My Yoder Story

 

Scott Wilkos has named his barbecue operation “Divine Swine BBQ,” through which he supports local first responders with great barbecue.

 

YODER SMOKERS PIT AT THE HEART
OF MAN’S MISSION TO SERVE,
SUPPORT FIRST RESPONDERS

 

A North Carolina man has found a Yoder Smokers pellet grill to be the perfect partner in his mission of thanking and supporting first responders through great barbecue.

As a disabled former firefighter forced to retire in 1996 after breaking his back in the line of duty, Scott Wilkos now works to support other emergency first responders and the vital community service they provide.

The 47-year-old volunteers as a trained emergency chaplain in Durham, N.C., providing mental and emotional counsel to area first responders and 911 communication staff. 

As part of this service, he and his wife, Ann, open their home to all on-duty first responders several times each year, serving staff and officers a first-class barbecue meal of pulled pork, BBQ baked beans, Mac N’ Cheese, fried green beans, coleslaw and Swedish apple pie and banana pudding for dessert.

In the beginning only a handful of first responders would attend, but after Scott and Ann adjusted the times and word spread, Scott found they could be feeding more than 65 people during the six-hour, drop-in barbecue. Then they started delivering meals to 911 dispatchers and staff who couldn’t leave their posts – meaning they could be catering to nearly 100 people in one evening and smoking more than 60 pounds of meat.

The grill Scott was using couldn’t handle the load, and he needed to upgrade. After researching pellet grills, he chose the Yoder Smokers YS640 and has been cooking on the pit since May – so far using it for three of his large home gatherings and several other events to support first responders.

The scope of Scott’s mission has expanded with the YS640, and he has named his operation “Divine Swine BBQ.” On Veterans Day, he smoked 12 Boston Butts and 2 briskets for 200 first responders across 8 agencies and 2 counties. 

Durham Police Officer Terrance Alston said everyone appreciates Scott’s efforts and his “excellent” meals.

“It’s priceless,” he said. “He’s going out of his way, above and beyond, to make sure we’re taken care of spiritually and physically.”

And the food?

“I can honestly say that every meal I’ve had from him is amazing,” Terrance said. “One of my favorite meals is barbecue, and he’s above restaurants in town. I’d rather have his food. He knows what he’s doing. I’m envious because I can’t cook like that.”

Other first responders say the same.

“It’s really cool,” Scott said. “We enjoy having that kind of feedback. When it comes to the main portion, which is pork, the YS640 really makes it easy to do. People are telling us they don’t even need the sauce – it’s flavorful and it’s moist.”

Scott enjoys working hard to feed officers and staff and plans to continue growing his mission.

“Most often we see our first responders during or after some of the worst calls they can go on,” he said. “Being able to feed and spend a small amount of time with my public safety brothers and sisters when there isn’t a crisis is an amazing opportunity.”

The Wilkos don’t just use the YS640 to feed others. Scott said it has elevated their family meals and makes it easy to stick to a low-carbohydrate diet.

“There’s not a single thing we have cooked on it that we haven’t loved the flavor,” Scott said. “It almost feels like cheating. We’ve done beef ribs and salmon – everything that we’ve cooked on there has been phenomenal.”

Smoked Teriyaki Huli Huli Chicken

Tim Young / YS640 / @young_bros_bbq

 

 

Huli Huli Chicken was first developed in Hawaii, but has made its way to the mainland and is fabulous off the Yoder Smokers YS640 pellet grill. Here’s YS640 owner Tim Young’s take on Huli Huli chicken:

Ingredients:

A dozen chicken thighs 

Marinade:

1 cup of kikkoman soy sauce

2 tbs of garlic and onion powder each

1 tbs of paprika

Dash of cayenne to taste

Teriyaki Huli Huli Sauce:

1 tbs of cornstarch

1/2 cup of white sugar

1/2 cup of soy sauce

4 tbs of apple cider vinegar

1 clove of chopped garlic

1/2 tsp of black pepper

Directions:

Marinate chicken thighs in marinade for a minimum of two hours. Heat YS640 to 225° and smoke chicken for 2 hours. 

Combine sauce ingredients in sauce pan and simmer until it thickens and sets up. Bump YS640 temp. to 325°, glaze chicken with Huli Huli sauce and smoke for another 30 minutes.

Smoked Mac N’ Cheese

Matt Miller / Northwoods Smokehouse / YS640

 

 
Mac N’ Cheese is the ultimate comfort food, and the addition of home-cured bacon and oak smoke makes this the ultimate comfort Mac N’ Cheese recipe. This would be a great addition to a holiday meal or any meal, really!

Ingredients:

Chopped bacon pieces (Matt cures his own bacon for 7 days)
1 lb. elbow macaroni
1 cup flour
12 tablespoons of butter
2 cups of whole milk
8 oz cream cheese
1 bag of sharp cheddar
1 bag of Colby Jack cheese
2 cups of Panko crumbs

Directions:

Boil enough water to cook a pound of elbow noodles. While the noodles are cooking to al dente, start the cheese sauce. Starting with a classic flour/butter roux – 1 cup flour and 8 tablespoons of butter (1 stick) to a skillet over low heat. Once the roux is thickened, slowly add in 2 cups of whole milk. Once this reaches a slight boil, turn down the heat and start adding in the cheese – 8 oz of cream cheese, 1 bag of sharp cheddar and 1/2 bag of Colby Jack cheese. Save the other 1/2 of the bag for the topping. Stirring the cheeses in until nice and creamy. By now you’ve taken the noodles off and strained them and placed them in greased aluminum 1/2 sheet pan. Mix in cheese sauce with noodles and incorporate thoroughly. Set your Yoder to 225°, using oak. Hickory, apple, cherry would be great as well. For the topping – 4 tablespoons of melted butter mixed with 2 cups of Panko crumbs. Chop the bacon into pieces and add to the top of the Mac N’ Cheese mix, layer the cheese you set aside as well. Next add the breadcrumbs and put on the smoker for 2 hours or until topping is starting to brown. Once this happens take off and enjoy. Soooo delicious!

Meet our dealers

Proud Souls Barbecue & Provisions owners Tony Roberts, left, and Dan Casey, right, with Jason Ganahl of GQue Barbecue in Colorado during a recent Proud Souls event.

YODER SMOKERS DEALER

PROUD SOULS BBQ & PROVISIONS

2485 N Federal Blvd, Denver, CO

From left: Chris Webb, Dan Casey and Tony Roberts at a BBQ event in Denver.

Tony Roberts, Dan Casey and Chris Webb opened Proud Souls Barbecue & Provisions to introduce the Denver area to niche BBQ products rarely found in chain stores. Made in the USA with a focus on quality over quantity, Yoder Smokers pits fit perfectly into that model.
“We wanted to provide our customers access to the premiere line of grills and smokers,” said Tony, Proud Souls founder.
Run by experienced pitmasters with a bevy of BBQ competition championships, Proud Souls offers something else often lacking at big box stores – knowledge. The mission is to educate customers about BBQ and build excitement. Proud Souls frequently offers BBQ classes and contests at their location.
“The purpose of our business is to provide an outlet for people to learn and create BBQ memories of their own,” Tony said.
Tony, Dan and Chris are active members of the Kansas City BBQ Society and the Rocky Mountain BBQ Association.
When not working in the shop, you can find them competing in sanctioned BBQ contests in and around Colorado. Tony and Dan compete as Proud Souls BBQ and Chris as Bushmaster BBQ. They have a combined 5 Grand and Reserve Grand Championships, 10 1st-place category finishes and more than 50 individual category top 10 calls.

You can find Proud Souls at the corner of 25th Ave. and Federal Blvd. in Denver and online at ProudSoulsBBQ.com.

Alabama White BBQ Sauce

Rusty Monson / Salt City BBQ team member / YS640 owner

 

This tangy mayo-based BBQ sauce is delicious on grilled meats, fish and more.

Ingredients:
2 cups Mayo
½ cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tbs Course Ground Black Pepper
1 tbs Granulated Garlic
1 tbs Sugar
1 heaping teaspoon Minced Horseradish
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Ground Cayenne Pepper
1/4 cup freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
Directions:

Mix together and refrigerate until you’re ready to enjoy it on smoked chicken or your favorite smoked meat.