Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Any type of purchased BBQ Pit.

Moderator: TBBQF Deputies

BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Thu Sep 21, 2017 12:19 pm

kboy24 wrote:I have a new Loaded Witchita being shipped to me on 9/25/2017 and I be Super STOKED. I had Yoder drill out the firebox for the Guru sleeve to fit


I posted a question about the GURU in this thread, read above, not going to work for you. I'd be contacting them about updates they are making on the Loaded Wichita as they are with the smaller offset discussed here. Lowered firebox damper!
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Thu Sep 21, 2017 3:55 pm

I always interpreted the fan controllers like the GURU as being designed strictly for charcoal cookers. Charcoal cookers work well with fan controllers because you don't have to add any fuel during the cook, just air control. I don't know when it was decided they would work with a large stick burner, but maybe that was something Yoder came up with to squelch complaints about flow.

I have seen new products that are being developed specifically for large offset smokers, and they move a lot of air. They won't eliminate the need to add wood, but perhaps they can even out temperatures between adding splits. Take a look at this one being tested on a Lang offset: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BesJjRmRXpI

A lot of pitmasters even frown upon using digital thermometers because people focus too much on achieving perfect even temperatures throughout the cook, so I'm guessing there won't be too many of us buying a fan controller for our offset smokers. I'm OK with keeping my temps "in the ballpark" using the analog gauges alone, but I do like to monitor the pit temperatures remotely because it gives me the freedom to do other things while I'm cooking and not lose sight of the current temperature.
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Fri Sep 22, 2017 4:27 am

What if the heat management plate was revised to sit higher in the cooking chamber, wider and shorter lip that fits in the firebox while eliminating the gaps at the edges where some people stuff foil? If this was already mentioned please disregard.
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Fri Sep 22, 2017 10:57 am

BurningStick wrote:What if the heat management plate was revised to sit higher in the cooking chamber, wider and shorter lip that fits in the firebox while eliminating the gaps at the edges where some people stuff foil? If this was already mentioned please disregard.

In other words, make Yoder's heat management plate just like Horizon's convection plate. Yes, that would work for me.

The problem is Yoder somehow believes they have come up with a unique twist with their heat management plate design, one that slows down the flow enough to create more smoke flavor. That may be true to some extent, but there is a big trade-off in performance, as many have experienced. I haven't seen a single complaint online about flow issues with the Horizons.

Joe Phillips: "So what I'm doing there is choking that air flow down. I'm causing it to starve itself just a little bit so it produces the smoke more."
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:56 am

I'm going to try this out on my mocked up cook tomorrow, I guess today, me and my wife work nights, I think Saturday...

I'll raise the heat management plate and stuff foil on the sides and see how it goes.

If it works for flow, I have a guy that can build this new plate out of HRS and drill holes according. I assume it's all HRS or CRS steel.
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 23, 2017 12:20 pm

The heat management plate has a pretty tall lip going into the firebox so I'm not going to try and raise it. I'll check into ordering a .250 thick plate of HR (A36). It's going to be close to the cooking grates so the holes will need to be drilled small and work my up through test runs. In the mean time Yoder asked for pics of the firebox grate height through the damper.

I do not have the heavy duty grate, only (2) 1/2" bars welded at each end. I didn't know the heavy duty one exsisted at the time of purchase in August and I really don't think it sits higher or lower.

It's great that Yoder replied to my email.
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:53 pm

It would be easier to make some tuning plates than to fiddle with the Yoder heat management plate, in my opinion. These heat management plates, with their rows of holes, aren't really adjustable within the area of the plate itself. You can move the plate back and forth, but in the case of the Yoder heat management plate it's so long there isn't much room to slide it, and it has very few holes in it near the firebox end. The angled sides also present an issue if you want to make the plate horizontal.

With tuning plates (which is what Lone Star Grillz endorses) you can create large or narrow gaps between the plates, eliminate the gaps altogether, or remove them if desired. The biggest drawback with tuning plates is the initial investment in time needed to experiment with placement in order to determine which configurations would work best for your various cooking strategies. Lone Star Grillz includes the tuning plates as standard equipment, and they also employ locking screws in all their trailer models so the plates don't move during transport.

This unit has rails for the tuning plates, but you don't need rails if you cut all the plates to fit precisely between the sides of the cooker.
Image

Actually, the reason Yoder's heat management plate has such a tall lip is because they mount the firebox way too high on the cooker (as noted many times before). Joe Phillips himself admitted the firebox is 1" above the center line of the cooking chamber, which to this day I still can't understand. I suggested they did that as a trade-off to make it easier to cook over the firebox, i.e. less bending over, but that is a devastating trade-off for a feature that isn't even the main use case for a smoker.

Looking at photos, it is clear you would still need to extend the "ash seal" as low as the heat management plate in order to use tuning plates because the bottom of the ash seal is at the same height as the lower cooking grate. You don't want your plate(s) too close to the cooking grate because they generate so much radiant heat they could burn your food. There's no great solution here without lowering the firebox (again, my opinion).
Image
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:03 pm

Thank you for the help, wealth of information.

I'll take the photos Yoder requested and try to get them to address the issue.
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:21 pm

I went back and looked for Joe Phillips' explanation of the firebox location. He says it was mounted high to create the largest opening into the cooking chamber. I don't understand why that is important at all. Nobody else is doing that.

This response may shed some light on the design If you can understand all the gobbledygook:

Joe Phillips wrote:
There are a couple of things I want to address about the design of the pit and the placement of a few of the components. The placement of the firebox is a inch above the center line of the diameter at the center radius. This placement allows for the largest opening into the cooking chamber and has always provide the best combination of air flow and heat generation during the cooking process. I have extensively tested this relationship over many configuration of firebox placements up down over the last 20 years and this placement has proven to be optimum overall.
The deflector that is in place is there to mitigate the ash that enters the cooking chamber and keep it knocked down. It also holds a bank of heat in the top of the firebox that the upper portion of the rear damper can move into the cooking chamber, this is really a secondary function. We have cooked hundreds, if not thousands of hours on this configuration with very predicable behavior. This relationship is basically true over every model we build in a typical low and slow configuration.
In a pit that is not forced air or vertical air flow (wind) direction is critical in the way the pit will perform.
At times a strong head wind can and will back flow the pit slightly, this can be controlled by reducing the amount of air you allow into the stack. If the pressure is greater at the exit point than the entry point the air will move in the path of least resistance. In this case I generally allow more air into the entry point and less out to counter act this effect. Occasionally I find it easier to turn the pit as opposed to make air flow adjustments to compensate. This is generally a faster solution if you don't have a lot of cooking time on your pit and know it well.

Vertically this is never a issue because the heating of the air molecules cause thermally indirect circulation there is less volume of air in in the given cubic space. If the damper of a vertical unit is facing into a strong head wind you will need to close the damper down to slow the air flow to maintain a given temperature. Otherwise the speed of the air molecules in truly vertical column are simply faster so there for backwards or restrictive flow is pretty tough to accomplish. Without making a adjustment you would see a increase in temperature and accelerated fuel consumption. In most vertical cookers you are burning charcoal instead of wood. Charcoal can be up to 60% more dense than wood and in most cases is less than 1% moisture. This fuel type simply produces more BTU's of heat versus the average chunk of smoking wood.

For those experiencing issues my recommendation is start using the pit and learning its behavior with out the heat management plate installed. The heat management plate restricts the air and creates radiant heat on the right and release the air flow as you move to the left. This air restriction by design interfere with the air flow through the pit and will cause more fire management until you get accustomed to the pits behavior and fire management. The key to running this pit is maintaining a adequate coal base for heat generation and adding wood for flavor. If a coal base isn't established then maintaining a consistent air flow and temperature is a pretty tough battle. I tend to run 2-4 pounds of charcoal in the initial start up phases of getting the pit to temperature, I want to get the steel hot and create a good coal base to burn wood for the first 5-6 hours of my cook. I then move over to wood and run the next 4-8 hours on wood only providing that the wood provides me a continual small hot coal base. If I find the wood isn't producing a adequate coal base I will add some charcoal along the way to keep this hot base going. Once you get accustom to controlling the fire by adjusting the air flow without the heat management plate. I would then install the heat management plate and make finite adjustments to the fire management and air flow.
It is our goal to deliver the best and most versatile product we can, this is how we arrived at our decisions. It is never our goal to deliver an issue to a customer. This style of pit there is a learning curve and it takes some cooks under the belt to be able to master the cooking device. We are always open to input and new ways to make the product better that is what we believe in and will always try to improve. I haven't cooked on a Wichita personally in a while, I generally cook on a Kingman. I will fire a production Wichita up over the next few days and make some notes and share them here.
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
User avatar
slamkeys
Wrangler
Posts: 76
Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:29 pm
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:09 pm

Here's a better look at the firebox height. The top of the firebox is noticeably higher than the lower cooking grate. Joe says this (coupled with the 6 1/2" of steel from the ash seal and the lip on the heat management plate) "holds a bank of heat in the top of the firebox." Does that make any sense?
Image

6 1/2" steel wall blocking the heat at the top of the firebox:
Image

The "ash seal" does extend below the lower cooking grate, but only by about an inch. Without the large lip on the heat management plate the smoke would tend to go straight up to the top and out the smokestack, considering the smokestack is located at the top of the cooking chamber. That's one reason Lone Star Grillz and Aaron Franklin like to mount the smokestacks at grate level so the smoke flows directly across the food.
Image
Last edited by slamkeys on Sat Sep 23, 2017 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Yoder Loaded Wichita 2016
Big Green Egg 2014
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:25 pm

slamkeys, you have devoted a lot of research on numerous smokers, I wish that read all the posts before I started shopping for an offset. I used a WSM for years and perfected my cooks year around here in Kansas. Basically NOW I have a high end offset charcoal smoker, but I'm use to that with big wood chunks on the Weber. Pellet smoker didn't work out for me, still have food saver bags in the freezer from it but I'm never quite hungry enough to eat it.

If I would have went for a Kingman I most likely wouldn't have read all you're informative posts.

Thanks again for all the research and helping others.
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:49 pm

Here's a photo Yoder wanted: Okay iOS phone photos suck, sideways, sorry.
Last edited by BurningStick on Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:56 pm

Log lighter was struggling to get my bed of coals started.
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:32 pm

BurningStick wrote:Here's a photo Yoder wanted: Okay iOS phone photos suck, sideways, sorry.
Attachments
IMG_2664.JPG
Log starter is struggling.
BurningStick
Pilgrim
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2017 12:32 am
Contact:

Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sat Sep 23, 2017 8:59 pm

Was smoking like this the first 4 hrs. Both smoke stack and intake dampers wide open. Using expensive seasoned oak splits from local BBQ supply store. Temps are 225-245F.
Attachments
IMG_2129.JPG

Return to “BBQ Pits - Offset and Vertical Smokers”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: slamkeys, Yahoo [Bot] and 1 guest