Help with new pellet smoker

Discussion in 'Pellet Smokers' started by smokedout13, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. smokedout13

    smokedout13 Smoke Blower

    Heyou guy and gals I'm in the market for a new pellet smoker. I currently have a traeger Lil tex. I have been looking at the Yoder Smokers but would like some insight on others as well. I cook everything from smoked salmon(150°) to hamburgers(325°)
  2. I posted this on pelletheads site ...hope it helps with your decision. Joe

    First off I have had my Yoder YS640 going on two years. 

    When I looked at pellet smokers I was able to see many of the other manufactures pellet smokers out there and compared construction, size and features. I was lucky to have a BBQ shop 15 minutes from me who carried MAK, GMG, Traeger and Louisiana,  as well as a couple of other dealers within a hour or so drive. Of of those dealers was a Yoder dealer and I spent a lot of time looking at what he had, pellet and stick burner. What made me go with the Yoder was construction and watching a team using one at a BBQ competition in New Holland PA. The thing is a tank, weighs in at 350 pounds and has a huge cooking surface with the top shelf. My wife said I would never need all of that room but she was wrong, I have filled the thing a number of times. I also liked that the fire pot and burn grate are the same heavy steel that the smoker is made from and not some stainless steel insert. 

    As for cost, I ended up buying from a dealer in Kansas and still saved a few hundred bucks over buying from the dealer in PA. I was able to get my YS640 with the second shelf, the probe port, grill grates and a half palette of pellets, delivered to under $2,000. I did not order the comp cart since the thing has not moved into years from the same place on my deck. 

    What I didn't consider when buying my Yoder was the level of support I was going to have after purchase. I have to say I was completely surprised the first time I emailed them on a Saturday night and received a phone call a half hour later. It was Herb from Yoder, he was calling from a restaurant while waiting for his wife to meet up with him for dinner. Within a few minutes he had advised me what to do and I was back up and smoking that night in no time. I have emailed support a number of time, mainly because I was unfamiliar with the smoker and have received emails from the owner of Yoder as well as support to provide assistance. 

    Another thing I have found is that Yoder is always looking to improve on their design and takes input from their customers. They designed a new fire grate and burn pot that used could self install. They listened to owners and designed a new two piece deflector plate that makes it easier to clean out the burn gate with out removing all of the grates and deflector plate. It also makes it easier to change over to direct grilling. In addition, last week they sent any registered user that wanted on a new, reinforced deflector plate for the cost of shipping only. The new plate is reinforced to help prevent warping, which was one of the biggest complaints and lets you grill on the grill grates without removing it. I used it last night and set my Yoder to 400* and cooked two pork tenderloins.
  3. smokedout13

    smokedout13 Smoke Blower

    Awesome thank you for the advice. I know they are heavily used in comps so they have to be good pits.
  4. seenred

    seenred Smoking Guru Group Lead OTBS Member

    Hello smokedout.  Jtrainor56 did a very thorough job of giving you all the high points of the Yoder.  Keep in mind there are a number of high quality pellet cookers these days that are comparable in quality and value to those Yoders, which are definitely very nice products.  Not trying to steer you toward any specific brand, but I'd suggest researching these:

    Blazin GrillWorks

    Rec Tec

    Green Mountain Grills

    Louisiana Grills

    If you're interested in spending a bit more, there are some other brands to check out.  Definitely more money, but more bells and whistles, too:

    Fast Eddie by Cookshack

    MAK Grills

    Memphis Grills

    Kuma Grills

    If money were no object, I'd love to own a Memphis Pro.  All stainless steel, insulated, double walled construction...has the ability to reach a high temp of 650*...but with a price tag of over $3K, I'd probably never be able to justify that purchase.

    This is by no means a complete list.  There are more pellet cookers on the market than ever...but this is a good place to start. 

    Last edited: Feb 23, 2016

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