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Old 11-14-2017, 03:28 PM   #196
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Thanks fellas re: Yoder.

In other news, slam keys, I hope things are okay out there. Any updates from your end?

I hope everyone can walk away with a solution that's palatable.
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Old 02-09-2018, 12:03 PM   #197
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Notorious Q.U.E. View Post
Thanks fellas re: Yoder.

In other news, slam keys, I hope things are okay out there. Any updates from your end?

I hope everyone can walk away with a solution that's palatable.
Here's a solution: delete all of my posts from the forum. Problem solved.


I did challenge Herb to do it last year in response to Joe's charge of personal attacks, but Herb said they don't remove posts unless they violate forum policies. I guess after he reconsidered, he decided my posts did violate forum policies.

At any rate, I have copies of my lengthy posts and I can re-post them somewhere else if anyone still wants to look at them. The door MOD post has the most concise summary of my year-long effort to make the Wichita sing.
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Old 02-09-2018, 02:00 PM   #198
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This is funny... recently I have been looking at trying to sell my Cheyenne so I cleaned it up and reached out to Yoder about the new door or damper. I told them I was having issues with airflow and they referred me to the video by Chef Tom on how to run a fire. I asked them if they could explain why the Yoder design is so different that not only does it require kiln dried wood, but also require you to preheat that kiln-dried wood INSIDE the firebox. Of course there was no answer but more insistence that this particular method was how the Yoders were designed to work (I'll NEVER believe that).

So I inquired about the new damper / door and there are two fixes. The first is a new damper wheel for the same door which will keep the top vent on the door always covered. So before I bought the damper ($30 shipping charge, but no fee) I decided to try their method out. I did an entire chimney of lump charcoal and put it in the back of the firebox (like in the video) and was pre-heating my wood (not kiln-dried) inside the firebox. I also covered up the top vent in the door with a couple of layers of foil. Truth be told this worked fairly well, and it kept the temp right at 225 for about 2 hours. Problem was that this method just doesn't produce enough coals to keep the fire going so I had to keep on adding a chimney of coals about every 2 hours. That's just insane to go through a 15Lb bag of charcoal every cook, as well as using wood splits.

So I asked about the new door and it's the same scenario with no fee, but a $30 shipping charge (fair enough). According to them the new doors has the vents much lower on the door so it works quite a bit better. Only problem is I would have to take the whole smoker to a metal worker to have the old door cut off and the new door welded on. So the cost to get my smoker to actually work is looking at least another $100 overall. Thanks Yoder!

Has anybody taken up Yoder-JS on his offer and had their Cheyenne or Wichita modified with the new door? I'm skeptical it will work and wouldn't feel right trying to sell the smoker to someone else when I know it doesn't work as it should.
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Old 02-16-2018, 07:27 PM   #199
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Re-posted articles:

Yoder Wichita Door MOD!
Yoder Log Lighter Update
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Old 03-22-2018, 04:53 PM   #200
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I recently watched a couple videos by Yoder owners who both had something to say about the flow characteristics of their offset smokers.

Video 1:

This gentleman already had a Yoder YS640, and then bought a Kingman with a square firebox and a competition cart, and after many cooks and "learning his cooker" he has decided he needs to use a house fan to keep the Kingman flowing when there is no wind outside. With the comp cart he is able to move the unit around easily to take advantage of the prevailing winds, but on still days he needs a fan to stoke the fire and keep things moving.

Anybody else using a fan to keep their cookers flowing? He calls this a “pro tip,” but it seems more like a crutch to compensate for poor flow. Hopefully it never rains when he's using his electric fan.



The fan appears at about 7 minutes in:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWRL0xTbrBE

When he opens the firebox it looks like there's a good amount of back pressure because smoke comes pouring out of it. I also noticed when he opens the cooker there is a surprising lack of smoke inside it. That square firebox might not flow as good as the round one, or it might be mounted higher than usual.

I’ve seen his earlier videos from when he first got the Kingman, and he was working that smoker for the entire brisket cook, but now he transfers the meat to his YS640 to finish it off, which is surely much easier than fiddling with fans and moving the cooker around to catch some wind.

Video 2:

This owner has invested some serious money on his smokers, and provides an interesting commentary because he has had the privilege of cooking on 4 separate pro-grade smokers. The video focuses on his 30” Horizon Marshal smoker, but he also has a 24” Yoder Durango, a Yoder Frontiersman, and an LSG vertical offset. That’s a lot of steel.

In comparing his 4 smokers he contrasts how the Yoders and the LSG have “extraordinary” build quality, but then admits the Horizon is “one of my favorite smokers,” and “it seems to draw pretty well.” On the contrary, he says the Yoders have their fireboxes mounted higher up, and they have awful backdrafting issues, which result in a face full of smoke when you open the door.

Commentary starts around 5:30:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlhAozEREVA

In the video, he says the following:
Quote:
This is one of 4 smokers that I have. This is a Horizon (30").

I've got a Durango 24" underneath that tarp over there. It's a Yoder Durango 24". I have a Yoder Frontiersman as well, and a Lone Star Grillz vertical offset. And this is, as far as construction is concerned, the most crude of the smokers. The welds on the Yoders and Lone Star Grillz are extraordinary. Not that this is bad, but it's just not quite as refined. These guys are a little slap shot dealing with and everything. It took quite a bit longer to get the cooker than promised. It was poorly packaged for shipping when they sent it freight. It arrived badly damaged so it had to go back to the manufacturer for a lot of repairs. When it showed up again it was in great shape.

But, all that aside, this is probably the best cooking smoker I have. The firebox is set a little bit lower on this than on the Yoders. The Yoders backdraft awfully, and whenever you open the door you just get a face full of smoke. And they cook well, but this one's just a lot nicer to use.
There have been assumptions made regarding flow issues only affecting Yoder's "smaller offsets," mainly because a lot of us first-time buyers are getting the smaller units, but here's a guy who only uses the larger Yoder offsets and he points out the same flow issues with his after using other smokers that actually flow well.

Horizon 30" Marshal:
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:18 PM   #201
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I think the jury is still out on whether Joe knows how to properly run an offset. He's a good guy but it wouldn't surprise me if his smokestack is partially closed or something. I used to be a sub of his and he is a good cook overall but I'm not convinced his fire management skills are where they could be. In this case, I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to the Kingman not requiring a fan in the stillness of the night until further notice.
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Old 03-22-2018, 07:41 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JokerBroker View Post
I think the jury is still out on whether Joe knows how to properly run an offset. He's a good guy but it wouldn't surprise me if his smokestack is partially closed or something. I used to be a sub of his and he is a good cook overall but I'm not convinced his fire management skills are where they could be. In this case, I'm going to give the benefit of the doubt to the Kingman not requiring a fan in the stillness of the night until further notice.
When he first got that Kingman delivered and did his first test with it he explicitly called out how he always leaves the smokestack wide open. Not only that, in the fan video he was already being sponsored by Timber Milling & Kiln, and they were supplying him with kiln-dried splits.

That Kingman was used when he got it, and I wondered at the time why the original owner got rid of it. Those units have the sliding heat management plate vent near the firebox though, and it could be that when it's closed the cooker behaves more like the Wichita because I've seen videos where his Kingman looked like it was flowing nicely, but at other times smoke was just backing out through the firebox door vent constantly. In one of his videos he said rain absolutely destroyed the Kingman's ability to burn properly. He thought humidity was the culprit, but he said he had to crack open the top lid on the firebox just to keep the fire going.

Another thing about Yoder's big square fireboxes is the heavy wood grate is very tall, and if you don't keep the coals from falling through the grate they end up so far below the wood they probably don't help keep it lit. My guess is they made them tall because you can't shovel out the ashes any other way during a cook due to the door not extending to the bottom of the firebox. Bad design. I'd make the door go all the way down, reduce the height of the wood grate, and also move the vent down as low as it will go.

Looks open:
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Old 03-22-2018, 09:49 PM   #203
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Slamkeys,
C&D Scrap Metal will pay you in $2 bills for that thing. Put it out of its misery.
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:11 PM   #204
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockinar View Post
Slamkeys,
C&D Scrap Metal will pay you in $2 bills for that thing. Put it out of its misery.
I can't stop now - I'm working on my next MOD!

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Old 03-23-2018, 06:45 AM   #205
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So I finally bit the bullet and decided to go with the updated damper, rather than door, and I'm actually quite shocked... it works and quite well. With the way the new damper covers up the top vent on the firebox door it disallows that smoke and heat to escape through the firebox door, and instead it forces the smoke and heat into the smoking chamber.

I got the updated damper about a month ago and have spent at least 30+ hours just burning wood to see how well it works. I've used it in the rain, in some 15+MPH winds and I'm actually quite impressed with how much better it works. It still needs a full chimney of whitened over charcoal every couple of hours to replenish the coal bed, but overall it's much better than it used to be.




Slamkeys, I do wonder what your end game here is. Yoder has already admitted they had an issue, redesigned their cookers to address it, and have offered fixes to help their older models work better. What is it that you want Yoder to do from here to satisfy you?
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:25 AM   #206
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I have followed this thread since the beginning. I built a smoker with around about the same dimensions as the Wichita. I used this thread to help me design my firebox door and intake hoping I would have a cooker that drafts well. I’m not quite finished painting it but I should be done in the next couple days. My question to slamkey is, what does Yoder need to do for you to be happy? Do you want them to tell you you’re right and they’re wrong? Buy your smoker back? Just curious is all. Like I said though, I have found this thread useful.
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Old 03-23-2018, 07:27 PM   #207
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmoothBoarBBQ View Post
Slamkeys, I do wonder what your end game here is. Yoder has already admitted they had an issue, redesigned their cookers to address it, and have offered fixes to help their older models work better. What is it that you want Yoder to do from here to satisfy you?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ring View Post
My question to slamkey is, what does Yoder need to do for you to be happy? Do you want them to tell you you’re right and they’re wrong? Buy your smoker back? Just curious is all. Like I said though, I have found this thread useful.
I pretty much ran the course of dealing with my smoker, and it works fine for me now, although I'm still experimenting. Yoder did what they could to replace my defective items - no complaints there. The only thing left is to see if it lasts for 75 years per the warranty. I'll be long gone before then, but I'd bet Yoder Smokers is still around and going strong. A few complainers on a forum aren't going to affect them at all.

I don't spend that much time on forums, but I do visit when a thread gets updated or I find something interesting to share. I can't really post on the Yoder forum anymore, so I come to forums like this one. My recent posts were inspired by videos I stumbled accross via YouTube autoplay showing Yoder owners talking about flow issues on the larger models, because our discussions have mainly focused on the Wichita and the Cheyenne models, which have been called Yoder's "smaller offsets."

I was very surprised to hear an owner of a Durango 24" and a Frontiersman 30" say they both "backdraft awfully, and whenever you open the door you just get a face full of smoke," and also says his favorite cooker was the "crude" Horizon because it drafts well. I think that lends itself to the discussion, especially because the guy has many smokers to compare, but I don't really care what comes of it one way or the other. It's like any other information out there - you have to decide for yourself whether it's real or fake. I'm not an advocate for any person or company. I'm just a guy who owns a Loaded Wichita and is working on making good BBQ whenever he can find the free time, which hasn't been very often lately.

I get the feeling some folks are getting fatigued on this topic. That's fine. You know what they say when it comes to free speech: "If you don't like the channel, change it." The only thing I could do to make the entire issue go away would be to come back here and announce that I had made a huge mistake and I was doing it wrong the entire time. My bad. Does that help?
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Old 03-23-2018, 10:23 PM   #208
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Let me start off by saying that I love Yoder. I purchased a Wichita in 2007, a YS480 in 2014, and then a YS640 Comp in 2017. I had to sell the Wichita in exchange for a Horizon. Why? Because I spent countless hours trying to get a free-flowing, blue smoke cook. I just could never get it without cracking the door and even then... It was tough to maintain.

Anway, the Horizon is smooth and exactly what I expect. I can run 45-50 minutes without even looking...open firebox to add more wood and close once ignited. It just burns so much cleaner.

I think it has all to do with airflow on the Wichita. The exhaust is too small and something about what slamkeys says on the firebox side. That stuff is beyond me... But, there is an airflow issue.

Yoder, you can trash me, but I can provide receipts for all three of my cookers. Purchased the Wichita from ATBBQ, 480 from Lincoln, NE dealer, and 640 from Norfolk, NE dealer.
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Old 03-26-2018, 02:18 AM   #209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickd26 View Post
I spent countless hours trying to get a free-flowing, blue smoke cook. I just could never get it without cracking the door and even then... It was tough to maintain.
I saw a new T-Roy Cooks video that shows his Wichita in the background with the door cracked, and you can see how weak the draw is with the Yoder design. Whenever the wood is putting off smoke it just billows out of the fire door. At some point the wood becomes solid coals and you can't see smoke anymore, but the same amount of heat still rises from the open door, in my experience. That's why I started experimenting with a lower intake, I wanted all my heat to move into the cooker, not into my back yard.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uh7bkGwsoIc

I had a couple of cooks (before I modded the fire door) where there was a 5-10 mph breeze blowing directly into the firebox end, and that created enough pressure to overcome the lack of draw on this smoker, but those days are few and far between unless you keep moving the cooker around to catch the wind. I refuse to use an electric fan to simulate wind on those calm days!
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Old 04-02-2018, 04:52 PM   #210
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Finally got the new door on...about a year later? I'd gotten pretty good at managing the fire in this thing using a chopped up cookie sheet, attached to the end of the firebox with tie wire.

Cooks pretty nice now! Still wish I had a lefty because of how the wind blows through that part of my yard, but that ain't happening. Needs some rust to match the rest of the cooker.
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