serve as a sign.

When he’s not working, Paul hauls the Cimarron smoker trailer to community and church events, cooking barbecue meals to support local organizations and residents.

He considers it the perfect partner in achieving his personal and professional goals.

“I have a serving heart,” he said, “and in my opinion there’s no better way to serve people than with good food, and there’s no better food than barbecue.”

It’s no accident that Paul’s trailer is so versatile. With a breadth of experience in the insurance industry and as a backyard pit master, he sat down in June and wrote a business plan that included using a Yoder Smokers pit to build brand awareness through community involvement.

A few months later – on the Friday before Labor Day – Paul made the 816-mile trip from his home in Neenah, WI, to the Yoder Smokers plant to pick up his custom Cimarron along with a matching YS640s pellet grill on a comp cart. Both the Cimarron and the YS640s are painted white with American Family Insurance graphics.

He drove away from the plant about 3:30 p.m. that Friday and set to work.

The following Monday, Paul pulled his trailer in the annual Labor Day parade. The next weekend, he competed with it in his church’s 4th annual Holy Smokes BBQ competition – using the contest as a vehicle to raise $3,450 for organizations that help cancer patients and their families in honor of his friend Donovan – an 11-year-old battling kidney cancer.

In mid-October, Paul held a grand opening reception at his new agency, structuring the event around his custom trailer. The Cimarron handled 20 pork butts and three large batches each of cowboy beans and Mac N’ Cheese like a champ, but with an estimated 2,000 people in attendance, the barbecue spread didn’t last long.

“The food was just unbelievable,” Paul said. “There’s a photo of a kid savoring a pulled pork sandwich that stretches clear across his face. That says it all.”

He recently brought along his trailer when meeting with a commercial client providing affordable rentals to residents – many of whom could benefit from renter’s insurance through Paul’s agency. The Cimarron provided the jumping-off point Paul needed to engage the client and establish a partnership.

In-between large events, Paul uses his Cimarron and YS640s to cook for shelters, his church, clients and other families. He’s organizing a huge barbecue for the Fourth of July as a “thank you” to clients and their families.

He feels good about choosing Yoder Smokers pits to represent him as a businessman and community supporter. Not only because of the quality of the food, but because the Kansas-based company values altruism.

“Nobody else can custom design a smoker like that to fit my dream,” he said. “The quality is second to none, and the workmanship is impeccable. And you guys have your own dream. It’s evident in your culture. Our business models of serving people are in line with each other.”


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MY YODER STORY: Yoder Smokers pellet grills motivate a father
and his two sons to perfect the art of BBQ, win first competition

A pair of Yoder Smokers pellet grills stoked an already-burning fire for a father and his two sons; the pursuit for the perfect BBQ soon followed and brought an entire family together.

It all started when Aaron Daniels brought home his Yoder Smokers YS640 pellet grill in late 2017. His father, Dan, a long-time barbecue enthusiast accustomed to an offset stick burner, had been researching pellet grills and was immediately impressed.

“Right out of the gate, the quality of the build is excellent,” Dan said. “With how heavy that thing is, it’s going to hold its heat. Just online reading about it and looking at photos and YouTube videos, the quality is impressive. It’s a freakin’ big ol’ bombshell. I knew it was something that was going to last forever.”

It wasn’t long before Dan decided on a YS640 for himself.


Now with two Yoder Smokers pellet grills in the family, Aaron and Dan were inspired to up their BBQ game to competition level.

Aaron’s brother, Evan, joined in and the father and sons got to work on their craft, spending a good part of their evenings and weekends perfecting techniques.

Most Sundays, Dan and his wife, Lisa, would host a barbecue in the backyard of their Tenino, WA, home. Friends and family became impromptu BBQ judges as the three men worked the two pits.


And then it got serious.

Evan’s longtime girlfriend, Tiffany, heard about an upcoming local competition and thought it might be time to turn things up a notch.

“They have done so well with mastering timing and everything on the Yoder,” Tiffany said. “It’s insane how good the food is.”

The father and sons registered in March as “The Three Pellets” for July’s Nisqually Valley BBQ Rally in Yelm, Washington, leaving four months to prepare. They decided to hold a practice competition not unlike so many of those Sunday afternoons, but this time pitting Dan, Aaron and Evan against each other.

“Next thing you know, 50 people are in my backyard and there’s a big bonfire and three smokers going,” Dan said. “But it was a total blast.”

The contest was structured just like the real thing, with Dan, Aaron and Evan turning in competition-style boxes conforming to standard entry guidelines. Retired and with decades of experience grilling and smoking, Dan might have had the advantage and took the gold.


The day of the competition finally came, and Three Pellets didn’t know what to expect. Dan, Aaron and Evan were so focused on prep work, they hardly slept the night before.

“When you’ve never done it, you have nothing to go off,” Aaron said. “Me personally I was like, ‘Man as long as we don’t get last, then we did pretty dang good.’ ”

Aaron’s son, Logan, enjoys a rib during the competition in May.

Evan was skeptical their turn-ins would even compare to those more-experienced competitors and their boxes. Dan felt the same, but would ultimately be happy with any outcome.

“No matter what, I’m the winner,” Dan said. “I don’t care if I get last place. I’m here with my two boys just having a blast. It’s fun, and it’s a family thing.”

But intimidation set in as Three Pellets arrived at the contest pulling a motorcycle trailer carrying Aaron’s and Dan’s YS640’s. The contest was stacked with 10 other experienced competitors, and some teams were cooking on smokers that cost upwards of $12,000.

Even with more expensive smokers on the grounds, the Yoder Smokers pits stood out.

“Throughout the event, we had a lot of people come over to check them out,” said Dan. “They said they always see them online, but hadn’t seen one in person. One guy wanted to look over the entire rig.”


A host of family, including Tiffany’s parents and grandparents, attended the competition to support the Three Pellets and their dual Yoder Smokers pellet grills throughout the day.

Once the turn-ins were complete, the time had come. As the results were announced, family and friends erupted in cheers and excitement. The competition trophies were awarded and Three Pellets learned they’d earned 1st place for their chicken and ribs, as well as 3rd place for brisket.

Dan said he already knew the Yoder Smokers pits produced the best BBQ, but he was surprised they were able to beat competitors who spend every weekend participating in competitions.

“Words could not describe how proud the family was of them,” Tiffany said. “They worked so hard and did not sleep the whole night before. All the boys kept saying was how much fun they had and how they got to do it with their dad.”

The Three Pellets plan to continue competing in contests and in their own backyards, and soon they’ll be adding another Yoder Smokers pit to their team as Evan prepares to purchase his own Yoder Smokers pit.

As for the rest of the family, they’re looking forward to more perfectly-cooked BBQ.

“I truly believe your smokers are by far the best out there,” said Tiffany, “and this family couldn’t be more pleased with how these amazing smokers make such delicious food.”

My Yoder story: Love at first cook


Successful BBQ competitor now prefers Yoder Smokers pits over all others

If someone would have told award-winning BBQ competitor Randy Robinett two years ago that he’d primarily be cooking on a pellet grill, he would have laughed.

But since being introduced to Yoder Smokers pellet grills, the co-owner of R Butts R Smokin’ – a Kansas City-area BBQ company and competition team – has sold his other grills and is finding great success cooking exclusively on Yoder pits.

Whether it be smoking, baking, grilling or searing, Randy said he’s discovered Yoder Smokers pellet grills do it all, and he’s impressed with the pits’ quality and consistency, along with the award-winning flavorful food they produce. He uses Yoders on the competition circuit, at home and for BBQ catering he offers for weddings and special events.

“Even my charcoal grills – I got rid of them,” said Randy. “My Yoders have amazing versatility. I can grill as good of a steak on them as I ever have.”

And the flavor …

“I am so impressed with the flavor I get out of my Yoders,” he said. “I use a combination of pecan and cherry pellets. I get amazing color, perfectly-cooked meat and a nice, clean smoky taste. I’m just thoroughly impressed by the quality of food these things are putting out.”

First introduction

The winner of 19 BBQ competition grand championships, R Butts R Smokin’ rolls into BBQ contests with a 22-foot bright red trailer, featuring a 14-foot enclosed area and an 8-foot porch. After the last BBQ contest season, Randy said R Butts was looking to upgrade their trailer with new grills.

“I was wanting a change,” he said. “I had cooked on the same smoker since 2007. It was getting old and having issues.”

A good friend recommended Yoder Smokers, and after doing some research and talking with others, Randy was convinced.

R Butts had Yoder Smokers customize the porch area with a YS480 pellet grill and a Cimarron pellet smoker, both mounted on custom storage enclosures. Randy picked up the trailer from Yoder Smokers’ manufacturing facility in early March and didn’t skip a beat in winning more grand championships.

In late April, R Butts was awarded the top honor of Grand Champion at the Rock N’ Ribs BBQ Festival in Springfield, MO, – the first time the team competed with their upgraded rig. They also earned second place in chicken and brisket, 7th place in pork and 8th in ribs.

Competing against 38 other tough competitors, including the top BBQ cooks in the country, Randy said it was taste that pushed R Butts to the top. Judges gave the team top marks in flavor.

“My new setup is simply amazing,” he said. “I cook brisket, pork butts and ribs all on the Cimarron. The meat that comes off my Cimarron is moist, flavorful and has amazing color.”

The YS480 produces perfect chicken, Randy said.

“The YS480 is an amazing chicken cooker,” he said. “It’s hard to get chicken skin to render out so you have bite-through skin. With the YS480 that has not been an issue at all. It seems that the design of the YS480 was meant to be a chicken cooker.”

Randy has been so taken with Yoder pits, he bought a YS640 pellet grill for catering and his own personal use and recommends the grills to friends.

“Two of my buddies have bought a 1500 and a 640,” Randy said.

The beginning

Randy and a college buddy formed R Butts R Smokin’ in 2004 as a competition BBQ team. The operation soon morphed into a full-fledged business, which now includes the sale of six signature BBQ rubs Randy developed in his kitchen.

“I never would have dreamed that we would have a line of products we sell all around the world,” he said.

After more than a decade of competing, Randy said he was slowing down in the world of BBQ competition. But being introduced to Yoder Smokers has reinvigorated him.

“It’s put a fire under my butt, and I want to do more contests,” he said.