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May 18th, 2015, 10:44 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: May 18th, 2015, 9:25 pm
  • Posts: 48

Curious on what your thoughts are putting in the heat management plate on a Wichita. I ran about 6 years without one and 1 year with one. My verdict is still out and curious on input.

I do feel like the heat is dissipated better from right to left, but the right side is still much hotter than the left. At the same time, I think it's tougher to get the heat, smoke, airflow through the chamber and out the stack. I really can't quite describe it. It's sort of like that feeling you get when starting your gas powered trimmer and have to hold the throttle down full when it first starts to get it running smooth. I think once you get heat established it flows ok, but it seems like more effort to get that going. Maybe the best way of putting it is that it seems to create a lot of back pressure.

I haven't taken it out since I put it in, but curious if I need to be cleaning underneath. I would guess so, but still trying to figure out if I like it or not.

Interested in your thoughts. I'm sort of on the fence about it. It hasn't hurt my cooks, but at the same time it hasn't helped that I can tell. I would guess if I did a large cook (several butts) that I would appreciate the heat being dissipated more. But, not doing those very often, I feel like I know where the hotspots are.

May 20th, 2015, 10:08 am
  • Joined: May 12th, 2014, 3:35 pm
  • Posts: 53

Great topic of conversation.
The Wichita without the heat management plate will predictably run 50 to 75 degrees hotter on the right hand side. This is can be a benefit in cooking. It will allow for different heat zones for cooking large cuts on the left and poultry or things that need to be cooked hotter on the right.

The heat management plate will cut this delta in half or more depending on the desired cooking temperature. The heat management plate will tend to have radiant heat on the right, therefore it will cook faster on this side. This again can be used as a benefit in cooking. I tend to cooks ribs, chicken, loins etc. on this side. Any meat that I want to set a bark or desire to have a bottom up cook goes on the right hand side. If I'm cooking multiple briskets on a Loaded Wichita with the heat management plate in, I will rotate the left and right briskets at the 2.5 to 3 hour point. When I wrap I will rotate them again left to right, they will generally come off the pit within a few minutes of each other.

The heat management plate in design constricts the flow of the pit. It is common to see slower reactions and start up times with it in versus cooking without. It is a little like putting a muffler to small on a car, it does create back pressure and slows the flow down. This isn't necessary a bad thing as it creates a predictive environment to cook in.

There is a advantage to the heat management plate and it does provide tangible benefits. There is also some advantage to running a pit without. For me, I run about 50-50, when running large cuts in quantities I run with it in. The rest of the time I run with it out and cook a fair amount on the left hand side cooking slower things and on the right for faster cooks.

It is great to have choices.

May 26th, 2015, 9:56 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: May 18th, 2015, 9:25 pm
  • Posts: 48

Thank you for the response. Very informative and definitely a good point of view. Your second paragraph will be very helpful. Thank you again.

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