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Yoder Smokers are built for serious backyard and competitive cooking and they have a great reputation for craftsmanship. The bodies of all Yoder offset smokers are built out of new 1/4" thick steel pipe and plate and have a lifetime guarantee against burnout. There are several sizes and types available to match the capacity and cooking style you want, and if that is not enough, they say they can customize any unit to your needs. Most of their units are offset smokers, with a side firebox, and the fireboxes have a removable cooking grate if you want to grill in them.
Yoder has a strong connection to the venerable Oklahoma Joe 1/4" pits, which is apparent in many of their designs. All sales are direct.
Yoder is a brand revered by competition cooks for well-designed high end charcoal and wood fired smokers and grills made in the USA. In 2010 they introduced two pellet cookers. The YS480 is the smallest. The numbers stand for the square inches of cooking surface with an optional second shelf that adds 65% to the cooking surface area. So the YS480 has 480 square inches of primary cooking surface, about 11.5" of headroom, and the main grate is 20" deep. It comes with a sophisticated, proprietary digital controller.
The 480 is 24" wide, weighs 263 pounds, and is said to have a cooking range from 150 to 600°F. Hopper capacity is twenty pounds. The cooking chambers is 10 gauge and the hopper and cart are 14 gauge, finished with high temp urethane. That is thick steel, great for heat retention. The grill body has a 10 year warranty, three years on the control system and one year on the igniter.
$1,149 Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP), actual price may vary.
480 square inches ( about 23 burgers )
306 square inches
Manufacturer claims that all or
practically all of this device is made in the USA
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.
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A good digital thermometer keeps me from serving dry overcooked food or dangerously undercooked food. You can get a professional grade, fast and precise splashproof thermometer like the Thermopop (above) for about $29. The Thermapen (below), the Ferrari of instant reads, is about $96. It's the one you see all the TV chefs and all the top competition pitmasters using. Click here to read more about types of thermometer and our ratings and reviews.
GrillGrates(TM) amplify heat, prevent flareups, make flipping foods easier, produce great grill marks, keep small foods from committing suicide, kill hotspots, are easier to clean, flip over to make a fine griddle, smolder wood right below the meat, and can be easily removed and moved from one grill to another. You can even throw wood chips or pellets or sawdust between the rails and deliver a quick burst of smoke to whatever is above. Every gas grill and pellet smoker needs them.
If you have a Weber Kettle, you need the amazing Smokenator and Hovergrill. The Smokenator turns your grill into a first class smoker, and the Hovergrill can add capacity or be used to create steakhouse steaks.
Absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world.
This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers in the hardware stores because temperature control is so much easier (and that's because smoke and heat go up, not sideways).
Best of all, it is only $299 delivered to your door!
The PK Grill has become our favorite charcoal grill. It proves some ideas never die.
Designed in 1952, the rectangular shape is easy to set up in 2 or 3 heat zones, it can easily be used as a smoker, the cast aluminum body is indestructible, airflow is easy to manage, and there is plenty of room under the hood.
Made of rugged 1/8" thick aluminum, 20" long, with four serious rivets, mine show zero signs of weakness after years of abuse. I use them on meats, hot charcoal, burning logs, and with the mechanical advantage that the scissor design creates, I can easily pick up a whole packer brisket. Click here to read more.
Mo's Smoking Pouch is essential for gas grills. It is an envelope of mesh 304 stainless steel that holds wood chips or pellets. The airspaces in the mesh are small enough that they limit the amount of oxygen that gets in so the wood smokes and never bursts into flame. Put it on top of the cooking grate, on the burners, on the coals, or stand it on edge at the back of your grill. It holds enough wood for about 15 minutes for short cooks, so you need to refill it or buy a second pouch for long cooks like pork shoulder and brisket. Mine has survived more than 50 cooks. Click for more info.
The same knives used at Peter Luger, Smith & Wollensky, and Morton's. Machine washable, high-carbon stainless steel, hardwood handle. And now they have the AmazingRibs.com imprimatur. Click for more info.