Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Any type of purchased BBQ Pit.

Moderator: TBBQF Deputies

User avatar
Dirty Dawg
Pilgrim
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:20 am
Location: DFW
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Dirty Dawg » Thu Nov 10, 2016 11:28 pm

Well, I'd been so busy I forgot to check in. Come back today to see this thread has done nicely without me. I'm duly impressed with Slamkeys observations and have no doubt he's on to something, however, our experiences are a little different. Quickly:

I love my Yoder and am turning out some fine meats. Loads of flavor, much of which I attribute to the fat searing on the heat management plate.

The welds are perfect, beautiful, outstanding manufacturing . No cracks or leaks. All doors seal nicely. No issues whatsoever with the thermometers.

My smoker is in an area where wind isn't a big factor, draw has been good but I do often open my door about half an inch. Of course, Aaron Franklin advises leaving the door wide open but I don't want to burn that hot or clean.

I'm good with the "brain fart" cover. I'm not too picky and it does its job.

I'm also good with the removable stack but agree that was done just for shipping.

My only regret is that I didn't buy the Kingman.

Here's a look at my backyard man cave.

Image
ubeclown
Pilgrim
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:50 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby ubeclown » Sat Nov 12, 2016 8:14 am

Those are some sexy smokers right there. Can't wait to get mine delivered. Placed the order a few weeks ago. Hoping for a early December delivery.
User avatar
Dirty Dawg
Pilgrim
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:20 am
Location: DFW
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Dirty Dawg » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:39 pm

I love mine and everyone I've fed has has been blown away. This thing produces quality results. In fact, I've gotten in to offset cooking so much, I just ordered a custom trailer mounted cooker from a local guy in FW. About to take my obsession on the road!
User avatar
FireWood
Pilgrim
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:57 pm
Location: Texas, "Cow Creek"
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby FireWood » Mon Nov 14, 2016 8:48 pm

Dirty Dawg, glad your happy. These cookers aren't cheap either so, its nice to get a little satisfaction through our efforts. I just placed an order for my firebox "Heavy Rod Wood Grate" like Slamkey's. Definitely need a Charcoal basket.
User avatar
Dirty Dawg
Pilgrim
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:20 am
Location: DFW
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Dirty Dawg » Thu Nov 17, 2016 11:22 pm

They aren't cheap but are built to last with a 75 year warranty I believe. I considered the heavier grate but stuck with the expanded metal because it sits lower in the firebox, hopefully keeping a little of the heat out of the smoker.
User avatar
FireWood
Pilgrim
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:57 pm
Location: Texas, "Cow Creek"
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby FireWood » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:07 pm

Image

Image

Image

Received my Fire box "HD wood firebox grate" Thats what Aaron at atbbq called it. Yoder did a fantastic job
When I first spoke to them the price was kinda high. So, I priced all the materials myself from a place called the Metal supermarket in Dallas. turns out I'd have spent close to what they wanted by the time I drove up picked up the material then welded it. Aaron emailed me back with a better price, glad he did. Once the grate was completed 3 days ,they then shipped fedex next day, fantastic customer service.
User avatar
TX1911
Deputy
Posts: 1193
Joined: Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:30 am
Location: Richmond, Texas
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby TX1911 » Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:47 pm

I've only placed one order with atbbq but I was very impressed with price and service. That's quite the fire grate you have there!
Custom 24x48 offset trailer pit
Camp Chef DLX Pellet Grill
Weber 22" One Touch Gold
Huntington Forge 490 Gas Grill
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:05 pm

Here's an update on the snorkel test I did a couple months ago. I fashioned a hood to fit over the inside of the factory door's vent openings with the hope that intake air would enter the "snorkel" chamber and flow downward in a way that provides enough air to keep the fire burning clean without opening the door. I was hoping the factory vent openings could provide enough air as long as they were both flowing inward, because the Wichita is known to flow outward through the upper vent opening due to its high position on the factory door.

Here's the setup. I used a wire frame and springs to hold the snorkel tightly in place. With this setup, the side door can be opened, and the factory butterfly vent can be adjusted. The trade-off is that you can't fit the charcoal basket in the firebox with this contraption in place.
snorkel-test.jpg


After a couple hours experimenting with the snorkel, I opened it up a bit by cutting a flap in the bottom to improve air flow. I did some flow tests by placing a smoking ember outside the door to see if smoke was being pulled inward at both vent openings, and there was definitely a strong draft at each opening. That was what I was hoping for.

However, even though the fire was burning much better than with the factory door alone, I didn't feel it was burning as effortlessly as it had with the improvised door with the single large opening at the bottom of the door. My conclusion is that the factory vents simply aren't large enough to provide enough air for this smoker, hence the need for owners to frequently open the fire door in order to keep smoldering from occurring.
snorkel-test1.jpg


As a kind of exclamation point, I installed the previous makeshift door with the large vent opening to prove that it is works better than the snorkel. Notice the smoke line on the back of the snorkel. The snorkel prevented that smoke from exiting the upper vent hole.
snorkel-test2.jpg


Voila ... back to effortless burning without babysitting or opening and closing the door every 10 minutes. You can see in this photo there is barely a coal bed supporting this fire, it's just wood sitting on the grate with a good burn going.
fire-clean.jpg


That reminds me - I want to point out something else. When I'm using the modified door with the lower vent opening, my fires are very predictable as far as intensity. The flames are low to medium in height, and they are very controlled. I believe this will help prolong the paint coating on the firebox because it doesn't get blistering hot like it did when I was opening the door all the time. Take a look at T-Roy's firebox after a couple of years. It's completely rusted out, and he demonstrated in his fire management video that he frequently leaves his firebox door open to keep the fire from smoldering.
t-roy-rusted-out.jpg
t-roy-rusted-out.jpg (105.89 KiB) Viewed 945 times



I've used the makeshift door every single weekend since I made it to crank out Que like this with great satisfaction. Now I need to get serious about making a permanent door.
que-time.jpg
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
darrenk500
Pilgrim
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:36 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby darrenk500 » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:47 am

This post is funnier than heck, I've had a kingman for several years, never had one issue with this cooker. It's called airflow you want the fire box wide open it gives you max air flow. I've cooked with the guys over at La Barbecue, Freedmans, Evan LeRoy on this cooker. Stop complaining and learn how to use your cooker. I can tell you with out a doubt my cooker runs at 250 for as long as I need it (20 plus hour cooks)
User avatar
txsmkmstr
Cowboy
Posts: 383
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2011 7:13 pm
Location: Tyler, TX
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby txsmkmstr » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:31 am

darrenk500 wrote:This post is funnier than heck, I've had a kingman for several years, never had one issue with this cooker. It's called airflow you want the fire box wide open it gives you max air flow. I've cooked with the guys over at La Barbecue, Freedmans, Evan LeRoy on this cooker. Stop complaining and learn how to use your cooker. I can tell you with out a doubt my cooker runs at 250 for as long as I need it (20 plus hour cooks)


Firstly, welcome to the forum.

Secondly, the Kingman was never questioned in this thread. If you'll go back a page or two you'll actually find this quote...

Postby slamkeys » Tue Oct 25, 2016 2:17 am
I'm not surprised the Kingman works better. The two units are similar looking, but a comparison of the firebox ends reveals a huge difference in the elevation of the components. The Kingman vent is much larger and closer to the ground than the Wichita vent, and the Kingman also has a much larger smoke stack. I almost bought the Kingman but it really is more pit than I needed here. The Wichita is the perfect size for my family.


As the thread title points out this is a Wichita issue - not a Kingman issue.
Custom LSGz 24x40 (dream pit) - R & O FatGirl (sold) - ETSC RK-250 (sold) - Tejas 1628 (sold)
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Wed Dec 21, 2016 6:47 pm

Some folks might not realize that Yoder Smokers is a very young company. Its first wood smokers rolled off the line in 2007, and it started working on pellet cookers in 2009. Owner Don Cary told the Wichita Eagle in January 2015 he's still relying on his customers for feedback and ways to improve his product. In other words, we're not talking about some 100 year old company with proven, deep roots. When we as customers give in to the insult "learn your cooker" then it's a lose-lose for future customers. What we're discussing here is a way to improve the Wichita design as much as possible, not only for ease of use, but for efficiency (less wood usage). Yoder is heavily focused on the pellet cooker market these days, but I'm hoping they're still listening to us stick burner customers.

Both Joe Phillips at Yoder Smokers and the owner of Horizon smokers worked for Oklahoma Joe's (back when they were 1/4" heavy-duty smokers) before venturing out to build their own lines of smokers. There's a reason the Yoder smokers look almost identical to the Horizon smokers, and I've seen several threads where people mistake the two. However, despite Horizon's reputation for a somewhat sloppy build (ugly welds and cuts compared to Yoder's), I've never seen a thread where someone complained about maintaining a clean fire on a Horizon smoker. Conversely, I've seen several threads where people complained about having to leave the fire door open too much on a Yoder Wichita.

When I compared the two brands before making my purchase, I didn't notice that the Horizon smokers had lower vent openings, which I believe is key to creating flow because heat rises - it's common sense. Yoder's high vent opening on the Wichita allows some of the flow to escape via the top vent hole. Opening the fire door to bring in more air also allows an even greater amount of heated air to escape from the firebox end. When I use my fabricated door with the low vent hole there is no air flow coming out of the firebox - 100% of the flow is moving toward the smokestack, and I don't have to move the cooker so its firebox is facing the wind. I contend that I'm using much less wood now, and with much less effort, than I used with the factory door. I'm sure Don Cary would agree that there is room for improvement here, and potential for greater customer satisfaction and an even better reputation.

Notice in this comparison photo the location of the vent openings in relation to the center line of the fire boxes. The Horizon correctly places the vent openings as low as possible for good air flow, below the center line of the firebox. The Yoder's upper vent hole, as I have proven, is above the heat build-up line of the firebox. In addition, the Horizons have less resistance to air flow because their heat management plates do not extend low in the smoker body like the Yoder heat management plates do. In hindsight, I think I would have been happier with a Horizon due to their more thoughtful design, but since I already dropped the cash on a Wichita, I'm determined to make it work for me, and not the other way around.
yoder-vs-marshall.jpg
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
User avatar
FireWood
Pilgrim
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2016 6:57 pm
Location: Texas, "Cow Creek"
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby FireWood » Mon Dec 26, 2016 12:17 pm

Slamkeys, first thanks for all the info yo have posted. I have had my wichita Loaded since November, have had many good cooks on it. I can confirm all the anomalies you've pointed out. I've cooked on many different cookers and the Yoder wichita loaded is by far the most difficult.
If you decide to have another door built I'd be more than willing to be a part of it, if it will help offset you're total output.
I've had one phenomenal cook when temps, fuel consumption, duration of burn were very consistent and that was with a very light breeze blowing in on the Firebox vents. Last week was my worst cook, I now have a scorched Firebox at the top. Anyhow thanks great job don't give up.
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Thu Dec 29, 2016 2:17 pm

The Kingman may flow better than the Wichita, but it is by no means immune to the side effects from the design flaw in the firebox vent. I recently spotted this glimpse of a scorched firebox door on a Kingman while watching a video. This is a clear indication that heated air is flowing out of the top vent hole on the Kingman just like it does on the Wichita. The vent hole is simply too high on the firebox to contain the heated air created by the fire.

kingman-vent-scorch.jpg


I was looking at my firebox door while I was smoking my last brisket, and considering what a hassle it would be to actually cut off the existing door and have a new one welded in place, and I came up with this mod. It involves enlarging the lower vent opening as much as possible, and fabricating a new butterfly that is simply bolted on to replace the existing butterfly. The bolt that holds the latch would still need to be dealt with because it would interfere with the new larger butterfly, but that could be resolved by tapping the hole or flush-welding a new stud in place. The end result would provide a lower vent hole that is roughly 2X its original size, and the top hole would always be blocked by the butterfly whether the vent is open or closed.

door-mod.gif
Remove extra metal from the fire door.
door-mod.gif (13.71 KiB) Viewed 842 times

butterfly-upgrade.gif
Fabricate a new butterfly from 1/4" steel plate.
butterfly-upgrade.gif (4.39 KiB) Viewed 842 times

new-vent-closed.gif
Vent closed.


I'm not sure if this vent opening is large enough to provide the kind of air flow I'm currently getting with my custom vent cover, but it might be.
new-vent-open.gif
Vent open, but only on the bottom.
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Thu Dec 29, 2016 3:19 pm

The latch problem could also be solved by flipping the butterfly around and notching it enough to prevent interference. My concern with the butterfly designs is balance: if there is too much metal on one side the vent might not stay open by itself.

butterfly-upgrade2.gif
butterfly-upgrade2.gif (5.85 KiB) Viewed 841 times


Fully open, the latch bolt is clear of the butterfly. Will the butterfly balance? I suppose a counterweight could be added if necessary.

new-vent-open2.gif


new-vent-closed2.gif


This is an approximation of how the enlarged lower vent might look, and it's not that awful.

fire-door-mockup1.jpg
fire-door-mockup1.jpg (34.77 KiB) Viewed 838 times
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 85
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Fri Dec 30, 2016 4:54 pm

In case you're wondering how the vent sizes compare, here's an estimate of the vent areas in square inches. The right one is from my custom vent cover, and is the largest due to the wider angle of the opening. The center one is the proposed opening for the factory door mod, and the two smaller openings on the left represent the factory vents.

The factory vents together still don't add up to the area of the other two options, and it should be noted that the upper vent hole on the factory door actually flows outward, which reduces the overall area supplied by the two vents. The factory vent area might be reduced to 10 or 12 square inches when taking the flow reversal of the upper vent hole into account.

vent-area-comparisons.gif


According to Feldon's BBQ Pit Builder calculator, a 20" round firebox 22" long requires an air inlet area of 20.73 square inches, which is very close to the factory area. If both of the factory vents were below the center line of the firebox they might provide the air needed for a clean burning fire without opening the fire door.
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014

Return to “BBQ Pits - Offset and Vertical Smokers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests