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**Pellet cookers** - YS480, YS640
**Competition Pellet cookers** - YS480 Comp, YS640 Comp, YS1500 Comp
August 22nd, 2014, 12:06 am
#1
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August 22nd, 2014, 4:33 pm
#2
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Herb, do you recommend this to be performed on a totally empty cooker?

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August 22nd, 2014, 4:35 pm
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Totally empty. Not even foil on the diffuser.

Yoder_Herb
September 1st, 2014, 11:14 pm
#4
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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^^^the foil is going to have an effect? Or will it just effect it if hanging over the edges...not properly installed on the diffuser?

September 2nd, 2014, 1:17 am
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The test calls for no foil to remove all variables, to set a known baseline.

Yoder_Herb
September 10th, 2014, 10:01 am
#6
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Along this topic line I just both a Digital IR Thermometer just for grins... So I was playing with it and figured I'd check out my 480 while I was cooking yesterday. It was surprising to see the large variation from the firebox side of the grill to the Exhaust side, both on the exterior and interior of the cooker. A fifty to eighty degree difference. I'm guessing the fan blowing the smoke through causes the difference... My thought is to make sure to rotate the foods being cooked to average out the temps would turn out to be a good idea to ensure even cooking.

Any thoughts on this?

Thanks,

Richie

January 28th, 2015, 12:41 am
#7
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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So just to make sure I understand, if the temperature variation is within 35 degrees, then the cooker is working properly? If I want to smoke at 225, but can only achieve 225 by setting the Hopper to 255, then all is well?

January 28th, 2015, 1:44 am
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This is a wood fire, and as such, will fluctuate hotter as fuel is added and cool down as the fuel burns away, until more fuel is added. Because of this, we live with temperature averages. This is why we suggest that you do this 2 hour test. To get the 10 minute average temperature and the "mode" the cooker is in, to be able to see if the controller and thermocouple are working as designed, or if there is an issue. With the YS1500, like you have, the door thermometers are also a good indicator to use for the analysis. If the test shows an issue, more than likely it will show that there is an air flow or fuel problem.

The controller will not switch "modes" (maintenance, heat up or cool down) until 35 degrees +/- from the set temperature is reached, after the set temperature has been achieved.

The controller does not display the actual temperature in the cooker, but rather a rolling 90 second average. The longer the cooker is allowed to run without opening the door, changing the temperature setting or manipulating the dampers, the closer the display temperature may get to an external probe, IF, the probe is positioned approximately in the center of the lower cooking grates, and not next to anything that may be cooking.

The YS1500 has the HMS and chimney damper, which allows full control over the heat in the cooker, which allows you to adjust chamber, and side to side temperatures.

This 2 hour test will better answer your questions. It will give you absolutes, to which you can make adjustments to suit your needs and desires, especially considering you have the YS1500 with the HMS.

Yoder_Herb
September 30th, 2015, 7:53 pm
#9
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Herb,

The instructions say to lay the temperature probe directly on the grates. The instructions that came with my Maverick say to never let the temperature probe touch metal surfaces like the grill racks. Am I missing something?

Thanks

October 2nd, 2015, 4:52 am
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The controller in the cooker is programmed to the temperature on the surface of the grate. The temperature 1" above the grate can be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees from the physical grate temperature. This is the difference from physical grate temperature and suspended air temperature in the cooker. The controller does NOT use, or display, suspended air temperature to manage the internal temperature inside the cooking chamber.

Yoder_Herb
October 2nd, 2015, 7:41 am
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Yoder_Herb wrote:The controller in the cooker is programmed to the temperature on the surface of the grate. The temperature 1" above the grate can be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees from the physical grate temperature. This is the difference from physical grate temperature and suspended air temperature in the cooker. The controller does NOT use, or display, suspended air temperature to manage the internal temperature inside the cooking chamber.



I am having trouble understanding your response to this Herb. The temp probe in my (and I think most, if not all) 640, as well as 480's and 1500's is not actually on the grate--it is suspended roughly 1/2" - 1" above the grate and not in contact with any metal at all. If the controller is responding to probe temps above the grate, and not actually on the grate, how is it not using suspended air temps to manage the IT inside the cooking chamber?

October 3rd, 2015, 1:27 pm
* Cheyenne ** Cheyenne *
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AtxTX4464 i performed this test on my 640 about a month ago (when i first received it) and i set my temp on control panel to 235° And the average i got was 238° so its my understanding on MY smoker that she is pretty daggone accurate when smokin but if your smoker is 35° Off of your set test temp then if im right you would need to adjust your cook temps to compensate for it. When i smoke on my 640 i set my temp put meat on and trust her to smoke it at the temp i set without using my Maverick probes to see if theres a difference in temp etc and so far ALL my cooks have come out "perfect"!

Pitmaster_Rick
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October 5th, 2015, 8:34 pm
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TennesseeJed wrote:
Yoder_Herb wrote:The controller in the cooker is programmed to the temperature on the surface of the grate. The temperature 1" above the grate can be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees from the physical grate temperature. This is the difference from physical grate temperature and suspended air temperature in the cooker. The controller does NOT use, or display, suspended air temperature to manage the internal temperature inside the cooking chamber.



I am having trouble understanding your response to this Herb. The temp probe in my (and I think most, if not all) 640, as well as 480's and 1500's is not actually on the grate--it is suspended roughly 1/2" - 1" above the grate and not in contact with any metal at all. If the controller is responding to probe temps above the grate, and not actually on the grate, how is it not using suspended air temps to manage the IT inside the cooking chamber?


The thermocouple in all of the cookers is reading the temperature at it's location, and the controller then uses an algorithm and data tables to approximate the physical grate level temperature. These tables and algorithms are why we test each temperature setting in the temperature rang for each cooker, which takes hundreds of hours. This is also why it is of utmost importance that your cooker be kept clean and maintained and that all the parts are fitting within specified tolerances.

Yoder_Herb
October 5th, 2015, 9:20 pm
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Yoder_Herb wrote:
TennesseeJed wrote:
Yoder_Herb wrote:The controller in the cooker is programmed to the temperature on the surface of the grate. The temperature 1" above the grate can be anywhere from 10 to 20 degrees from the physical grate temperature. This is the difference from physical grate temperature and suspended air temperature in the cooker. The controller does NOT use, or display, suspended air temperature to manage the internal temperature inside the cooking chamber.



I am having trouble understanding your response to this Herb. The temp probe in my (and I think most, if not all) 640, as well as 480's and 1500's is not actually on the grate--it is suspended roughly 1/2" - 1" above the grate and not in contact with any metal at all. If the controller is responding to probe temps above the grate, and not actually on the grate, how is it not using suspended air temps to manage the IT inside the cooking chamber?


The thermocouple in all of the cookers is reading the temperature at it's location, and the controller then uses an algorithm and data tables to approximate the physical grate level temperature. These tables and algorithms are why we test each temperature setting in the temperature rang for each cooker, which takes hundreds of hours. This is also why it is of utmost importance that your cooker be kept clean and maintained and that all the parts are fitting within specified tolerances.


10-4 Herb, thanks for the deeper explanation.

October 6th, 2015, 7:08 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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I used to drive myself crazy following and watching the temperatures. I used to "chase" the temperature by adjusting the controller. With that said, my cooks always came out great. I ran Herb's test, and guess what, the average temperature was +/- 5 degrees of the controller set temperature. Now I have a Tappecue. I can watch the graph mode and see how much my temperatures go up then down, then stays steady the longer the grill is left alone. Again, if I use the excel spreadsheet that the Tappecue can provide, same results. The "average" temperature has been always +/- 5.
Enjoy your Yoder, cook some food, have an adult beverage and enjoy!

May 22nd, 2016, 3:09 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Why wouldn't you use the thermometer port to run an external thermometer with as long as the probe is placed on the lower grill and in the center? I guess I don't see a reason to run it through the door if a hole exists.

May 30th, 2016, 5:34 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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Herb,
Thanks for the test procedure and theory of operation on the smoker. I learned several things. I have at YS480, and like some of the other users, I typically start the smoker, the way you recommend, and 30 minutes later put the meat on, set the smoker temperature and let the control unit do all of the work. I usually use a Maverick meat probe for ball park internal meat temps and a thermapen to double check. But just for giggles I'll probably run the test. Thanks again!

June 14th, 2016, 2:54 pm
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If I go by the controller setting on my ys1500 it would take a week to get to 195 IT on my pork butts. I'll set it to 275 and the door thermometers and oven thermometers inside read about 100 degrees less. So if I "trust the controller" after 12 hours of smoking, a 10lb pork butt only hits 140 degrees. Not even hitting the stall temp. 350 degrees on the controller gets me right around where it needs to be in the pit at 250-255. I don't understand grate temps. If this was a stick burner I'd be using suspended air temps and door thermometers and whatever other methods to see what the pit temp is. It would be nice if the controller matched the actual air temp in the pit. Or even somewhat close to it. Any thoughts?

June 14th, 2016, 2:59 pm
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Jhein73 wrote:If I go by the controller setting on my ys1500 it would take a week to get to 195 IT on my pork butts. I'll set it to 275 and the door thermometers and oven thermometers inside read about 100 degrees less. So if I "trust the controller" after 12 hours of smoking, a 10lb pork butt only hits 140 degrees. Not even hitting the stall temp. 350 degrees on the controller gets me right around where it needs to be in the pit at 250-255. I don't understand grate temps. If this was a stick burner I'd be using suspended air temps and door thermometers and whatever other methods to see what the pit temp is. It would be nice if the controller matched the actual air temp in the pit. Or even somewhat close to it. Any thoughts?


What is the serial number and build date from the door plate?

What is the version of firmware?

What brand and flavor of pellets are you using?

How and were do you store your pellets?

Do you leave the pellets in the hopper for long periods when not cooking?

What are the humidity levels where you live?

Have you followed the temperature test, following the directions exactly?

Yoder_Herb
June 14th, 2016, 6:42 pm
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For what it's worth... My ys640 door therm and controller match within 5-7 degrees at all temp ranges.

Wichita, KS!
New to pellet grilling/smoking

YS-640 ON ORANGE COMP CART
June 14th, 2016, 9:58 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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SN 22576/ 01-12-16
Says 620 on startup
Bbq delight hickory stored in a dry climate controlled garage along with the smoker when not in use. I do leave some pellets in the hopper after I'm done with my cooks. I live in Pa. It does get humid here, but I've only had it since the beginning of February 2016 and it hasn't been run in crazy humid weather yet. The pellets are still rock hard and not turning to mush or crumbling apart. I have not run the temp test yet. I will do that this weekend and get back to you with the results. I do use it quite often and love this smoker. I've just learned that the controller needs to be set way higher to get any kind of heat out of it. This last weekend I did about 50 wings on the top grate. 2 oven thermometers inside on the bottom grate left and right centered that matched the door thermometers at around 230 degrees left side and 225 degrees right side and the controller was set to 350. Door opened only an hour into it and then about 30 min later to sauce them. But like I said I'll run the temp test with more detailed results. Thanks for your guys help.

June 28th, 2016, 10:35 pm
* Abilene ** Abilene *
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After running your temp test my 480 temp difference was an average of 75 degrees off. What is my next step. This is a brand new grill.....Some what disappointed.

Last edited by swroberts2 on June 28th, 2016, 10:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
June 28th, 2016, 10:38 pm
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If your thermocouple is on the hopper wall, and your cooker does not have r37 firmware installed, you need to update: download/TSB/TSB000004%20R37.pdf

Yoder_Herb
June 28th, 2016, 10:42 pm
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It is on the hopper wall, and my firmware is the r37

Last edited by swroberts2 on June 28th, 2016, 11:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
June 28th, 2016, 10:51 pm
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What is the serial number and build date from your cookers door plate?

What are you using to verify temperatures? If it is door thermometers, expect to see up to 80 degree temperatures differences (YS480/YS640).

Do you unplug your cooker when not in use? It is a requirement that each cooking session start with plugging the cooker into power. If the cooker is already plugged into power, it MUST be unplugged for a minimum of 30 seconds and then plugged back into power. Not following this procedure may cause the cooker to fail to ignite after pushing the START button, and cause the cooker to perform erratically.

Does your burn grate fit tightly in the firebox, and are the firebox silicone seals inspected regularly, per the required maintenance outlined in the manual under Firebox and Burn Grate Assembly Maintenance? Here are the latest versions of the Yoder Smokers manuals: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=153 Not doing the routine maintenance before every cooking session may cause the cooker not to ignite after pushing the START button, and will cause erratic performance, excessive pellet usage, fluctuating temperature and ultimately may cause a pellet burn back into the hopper.

Are both of your cooker's fans running: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=354

Are you cleaning the ash from the burn grate before each cooking session: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=454 Not doing the routine maintenance before every cooking session may cause the cooker not to ignite after pushing the START button, and will cause erratic performance, excessive pellet usage, fluctuating temperature and ultimately may cause a pellet burn back into the hopper, as well as shortening the life of the igniter.

Is your heat diffuser plate warped: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=338

Are you using probe ports to run your probes into the cooker? Never run probe ports into the cooker through the door.

Where are your probes located in the cooker? Probes should be just left of the direct center of the bottom grate, centered front to back, a minimum of 6" from anything that is in the cooker, and lying directly on the grate surface. Placing probes next to the cooker's thermocouple will NOT give the correct readings.

Are you using foil in the cooker, and if so, have you tried taking out the foil and checking temperatures?

Are you using pans or trays? Pans and trays will negatively affect the cooker's performance and temperatures.

Here is an article on temperature: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=83

Here is an in depth article on the controller and temperature: viewtopic.php?f=36&t=628

Here is a temperature verification test: download/Best%20Practice%20and%20how%20to/Yoder%20Pellet%20Temperature%20Test.pdf I would request that you do this and send us the results for analysis. Please also send us the following pictures for review (please take all pictures before the test and again after the test):

-Inside the cooker with the grates removed and heat diffuser plate in place
-Inside the cooker with the grates and heat diffuser plate removed
-The firebox with the burn grate in place
-The firebox with the burn grate removed.

How often are you opening the lid?

Do you spray/spritz/mop liquid on the meat when cooking, and if so, how often?

What brand and flavor of pellets are you using?

How do you store your pellets? Never store pellet bags directly on the ground or floor, especially concrete, as they will wick moisture through the bag and become moisture contaminated and loose the ability to perform correctly when burned. Moisture contaminated pellets are hard to initially ignite, burn incompletely, cause erratic cooker performance and temperatures, and may cause the fire to be snuffed out or cause severe banking of the pellets resulting is a waterfall effect from the auger which may ultimately cause a burn back in to the pellet hopper.

Lastly, review this: viewtopic.php?f=49&t=787

Yoder_Herb
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