Yoder's Loaded Wichita 20" offset smoker is made in the USA from new 1/4" pipe and plate. The large 20" diameter and 42” long cooking chamber with a 22" long offset fire box provide about 1600 square inches of cook surface. The main cooking chamber has beaucoup BBQ real estate with 750 square inches of cooking surface, the slide out shelf adds 518 square inches and there is an additional 342 square inches on the fire box.
This big barrel smoker comes loaded with some of Yoder's most popular options: a cooking door counterweight to assist opening and closing the heavy lid, 2nd level slide out shelf for additional capacity, a pot warmer mounted on the firebox that provides a flat surface for beans and sauces, and heat management plate.
Though reasonably priced to comparative equipment, it is most definitely not a COS (cheap offset smoker) like the $150 models on big box showroom floors. Cheap offsets are notoriously difficult to cook with because they leak a lot making the fire hard to control and heat tends to build on the side of the firebox. Yoder offsets move heat and smoke from right to left nicely. The tight construction provides superior air control which equals temperature control and the thick 1/4" steal absorbs and radiates heat evenly. To further help with heat distribution the included heat management plate (shown below) drops directly into the pit just below the main cooking grate and is designed to draw heat and smoke evenly across the cooking surface.
Wood burning horizontal offsets require way more skill than other smokers, but there's a reason so many award winning competitive teams use them. If you're itchin' for a stick burner, our best advice is avoid the cheap starter models, which are often more like ender models that land in a rusted heap by the curb on garbage day. The rewards of wood smoking are great and much easier to attain with a quality offset like Wichita.
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.
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 made from 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. They also make a variety of quality pellet smokers.