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February 5th, 2021, 12:35 am
* Abilene ** Abilene *
  • Joined: February 4th, 2021, 11:52 pm
  • Posts: 1

I recently purchased a YS640s, upgraded from a Camp Chef DLX.

My first cook was about a 10 lb bone in pork shoulder. I set the pit at 250 and cooked it on the bottom rack on the right hand side. I wrapped the diffuser plate in aluminum foil to try and avoid a mess. Ran it with a new bag of Lumberjack Supreme Blend. I wrapped in butcher paper at about the 8 hour mark. I've cooked a lot of pork shoulders both on my camp chef pellet grill and a large custom gravity smoker and I have never had one take this long at that temperature.. I rarely have a pork shoulder take more than 12 hours and this one took about 16 hours. The dampening plate was pulled all the way out. I also ran through almost an entire 20 lb bag of pellets.

For my next cook I did some cornish game hens and these also took quite a bit longer than expected on the top racks right hand side running at 350. I ditched the aluminum foil on the heat deflector this time as I was worried that it was impacting airflow, and I have not used it again on any cooks. I kept the dampening plate pulled all the way out on this one and all subsequent cooks as well

For the last cook I did some pork belly burnt ends and I decided to put some probes in 4 different locations to try and get a better feel for what the actual temps were. I ran the smoker at 275 for the whole cook. The probes were placed in the center of the top and bottom grates on both the left side and the right side roughly dividing the cook chamber into 4 quadrants.

The 2 bottom probes were the ones that came with the yoder and I charted the temps with the fireboard app. The other 2 probes on the top grate were hooked up to a digital thermometer but unfortunately didn't have graph data.

The bottom left probe definitely fluctuated the most but averaged about 270 degrees. The bottom right probe didn't show temperatures fluctuating as much, but it was averaging about 245 degrees.

While I don't have the data the top 2 probes were a bit closer together and I would guess averaged about 255 degrees.

I cooked the pork belly burnt ends on 2 wire racks, one on the left side and one on the right side before transferring to an aluminum pan and braising.. The ones on the left side actually got a bit overcooked and were dry/tough while the ones on the right side turned out okay. Even though they were mixed together in the pan, it was pretty easy to tell which ones had been cooked in which location.

I have to say I have been pretty disappointed with the results on the yoder so far. I decided to sell my gravity smoker because it was too large. Because of this, it had a lot of hot and cold zones which caused me to have to rotate meats or have them finish at different times, and I wanted something I didn't have to babysit and monitor temps as much. My camp chef always cooked great for me and temps were pretty consistent but it was too small for what I needed and didn't get quite as good of a smoke flavor. The Yoder rather than being the best of both worlds seems to have all the problems of the gravity smoker with the hot and cold zones along with temperature fluctuations, while lacking the consistency and ease of use of the camp chef.

The reason I went with Yoder is because from what I had read, been told, and what I assumed the heavy duty construction would insulate the smoker extremely well resulting in consistent temps across the grill and I could truly set the temp and walk away and not worry about it. I admit I was a bit nervous about the fire box being on the left hand side that it would run hot on that side and cold on the other (as opposed to the firebox being in the middle of most pellet smokers), but the dealer I bought it from told me that shouldn't be an issue. I expected some small temperature variations, 5 to 10 degrees, but 30 degrees seems a bit extreme. I haven't heard of other owners having issues with heat zones this much and I am wondering if I have a bad controller, especially given the amount of pellets this thing chews through compared to my last pellet grill.

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