By: Max Good
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.
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.
Published On: 3/25/2013 Last Modified: 10/12/2021
These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.
A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs
We always liked Grilla. The small 31.5″ x 29.5″ footprint makes it ideal for use where BBQ space is limited, as on a condo patio.
Click here for our review on this unique smoker
The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.
Green Mountain’s portable Davy Crockett Pellet Smoker is one mean tailgating and picnic machine. But it’s also gaining popularity with people who want to add a small, set it and forget it pellet smoker to their backyard arsenal. And with their WiFi capabilities you can control and monitor Davy Crocket from your smart phone or laptop.
The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.
The Broil King Signet 320 is a modestly priced, 3-burner gas grill that packs a lot of value and power under the hood. Broil King’s proprietary, dual-tube burners get hot fast and are able to achieve high, searing temps that rival most comparatively priced gas grills. The quality cast aluminum housing carries a Limited Lifetime Warranty.
The amazing Karubecue is the most innovative smoker in the world. The quality of meat from this machine is astonishing. At its crux is a patented firebox that burns logs above the cooking chamber and sucks heat and extremely clean blue smoke into the thermostat controlled oven. It is our favorite smoker, period.
Click here for our review of this superb smoker
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.