Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

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BurningStick
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 30, 2017 5:04 am

freddie987 wrote:When do you think us mere mortals will hear some results from whatever testing Yoder is getting you to do?


I have no clue, but I will promise you this...I will not cut some special deal to get my smoker modded by them that no one else can living maybe 2000 miles away can't get done.

I made a complaint and they responded. I've dealt with the business man the funds the whole corporation when I bought my Loaded Wichita, he's a very kind gentleman that took my 2 week old YS640 back because it wasn't what I wanted.

I'm starting to think I should have never typed a word about this but I know the frustration people are dealing with first hand. They are addressing the issue and if it requires a new door..so be it. However there is some cutting and maybe welding involved.

They could easily flip the bottom hinge pin down on the door where you could just cut the old door off and drop the new door into the bushings already welded on your're firebox. But I don't know the tolerances of the bushing locations when they are welded nor the pin locations on the door. Do they have a jig, tape measure or eyeball it?

Look I'm just lucky to live close to Yoder, and I want my smoker to work as you do as well. The original design is not Yoders, but I'll let sleeping dogs lie on that one.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Mon Oct 02, 2017 5:49 pm

BurningStick wrote:I have no clue, but I will promise you this...I will not cut some special deal to get my smoker modded by them that no one else can living maybe 2000 miles away can't get done.

That's how I responded when they said, "We offered to build you a custom door ..."

I objected because I didn't feel I should pay more to get my brand new smoker modified - it's not like I ordered the wrong model or something, and I also didn't want to be portrayed as some one-off loon who just couldn't figure out how to use the smoker with its factory door (I followed up with numerous testimonials from other unsatisfied customers).

If I had allowed them to build me a custom door just to satisfy me, and then slipped away quietly into the night, then all my efforts might not have improved things for current or future customers. It would have just been a "cover up."

Speaking of cover-ups, it still irritates me that they rejected my review of the Loaded Wichita on their site. They must not understand the concept of product reviews (when they're all 5 of 5 stars, there's usually something fishy going on). They shouldn't be able to censor customer feedback like that, and it definitely puts their business practices into question. I wonder if I would have actually plunked down the cash for the Loaded Wichita had I been able to read all the complaints that were never published until recently. Some of the recent complaints I've seen are from customers who bought the original Wichita model 10 years ago - think about that. Perhaps there was such a lack of Internet savvy and communication between owners in past years that the general public couldn't get access to customer complaints, but that has changed.

This reminds me of all the well-known issues for other products I've owned that were widely discussed on the Internet, but when I called for support the person on the other end of the phone acted as if they'd never heard of the issue before. Yeah right.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:02 pm

BurningStick wrote:I received a package yesterday before going to work at 1:00PM as they had told me I would have in one business day.

OK - don't leave us in suspense, what was in the package? I'm picturing an envelope with $5000.00 cash along with a message that reads, "There's another $5000.00 if you keep your mouth shut. Otherwise you get to meet Wichita Vinny, and he doesn't like talkers."
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:52 pm

slamkeys wrote:
BurningStick wrote:I received a package yesterday before going to work at 1:00PM as they had told me I would have in one business day.

OK - don't leave us in suspense, what was in the package? I'm picturing an envelope with $5000.00 cash along with a message that reads, "There's another $5000.00 if you keep your mouth shut. Otherwise you get to meet Wichita Vinny, and he doesn't like talkers."


Haha,
Ok then here goes it....

I received a new firebox damper that blocks the upper butterfly, it has a counter weight on the inside so it will hold its position ( another small section of 1/4” plate welded on).

I started with two chimneys of Weber brickettes, that’s all I had after ruining to get some more wood and didn’t want to make another stop.

Splits were a little long so I cut them in half, poured the white hot coals in and waited another 10 min then started with three splits. Took awhile with the firebox open to get started. Once they were going good I closed it all up and the temp was right at 250 and smoke so clean I could barely see it.

I added two splits to the opposite side of the firebox away from the burning coal to preheat. I stoked the coals and the splits fell apart ( really nice coal bed ). Temp started dropping a little so I added the preheated splits...they caught fire real quick and was still getting really clean smoke, temp went to 275.

I thought this is awesome, had some cheap hind quarter chicken and threw it on.

After about an hour I added two more splits I didn’t preheat but they weren’t that big and it all went to crap, smoldered really bad, temps were staying above 250 so 45 min later I added a couple more splits and....smoldering begins again. I thought about opening the door but I stuck to my plan.

I believe this is a good start in the right direction, no smoke leaked out of the firebox at all. It was a little gusty out and no back flow at all but I feel it just needs more volume on the intake.

I ran the vent wide open the whole time. I was using hickory and got some really nice wood from Stokers Firewood in Valley Center, Ks. But hickory is a stout wood and the chicken is a little too much for me.

I sent them a link to The BBQ Breathen where a poster had lengthened his smoke stack while blocking the top butterfly. That was an interesting post and thought I’d share it with them.

Got an email back, they are reviewing my findings.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:24 pm

I really don’t like the fact that kiln dried preheated wood is recommended by Chef Tom at ATB for the Wichita, I can’t afford to buy kiln dried wood when I can get a rick of seasoned wood for $170 (128 cubic ft ) and saw it in half over $15 for 1 cubic ft. for kiln dried.

Longer smoke stack or bigger and lower damper?

I also believe the heat management plate needs more holes or leveled out and parallel with the cooking grate.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:39 pm

Later I decided to cook a big batch of Atomic Buffalo Turds but my charcoal base was gone and the wood wasn’t hot enough to get another couple splits going. Not because I walked away, it just wouldn’t come back to temp after the chicken. I fired another chimney of coals and got the smoldering going again and back up to temp, 275. That was a lot of work even with the wife helping me prep 40 of them. They did fine with heavy smoke can’t hurt bacon much but I wouldn’t try BB ribs or a Butt.

There’s more....

The owner emailed me today, responding to an email I sent him a couple weeks ago. I informed him I had already tested the new damper and am awaiting a report card from customer service. Don Cary is the business man behind Yoder, a very nice guy and a pleasure to meet and deal with, I can’t say anymore about him but just an awesome fella who loves BBQ and spends his Saturday’s visiting customers in his store.

The VP.......not so much.
Last edited by BurningStick on Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Mon Oct 02, 2017 7:58 pm

BurningStick wrote:I received a new firebox damper that blocks the upper butterfly, it has a counter weight on the inside so it will hold its position ( another small section of 1/4” plate welded on).

Vinny is not going to be happy. Haha. Take the money.

I was hoping they'd try something a little more sophisticated than this, because the lower vent openings alone (Cheyenne/Wichita) are far too small (less than 10 square inches) to provide enough oxygen for those big fireboxes. I was watching Paul Shirley describing one of his smoker builds on YouTube recently where he actually appeared to be mocking "the other guys" because they have "itty bitty vents" which he said could never supply enough air for the fire compared to his monster vents. He was spot on. Take a look at his intakes - you could literally throw your splits into the firebox through one of the openings:

Man-sized intake vents
Image

Obviously Yoder is attempting to come up with a solution that can be mailed anywhere in the world because the other solution would be a disaster for the company: cutting/welding at the customers' sites or 2-way shipping the units for modifications at their facility. Honestly, they need to lower the firebox too, and that is never going to happen after the sale.

The longer smoke stack idea is interesting, but may also have implications for velocity. Doubling its length might generate more "pull" to suck in air at a great enough velocity to overcome the undersized opening (much like adding a GURU fan to blow more air into the firebox), but then you might be drying out your food because there's too much air movement. This is the kind of regression Joe Phillips was worried about when he started talking about "tweaking" his design. At least today, he knows people are having successful cooks with the current design as long as they leave the fire door open or keep loading fresh coals as the cook progresses.

We'll see what they come up with next, but it sure looks to me like the Horizon smokers, which are derived from the same Oklahoma Joe's origins, have had it right all along. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say, so the best option might be to simply copy Horizon's designs and eat crow. At least future customers will be happy.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Mon Oct 02, 2017 8:45 pm

That was out of line, I apologize.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Tue Oct 03, 2017 5:31 am

BurningStick wrote:That was out of line, I apologize.


You all really didn’t need to know Joe and Roger’s past dealings.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Tue Oct 03, 2017 10:49 am

BurningStick wrote:You all really didn’t need to know Joe and Roger’s past dealings.

It got a "you don't say" from me when I read it. Interesting. The moral of the story: Weld somebody else's initials into the project if it's going to fall apart later.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:03 pm

I want to ask those who are interested, if you could start over buying a new 20" offset....what would you buy?

I'll start it off:

I'd buy a Yoder for charcoal and wood chunks but that's only if you want to spend the $150 extra for the charcoal basket. Charcoal doesn't add flavor but harsh wood chunks will get you close. The Wichita does a good job in that type of smoking. Burning wood...I'd most likely go with Horizon after my research and speaking to Roger Davidson on the technical aspects of his design.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby freddie987 » Wed Oct 04, 2017 5:19 pm

Lsg or shirley
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby RogerWilco » Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:24 pm

We are still tickled with the performance of our Horizon 20" Marshal RD Special, except a 24' would have been better, and a 30" would be gooder, still. Then there's that 36" Grizzly.........
If we decide to purchase a larger offset smoker, it will be another Horizon, as we got our monies worth the first time around. Plus, not only do they burn wood, but they will operate just fine using charcoal, if desired.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:17 pm

Hey guys, Joe emailed me earlier in the week and said: he didn’t forget about me and I would hear back by the end of the week, well here it is...the end of the week. Didn’t happen.

My Loaded Wichita will hit Craigslist tomorrow and I’m ordering a Horizon 20 or 24”.

Hope Yoder figures it out. I’m moving on, thank you all.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby freddie987 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 5:20 pm

Wow. Thats big news. Definitely get the biggest you can afford. If i was buying one tomorrow I would get at least 24 but would try and stretch to 30

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