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.”


This gallery contains 5 photos.

   Passionate pitmaster revives neglected Yoder Smokers trailer   Coming face-to-face with “The Brute,” Russell Klase was a little intimidated. The chef had some experience cooking on Yoder Smokers pits, but he hadn’t come across anything like the pure-steel, one-ton behemoth before him. Knowing it was his job to tame “The Brute,” Russell felt […]

Steven Raichlen Brings #ProjectSmoke to Wichita


Yoder Smokers is proud to be a sponsor of Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke show on public television. We were thrilled to partner with our Wichita retailer All Things Barbecue to welcome the barbecue scholar emeritus for a series of cooking classes. It was kind of like an episode of Project Smoke, but with a whole backline of Yoders! Steven and Chef Tom from ATBBQ’s The Sauce cooked up an incredible array of dishes from the new Project Smoke book on everything from the Loaded Wichita offset smoker to our 24″ x 48″ Flat Top charcoal grill and a fleet of Yoder Smokers pellet grills. Continue reading

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.

IMG_8600 Continue reading

Project Smoke Ep. 201: The ABCs of Smoke

Steven Raichlen Yoder Smokers Loaded Wichita Project Smoke
The second season of Project Smoke premiered this weekend, featuring the national television debut of the Yoder Smokers Loaded Wichita offset pit!  In the first episode, Steven Raichlen uses a butcher shop mistake to his advantage, with the unexpected delivery of beef plate ribs turning into Smoked Brisket On The Bone. He smokes them low and slow on the Wichita for ten hours with absolutely mouthwatering results. Here are some screen shots from The ABCs of Smoke, in case you missed it. Find the recipe and where to watch the show in your area or online at Continue reading