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September 2nd, 2014, 5:39 pm
#1
* Cheyenne ** Cheyenne *
  • Joined: August 16th, 2014, 9:54 pm
  • Posts: 54

I am fairly new to the yoder community and have gotten some of the prerequisites out of the way (ribs, brisket, whole chicken, various chicken parts, burgers, steaks, poppers etc). My question for the board are what some of you use for your go to's...utensils, pizza stones and the like.

I also would like to hear what others think would be good ideas to add to the the ys640 for ease of use. I personally think some sort of rack stand to hold the upper rack, grill grates and or grills when not in use might come in handy.

September 3rd, 2014, 8:11 am
#2
* Kingman ** Kingman *
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  • Joined: August 25th, 2014, 10:28 am
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For me the most important accessories are:

    1. Cover. I view having a cover of some sort as mandatory gear for the 640, but I do a lot of cold weather smoking so it's essential to maintain cooker temps in Boston area without huge consumption of pellets. I use a heavy duty welding blanket folded so I have 4 layers of blanket covering the top and front and rear of the smoker. If it's really cold, I'll then throw two blue moving blankets over this to really block the wind and keep the smoker well insulated. Important for my setup to be sure I don't restrict airflow near the pellet hopper where the fans have both intake and exhaust ports. The Yoder cover is much more attractive and tighter fitting and lots of 640 owners are very happy with the Yoder cover too. Just more expensive than my setup and I already had the two moving blankets on hand, so the welding blanket was only $35.
    2. Instant read thermometers--2 or 3 should do...waterproof are great too if you can find them
    3. Temperature probes--as many as you need for the cooks you do. I have three but don't generally use more than 2 at a time. Having a wireless remote temp display is really convenient so you can monitor your cooks in the house, particularly on the long, slow cooks. (Yoder--hint, hint...a wireless smoker temperature readout/display option would be a great addition to the smoker options. Would be really nice to either be able to sync up to an iPhone app that gives a temp readout or on some portable wireless device that allows users to monitor temps remotely! Hope to hear about this one soon! Herb, Kirby, Josh, take it away! ;) )
    4. Some way to mount or hold your temp probes outside of the smoker. It's critical to not put the probe wires under the lid on the Yoder smokers so that you don't break the seal on the lid while cooking. (See Herb's posts on Temperature Variations for more info...) Herb made the nicest temp probe holder I've seen (perhaps he'd be willing to post a photo?). I'm not a welder so I can't make my own, but having a way to hold temp probes would be great. At present, I just run the probe wires straight through the chimney/smokestack and then let the temp probes rest on the side shelf. If your probe wires are not long enough to do this, then you'll need a better solution.
    4. Adjustable 90 degree gas vent pipe (I use this to redirect the smoke from the smokestack on my 640). I bought this on a bit of a lark, but I just love using it...I think it's a 3" elbow, but I can't recall. It was a standard size and it fits the OD of the smokestack perfectly without the need for any type of gasket and without damaging or scraping the metal on the smokestack itself. It is completely unrestricted so there is no back pressure created by using it. It just allows me to direct the exhaust where I want it to go. I have a covered area on my patio where I keep my 640 so that I can smoke all year, no matter what the weather is doing. I don't want to vent the smoke directly up to the ceiling so I use the elbow to send it off at an angle (without having to angle the smokestack itself, which would require more floor space to situate the unit) and divert it so it doesn't discolor my ceiling or get it greasy.
    5. A good quality injector (mine is stainless w/ removable needles) is nice for injecting briskets or butts or birds (or whole pigs, if you're in to those!).

After those, at least for me, the rest is pretty basic. I do have several pizza stones that you can get most anywhere, so I don't have anything special to recommend there. If you do have a BGE, you can actually use the plate setter as a pizza stone too. Most of the utensils I have are basic long-handled tongs, sheet pans, extra wide heavy duty foil, etc.

If you hear about any must-haves, please report back! My best suggestion would be to just get cooking and figure it out as you go. There are tons of gimmicky gadgets out there but it has been my experience that you probably have most of what you need in your kitchen already, especially if you're into cooking or have been smoking for a while...

Good luck!

September 3rd, 2014, 12:18 pm
#3
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Well TJed, since you asked...

Therm holder front.jpg
Front view of the therm holder. Interestingly enough, I never use external thermometer probes anymore. Like a lot of people I started out obsessing over pit temperatures. Since I figured out most of the issues I was having were caused by me, and I started following a maintenance routine, I haven't had a problem or the stress. The process I follow is in the link below.
What I follow to cook on a Yoder

therm holder side.jpg
Side view of the therm holder.

chimney vent.jpg
My cookers sit under a patio roof, so I use this to keep the ceiling clean. Solid Stainless steel.

chimney vent inside.jpg
This is the business end of things for the chimney topper.

Yoder_Herb
September 3rd, 2014, 12:31 pm
#4
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If you have Grill Grates, turn them flat side up and use them to cook pizza.

Yoder_Herb
September 3rd, 2014, 1:55 pm
#5
* Cheyenne ** Cheyenne *
  • Joined: August 16th, 2014, 9:54 pm
  • Posts: 54

Thanks to you Jed and also Herb.

I have been contemplating the cover for the 640 but am hoping they come out with a different color. Our weather here is a little more temperate but if I can believe what many are saying it will pay for itself in pellet savings over time.

I do have a thermapen and am considering a maverick, but so far I am having so much luck with my cooks I am unsure if I really need them.

I did think about turning the grill grates upside down but thought maybe a stone would get a better crust. I get the feeling that Herb here might have already explored this option with good results...thanks again.

I also used an injector on my brisket with good results...unbelievable texture to the meat. I actually thought I accidentally inserted the thermapen into a fat area the first two times and went to get my wife so she could feel what I felt.

Westhemess

aka Bill

I am kinda wondering if the spatula used for the grill grates is worth buying as it looks like it might be hard to scrape in between the ridges.

Either way thanks for the input and time.

September 3rd, 2014, 2:12 pm
#6
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The spatula works awesome and can be used for cleaning/scraping the grates as well.

Yoder_Herb
September 3rd, 2014, 3:43 pm
#7
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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  • Joined: August 15th, 2014, 10:08 am
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1. Thermapen
2. Apron
3. Sharp Knives
4. Cold Beer

YS1500
September 3rd, 2014, 4:27 pm
#8
* Kingman ** Kingman *
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Yoder_Herb wrote: Interestingly enough, I never use external thermometer probes anymore. Like a lot of people I started out obsessing over pit temperatures. Since I figured out most of the issues I was having were caused by me, and I started following a maintenance routine, I haven't had a problem or the stress.


I don't really use them much anymore either...only time I really use probes over instant reads is when I have a smoker full of butts or briskets on two shelves and I don't want to have to keep opening the lid to check temps in different pieces of meat.

Love the SS chimney cover you have. Much nicer looking than mine!

Thanks for the photos! Looks great!

January 31st, 2016, 10:44 pm
#9
* Wichita ** Wichita *
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Yoder_Herb wrote:Well TJed, since you asked...

Therm holder front.jpg
What I follow to cook on a Yoder

therm holder side.jpg

chimney vent.jpg

chimney vent inside.jpg



Digging up a really old thread here....

I like the cap Herb has shown here. Where did you get it?

I also have a covered patio and for a quick cook of burgers/steak I don't worry about the smoke (maybe I should?) because the temp is high and the smoke is pretty minimal. This weekend when I smoked ribs at low temp for 4-5 hrs I noticed a lot of smoke and I do think for the course of a season grilling I'll have issues with smoke/grease. What are some solutions to rid the smoke and move it? Again, I like Herbs cap!

Wichita, KS!
New to pellet grilling/smoking

YS-640 ON ORANGE COMP CART
February 1st, 2016, 12:41 am
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It is actually a vent cap and adaptor for tankless water heaters. It works OK, but requires cleaning, or the grease will drip from the cap onto the side shelf, or the ground if you have the wire shelves and not the solid stainless. While it does work, during longer cooks I still can get some staining on the patio cover, even though it is a fraction of what it would normally be.

Yoder_Herb
February 1st, 2016, 12:26 pm
* Wichita ** Wichita *
  • Joined: July 25th, 2015, 1:21 pm
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Since I started this thread nearly a year and a half ago and at that time I was new to Yoder (albeit many years with other pellet cookers) thought I would answer my own thread. I do in fact find the 4 pronged spatula handy, but probably moreso as a cleaning tool for the grill grates. I never got a pizza stone per se instead went with a baking steel which I use as Herb opined for a top shelf heat diffuser when cooking pizza. Of course the Thermapen...where would I be without it. I never subscribed to the extra thermostats or even the maverick and any other outside help as these things are almost automatic...with enough cooks under ones belt it is very easy to just go by the clock...the only problem is finding the same hole when checking meat so as to not keep poking and letting juices out.

So in summation: a towel to wipe things down, a thermapen and very few tools for most any cook followed by a quick scrubbing (both before) and afterwards. I also keep a small shop vac close by and usually vacume every 3rd or 4th time. One other little trick I like to do is foil about 2/3 rds of the bottom of the pit when grilling as grease and dripping seem to fly a little more...cuts down on the pit cleaning as I can then just pick up the foil with ashes and drippings. I do not do this when smoking as the diffuser is in.

February 1st, 2016, 5:25 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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  • Location: Arkansas

TennesseeJed wrote:For me the most important accessories are...


Squire - checking in. ;)

February 3rd, 2016, 6:22 pm
* Kingman ** Kingman *
  • Joined: September 3rd, 2014, 11:04 pm
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I use a dry vent flex tubing to direct the smoke out away from my patio. About 8' long.

August 30th, 2019, 2:39 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Excellent Thread!!

August 31st, 2019, 10:18 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Conumdrum wrote:I use a dry vent flex tubing to direct the smoke out away from my patio. About 8' long.



+1

Guy
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