Discuss, share information, ask questions, and show off your expertise on Yoder ACS Pellet Cookers.

Click the links below to go directly to available resources:
**Pellet cookers** - YS480, YS640
**Competition Pellet cookers** - YS480 Comp, YS640 Comp, YS1500 Comp, Cimarron Comp
**Pellet Cooker Warranty**
May 9th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Site AdminSite Admin
User avatar
  • Joined: April 18th, 2014, 3:12 pm
  • Posts: 2378

I was told that the freezer was running on empty for smoked chicken, so I decided to take a break from testing the ACS controller to cook 4 chickens. In reality, I was still testing but with a happy ending.

I cleaned the ash from the burn grate, cleaned the diffuser and started the cooker at the default 350 degrees. I will not need to clean the cooking grates for this cook, as all of the testing that I have been doing have left the grates ready to go. I put in 2 foldable cookie cooling racks in on the lower cooking grates to elevate the grate with the chickens above the lower grates. The upper grate was removed and stored in the YS1500. BTW, an awesome reason to have 2 Yoder Smokers cookers, is to be able to store things from the other cooker. My YS1500 stores my grill grates, griddle and upper shelf for the YS640 when I'm not using the YS1500, and when I am using the YS1500, it all goes back into the YS640. When I use both cookers at the same time, I improvise and adapt.

While the cooker was starting up, we prepped 4 chickens by spatchcocking and removing the ribcage bones. Then seasoned the 4 birds, placed them on a full pan cooking rack, and put the rack into the YS640 on top of the cooling racks. Doing this puts the bottom of the rack with the chickens about 2" above the lower racks in the cooker. Doing this makes the insertion and removal of the cooking rack with the chickens much easier. I would normally cook chickens at 325 degrees when placing them directly on the lower racks, but because I had them elevated, I left the cooking temperature at 350 degrees to compensate for the approximate 2" air gap between the lower YS640 grate and the chickens.

I stuck an ACS Fireboard temperature probe into 2 of the chickens to monitor temperatures at both ends of the cooker, as shown in the picture below.

prepped chicken.jpg

When the probes alerted at the temperature I had set (they alerted within about 2 minutes of each other), which was 165, I opened the cooker to check all of the legs/thighs and breasts of the chickens with an instant read thermometer, to see how they were progressing. Everything was looking great, and temperatures were all within a handful of degrees of each other between all of the chickens. Because the breast is more susceptible to drying out, I moved the 2 ACS Fireboard probes from the legs to the breasts of the 2 monitored chickens, and closed the cooker up to finish the job.

Again, both of the probes alerted within just a few minutes of each other, so I again opened the cooker and used an instant read thermometer to check all of the chickens for doneness. I rarely worry about anything but the breast meat, as the rest of the chicken always comes out right, when the breast temperature is right, especially when chickens cooking this way. I look for 158 to 160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast, and after probing the chickens, they were all 4 within approximately 2 degrees of each other, so I removed the cooking grate and 4 chickens from the cooker and shut the cook off. With a short resting period, the internal temperature of the chickens all rose up to about 165.

cooked chicken.jpg

So we vacuumed sealed 3 of the chickens to feed the freezer. The 4th chicken was confiscated and put into protective custody by my wife. When I brought up the fact that she had requested 4 chickens to be cooked for the freezer, I was gently reminded about how much I like life.

All in all, a very good cook and an amazing result. The new ACS controller handled it all with ease, and performed to my expectations.


Return to ACS Pellet