MMMM.. BRISKET..
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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, equipment and outdoor cookin' . ** Other cooking techniques are welcomed for when your cookin' in the kitchen. Post your hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures, but stay on topic and watch for that hijacking.


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Old 06-28-2016, 12:09 AM   #1
mpriola
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Join Date: 05-18-15
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Lightbulb My new Yoder

All,

After reading here and elsewhere for months and doing a good bit of research, I've finally taken the plunge and ordered a YS640 Competition cart model from All Things BBQ.

So now I'm stuck with the five-to-seven-week wait. Since I really have to do something to pass the time, I thought I'd start a thread asking for advice and thoughts about the whole Yoder world.

***

I'm a Memphis guy, and this is my first foray into pellet smoking. I come from WSM land. Maybe I should have bought a less expensive pellet contraption to start with, but I was swayed by what everyone here said about the Yoder--that overall, it's an amazing cooker. And you know, go big or go home.

I'm a little concerned about the potential lack of smoke flavor, but what I've read suggests that staring a smoke at 180 or so for the first few hours helps that. And also, the brand of pellets seems to play into it.

So I'd like thoughts and tips about that. I keep seeing references to Lumberjack and BBQr's Delight brands, but what else do I need to know? For example, what's average pellet consumption per hour--assuming, I guess, ambient temp from 70-100 and relatively little wind. Does that go way up if it's colder or windy?

How close do the Yoders generally run to the set point? Sounds like they improve over time and with use. Is that accurate?

Pizza: low(ish) temp? Like 400 or so? That runs counter to what I've often read about pizza cooking, which suggests very very hot. Would you consider using The Baking Steel and a pizza stone (one above the pizza, one below)? Just thoughts about pizza generally--because I love pizza and haven't attempted it grill-wise. I know that running my oven at 550 in the summer time sucks, though, so moving it outside would be excellent if it's worth the trouble.

(The Baking Steel incidentally makes the best pizza I've ever made at home, and it's worth the investment.)

Brisket: honestly not my favorite, but I'm willing to be convinced. Anyone tried to adapt Aaron Franklin's method to the Yoder (yeah, he's a purist, but still...) and what were your results?

Pork shoulder and ribs. Well, basically, I can't wait. I've made some pretty dynamite bbq on the WSM, but the Yoder sounds to be a pretty ideal set-it-and-forget-it device. Is it really that simple?

Do you find yourselves using the Yoders for everything, or do you only bust it out for large cooks? In other words, is its relatively large capacity a hindrance or a nuisance? If I'm cooking only a few butts, say, what else should I be doing with the smoker at the same time to get the most out of it, or is it efficient enough that that's not so much a concern?

(The last paragraph, I know, is heretical. Too much smoker is crazy talk. It's more..a lifestyle question. How do you use your Yoders?)

Anything special I need to know about cooking/cleaning that I haven't mentioned?

Thanks for putting up with my new toy excitement. I'd guess a lot of this has been asked and answered, but y'all are such a friendly bunch that I just couldn't resist asking again.

Marty
Memphis, TN
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:11 AM   #2
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I know nothing about pellet poopers. But congrats on the new cooker. I'm sure it will be tons of fun
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:45 AM   #3
Al_T
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I love my 640 which I purchased in 2014 and depending on the pellet you use depends on the flavor. I like the BBQ delight pellets but I buy the re-branded B&B pellets which work great. They come in Hickory, Pecan, Apple and Mesquite. I like the Mesquite and Hickory pellets. The mesquite has a stronger smoke flavor. I find it has as much smoke flavor as a clean burning stick burner. Clean burning is the key words. If you want more a smoke tube will impart more flavor. In warm and hot weather pellet consumption is modest. In cold weather it does go up. If you are really cold I would consider getting the blanket for the unit. I use mine pretty much every weekend. It works great for a couple of chickens. or a couple of briskets or butts. Typically I will cook one brisket, up to 6 racks of ribs or two butts at a time. This Friday I am going to cook a brisket for Saturday and then I will do a pork belly for the 4th. Yes I wrap my brisket in butcher paper and it works great. IMHO a well cooked brisket is pure heaven. It is pretty much set it and forget it. Once you learn the cooker it is super easy to use. I cook almost everything except chicken at 275.

Good luck and congratulations. Best cooking investment I have ever made.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:18 AM   #4
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Congratulations on the new cooker. I don't own a pellet cooker but I read a lot and it looks like you got the best one out there.

Looking forward to seeing your creations when you get it.
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:23 AM   #5
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Congrats first off! I recently purchased a 640 maybe 3 months ago. I started using using BBQ delight pellets and have since switched to cookinpellets. I prefer the 100% hickory but will use the perfect mix if that is all i can find. I have done numerous tests for pellet usage and in your temp range i have always been right around 1.85/lbs per hr at 275. If you can move the unit into the baking sun it will help. I have found that the computer temp is very close to actual temp anything up to about 275. I also have it very close side to side within 5degrees up to this temp using the dampener. Anything over 275 for me i see a huge difference from pit to actual and same with side to side. I generally don't run over 275 that's what my kettle is for. I use mine just about every weekend even if i just want one rack of ribs.

On my first few cooks i ran 2 gauges on top and bottom (4 total) and kept track of the temps. I also ran the pit at different temps to see where the temps went. This allowed me to adjust the dampener and i marked it at several location to run the pit at 225-250-275, so i knew when it would be equal side to side.

Last buy the new 2 door heat deflector. I don't have it but as soon as i get 200$ it will be the first thing i buy. Also a good small shopvac is perfect to vacuum it out when done.
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Old 06-28-2016, 06:51 AM   #6
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Hi Marty well done on getting a fantastic smoker, had mine for about 18 months now and , pretty much use it for everything. I find the temperature control pretty good but as the great man Andy Groneman says " if you're looking you're not cookin". I use the Tappecue wifi temperature monitor to help keep the lid closed and keep the temperature stable I find once its locked onto a temp it runs around +- 20f from the set temp.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:17 AM   #7
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I just purchased a used YS640 on a comp cart in April. I love the thing. I come from a stick burner that I built to this. This is so painless I can't believe it. I didn't mind throwing sticks all night, but this allows me to do so much more while I'm cooking, I love it.

As to the flavor, I agree with another poster that it tastes very similar to a clean burning stick burner, which IMHO is what it's supposed to taste like.

Agree that you will want a small shop vac, and I try to vacuum out mine after every cook.

I don't worry about temps too much. I don't have the 2-piece diffuser, but I grilled some pork chops and did some mac&cheese and green beans at 450, then cooked a brisket at 250. You will love the versatility.
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Old 06-28-2016, 07:34 AM   #8
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I purchased a YS640 in January of this year and it does an excellent job. It does consume more pellets than my MAK 2 Star General and produces less smoke but the overall results are very good.

I recently purchased a Blaz'n Smoker box that I sometimes use to produce additional smoke.

Yoder has world class customer support.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:13 AM   #9
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Congrats on the cooker! My Ys640 should be here this week I hope. I ordered on May 25th, and they said 5-6 weeks. I checked last week and was suppose to ship last Thursday or Friday. I have not gotten a shipment confirmation yet, so not sure if that was the case. I hope to have by the weekend. If not I will have to do my cook for coworkers on my chubby, which I can do, but will be a tight fit.
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Old 06-28-2016, 08:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TomRaz View Post
I purchased a YS640 in January of this year and it does an excellent job. It does consume more pellets than my MAK 2 Star General and produces less smoke but the overall results are very good.

I recently purchased a Blaz'n Smoker box that I sometimes use to produce additional smoke.

Yoder has world class customer support.
What's your favorite between the Yoder and the Mak?
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:21 PM   #11
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Congrats on the your new comp cart.
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:26 PM   #12
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Congrats fellow Memphian. I hear the yoders are good cookers. I would imagine using it all the time because of the ease of use but that's just me
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Old 06-28-2016, 12:30 PM   #13
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i've had my YS480 on a comp cart for a year now and it is my go to cooker. though the PBC still gets some use for chicken, during the summer, the yoder gets the call and the UDS sits. new england winters are brutal so the yoder gets a break in the winter and the UDS moves to the front.
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mpriola View Post
All,

After reading here and elsewhere for months and doing a good bit of research, I've finally taken the plunge and ordered a YS640 Competition cart model from All Things BBQ. Congrats!

So now I'm stuck with the five-to-seven-week wait. I hear ya! They told me Aug 10th for my custom YS1500

***

I'm a Memphis guy, and this is my first foray into pellet smoking. I come from WSM land. Maybe I should have bought a less expensive pellet contraption to start with, but I was swayed by what everyone here said about the Yoder--that overall, it's an amazing cooker. And you know, go big or go home. I think you chose wisely right out of the gate.

I'm a little concerned about the potential lack of smoke flavor, but what I've read suggests that staring a smoke at 180 or so for the first few hours helps that. And also, the brand of pellets seems to play into it. IMO, people are over smoking their food. As others said the smoke should be there but overwhelming. Clean smoke, is good smoke. These cookers are perfect for that!

So I'd like thoughts and tips about that. If you want more smoke, then use Mojobricks or a pellet tube. I keep seeing references to Lumberjack and BBQr's Delight brands, but what else do I need to know? For example, what's average pellet consumption per hour--assuming, I guess, ambient temp from 70-100 and relatively little wind. Does that go way up if it's colder or windy? I prefer BBQer's Delight pellets, but that could be because I have used them for years. I hear that Lumberjack is good as well. I have had and currently have a Traeger. I burn about 1# per hour at 235. 1.25# at 275. Yoders are WAY more insulated, so I would bet you will be between 1-1.5# per hour.

Pizza: low(ish) temp? Like 400 or so? That runs counter to what I've often read about pizza cooking, which suggests very very hot. Would you consider using The Baking Steel and a pizza stone (one above the pizza, one below)? Just thoughts about pizza generally--because I love pizza and haven't attempted it grill-wise. I know that running my oven at 550 in the summer time sucks, though, so moving it outside would be excellent if it's worth the trouble. Sure I would! With that said, pizza straight on the grill is amazing! I also use a baking stone from time to time.

Brisket: honestly not my favorite, but I'm willing to be convinced. Anyone tried to adapt Aaron Franklin's method to the Yoder (yeah, he's a purist, but still...) and what were your results? Brother, all you have to do is use Bludawgs method for brisket and you will be converted:)

Pork shoulder and ribs. Well, basically, I can't wait. I've made some pretty dynamite bbq on the WSM, but the Yoder sounds to be a pretty ideal set-it-and-forget-it device. Is it really that simple? Yes sir! You are going to LOVE it!

Do you find yourselves using the Yoders for everything, or do you only bust it out for large cooks? In other words, is its relatively large capacity a hindrance or a nuisance? If I'm cooking only a few butts, say, what else should I be doing with the smoker at the same time to get the most out of it, or is it efficient enough that that's not so much a concern? I use my pellet cookers for everything! What's great about Yoder, is that you can now cook directly over the fire pot as well, if you want a nice sear. I might suggest you try grill grates at some point to help get an even hotter direct grilling experience.

Anything special I need to know about cooking/cleaning that I haven't mentioned? Get a shop VAC! They are awesome for cleaning. Additionally, you can get a bucket shop vac that sits on top of 5 gal. buckets. Use this to change out pellet flavors on command.

Thanks for putting up with my new toy excitement. I'd guess a lot of this has been asked and answered, but y'all are such a friendly bunch that I just couldn't resist asking again. Welcome to the "darkside" pellet cookers are awesome! IMO, once you taste beautifully cooked food on a pellet cooker, you will NEVER have bad tasting food. (either will your guests) Post pics when it arrives.
See "red" above
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Old 06-28-2016, 02:14 PM   #15
5am
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https://www.youtube.com/user/allthingsbbq/videos
...has enough to keep you busy on the yoder for awhile.
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