Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby freddie987 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:21 pm

What is the name of the Raichlen show? Do you have an episode number reference?
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:32 pm

Darkfix wrote:@Slamkeys:
Thanks...

Also wonder, are you happy with the Yoder after your mods?
Can you use it as intended, throw in couple of splits, close door etc...

Will you keep it, or sell it?
I'm still on the fence about selling. I was looking at Shirley Fabrication and Aaron Franklin smokers for a possible replacement, but for now I'm still trying to determine if the Yoder design is capable of Franklin-like results when used properly. I've commented before about the fact that modifying the cooker may completely alter it's cooking behavior, and I've wondered if my final product is somehow lower in quality than what the stock smoker without modifications delivers.

I stopped using charcoal when I started cooking with my prototype door because I no longer needed charcoal to start or maintain my fires. I can absolutely burn hardwood sticks with the door closed at all times, and only struggle with temperatures when there is a strong wind blowing down my smokestack, or when it rains all day.

In my latest cooking endeavors I questioned the bottom-up nature of the Yoder design because it uses radiant heat from the heat management plate to bake the bottom of the meat, and the plate is very close to the cooking grate (and meat) on the firebox end. That, combined with increased airflow due to the modified vent might be removing enough moisture to dry out the meat too much over a long cook to get results like Aaron.

Aaron's backyard smoker uses a design very similar to the large 1000 gallon smokers he uses in his restaurant. His backyard smoker has a very large smokestack centered at grate level to encourage airflow to pass over the meat, and he doesn't use any baffles or plates for radiant heat. His approach is considered top-down.

Look how low the firebox is mounted on this unit. This model is so small he can barely fit one brisket in it with a water pan, and yet he can turn out top quality meat on it without jumping through any hoops.
Image

The smokestack is proportionally huge compared to the Yoder Wichita smokestack. Several forum members have said the Wichita's flow problems could be the result of an undersized smokestack.
Image

Despite using his tiny backyard smoker, Aaron's flat is so juicy it just curls and fall over when he slices it, and the pull test required the slightest tug to pull apart.
Image

All I know is I've done dozens of brisket cooks from Select grade to Prime, wrapped vs. unwrapped, water pan vs. no water pan, low and slow vs. hot and fast, and I've never had a flat that curls and falls over when I slice it like Aaron's did on his consumer-grade backyard smoker. The only way I'll know if it's due to my lack of ability or the smoker's ability will be from cooking on other smokers for comparison. Of course, nobody at my house is complaining about my barbecue, but I'm striving to get the kind of results Aaron gets. Maybe the cuts of meat he gets from his organic supplier are just that much better than the stuff I have access to, but who knows.

To answer the question about using the smoker, yes - I now leave the firebox door closed throughout the cook, and I throw logs in via the top door and just walk away. I'm using a ThermoWorks Smoke to monitor the cooker temps so I know when it's time to add another split. I've been able to focus on other things while the meat is cooking instead of babysitting the fire like I had to do before.

My Wichita burns so cleanly you can't see any smoke coming from my smokestack, so I often wonder if I'm generating too little smoke now, but I'm not a fan of super-smokey-tasting meat. In this photo the gauge is around 225 and there is no smoke at all - like an oven. I was burning red oak splits from the stack in the background.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:40 pm

freddie987 wrote:What is the name of the Raichlen show? Do you have an episode number reference?
ET 735 for Project Smoke Texas Clod HD
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TicZgzy3YS4

It looks like they cooked some of the meat on a Yoder Durango, and Steven was using a Wichita.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby freddie987 » Mon Jan 29, 2018 5:04 pm

Darkfix wrote:Is it really this bad with the Wichita so you can call it a design fault ?

I live in Europe, and over here the Wichita cost around €3600 + €400 in shipping = €4000...
So they are very expensive and Yoder is more or less the only proper pit you can get hold of.

And with that money you for sure don't want any crap...
Else the build quality look superb...

Kingman is €4950 and then €500 in shipping...

What other brands are there that are good/top of the line ?


Is there anyone else that tried Slamkeys mod, and it that is enough to get it working as it should?!




Regarding smokers in Europe:

http://blog.langbbqsmokers.com/eu-safet ... e-ce-mark/
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:49 pm

@Slamkeys:

* If you try/tried to remove the heat plate:
I can understand that you got better air flow, but did it work better with modded/non modded door?
AAron for example don't use it, and is it better/worse to have it installed in the Wichita?
Pro/Con?

* You wrote that you wonder if you have to "good" airflow now, I guess that you just adjust dampers to solve that...?
In my world, if dampers are open fully, you should have more than 275f, more at +350f and then you can adjust dampers so you get correct temp/flow?!?!

If just wonder since both Lang don't answers my mail, and I did call Horizon and they promised to get my a shipping quote same day, and now it's almost a week.
I guess the shipping will cost $1000-2000....

I can get hold of Wichita for a good price, they have both "old" and "new" door so I can chose.
Also I'm not afraid to cut a bigger hole in the door if need..

* Do you think it's better to mod the New or Old door ????
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Thu Feb 08, 2018 4:59 am

Darkfix wrote:@Slamkeys:

* If you try/tried to remove the heat plate:
I can understand that you got better air flow, but did it work better with modded/non modded door?
AAron for example don't use it, and is it better/worse to have it installed in the Wichita?
Pro/Con?

* You wrote that you wonder if you have to "good" airflow now, I guess that you just adjust dampers to solve that...?
In my world, if dampers are open fully, you should have more than 275f, more at +350f and then you can adjust dampers so you get correct temp/flow?!?!

If just wonder since both Lang don't answers my mail, and I did call Horizon and they promised to get my a shipping quote same day, and now it's almost a week.
I guess the shipping will cost $1000-2000....

I can get hold of Wichita for a good price, they have both "old" and "new" door so I can chose.
Also I'm not afraid to cut a bigger hole in the door if need..

* Do you think it's better to mod the New or Old door ????
The problem with the Yoder design is having the smoke stack mounted at the top. When you remove the heat management plate the heat can travel straight up to the top of the cooker and out, which is OK if you put food on the top grate, but meat on the bottom grate will not get as much heat, smoke, or air flow. I think the heat management plate does help even the temperatures if you can manage to keep your fires burning clean, but it also moves the air flow below the meat, and that probably isn't ideal either. When you leave it out, the firebox end of the cooker gets extremely hot, so I have to put all my meat on the opposite end for low and slow or it will scorch. Even with the plate installed, it is so close to the meat on the firebox end it's still too hot over there for a long cook. If I could move the smokestack down to grate level I think I would cook on that end with the heat management plate removed. There is a mod some people use where you put a flexible vent pipe in the smokestack exit hole on the inside of the cooking chamber and then bend it down to the grate level, which simulates having the smokestack mounted at grate level. I still need to try that.

I've been managing temperature with fire size. I leave the vents open and keep my fire small enough so the temperatures stay in the range of 225F to 250F. These offsets aren't like cooking on a charcoal Kamado or Kettle. When I cook on my Big Green Egg there is very little air flow for low and slow. My offset moves tons of air when it gets up to temp. The only way I've found to significantly throttle down the air flow on the Yoder Wichita is to use charcoal. Then I can close the intake to about 1/3 and it maintains temp. This is precisely why the Yoder folks have been preaching about keeping a big "coal base" because coal doesn't generate smoke, and it will burn with less oxygen. Some owners have said after they "learned their cooker" they realized they had to start off with 2 full chimneys of charcoal, and then add another full chimney of charcoal for every 3rd split. Buddy that's an expensive way to do a 12-14 hour brisket cook. Be prepared to have lots of reserve bags of lump charcoal for that strategy.

There are plenty of Wichita owners out there who love the cooker as is, so I wouldn't say there's universal agreement on the need to modify them. It is quite possible the smokestack is more of an issue than the intake vent, because it is really what controls the amount of velocity that flows through the cooker. Aaron talks about how one of his cookers is his "least favorite" because the smoke stack causes more back pressure and makes it more difficult to finish the meat after the stall. He doesn't believe in intake vents either - he just leaves the fire door open. I'm really curious to see how his new consumer-grade smoker line performs when he releases them this year.

My biggest complaint overall is the firebox being mounted so high. I have no way to fix that, so I have to live with it, and that's the flaw that creates most of the issues. I can't figure out why Joe didn't just copy the Horizon's firebox design because it's so much better.

I wonder if Aaron Franklin will ship one of his smokers to the UK when they're released. The little backyard smoker he demonstrated in his brisket video was sold at the Academy Sports and Outdoors stores here in Texas, under the name "Old Country BBQ Pits Ranch Hand Smoker." I wouldn't mind trying one of those myself but I think that particular model was discontinued. They sold for around $999 and were supposedly made from 3/16" steel despite some reports that they were 1/4".

I think if I were in your shoes and absolutely couldn't find any other smoker than a Yoder, I'd have to go for a Kingman despite the higher cost and larger size. I've never heard from a dissatisfied Kingman owner. Either that or I'd order a YS640 or YS1500 and do the pellet pooper thing.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:12 pm

Is it just me, or did Yoder actually remove ALL Slamkeys posts at the YODER webforum.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Thu Feb 08, 2018 2:26 pm

All posts by Slamkeys was there earlier today, and now they are gone.

Yoder can do what they want with their forum, but for me it's a sign that they have HUGE problems with their smokers.
And probably also they lost me as a customer due to this.

I'm not afraid to buy one, and mod it as Slaykeys, but I don't like when a company tries to cover up their mistakes.
I read all threads and there is a red line in all posts that the owners have issues, problems or have a hard time with fire management.

And if you have normal IQ you can see that they do everything they can with silly answers how to fix it and their products are not a problem.
After watching the video with T-Roy and Joe Philips, it makes it even worse.

And all their dumb excuses.... Small fire, Put wood in right back corner, Lots of Coal, Move smoker towards the wind, pre-heat wood, kilndried wood etc.

If someone can PM me Joe P e-mail I will send him a mail and ask why they did it, and what they did to fix the problem before I buy a Wichita.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:37 pm

freddie987 wrote:http://static.tvgcdn.net/feed/1/169/thumbs/11814169_1300x1733.jpg
LOL - very nice. :laughing7:
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:38 pm

Darkfix wrote:Is it just me, or did Yoder actually remove ALL Slamkeys posts at the YODER webforum.

You are correct:
Image

According to my profile I have 113 posts. They may still exist in the database but they are being hidden. I may be wrong. My account hasn't been deleted yet though.

It really is an interesting move to wipe out an entire year's worth of real customer feedback, but it falls in line with rejecting unfavorable customer reviews, which they've also done (shameful). Now they have a couple of long threads in the Stick Burner forum with over 20K views each that no longer contain any of the posts that suggested design issues. Reading through them now all you see is questions from newbie owners and the corresponding "recommendations" from Yoder that are crafted in such a way as to tell the owners they just aren't doing it right. The threads still contain Yoder's responses to the missing content, so it's quite obvious something is missing, but only those folks who read the content before it was censored will understand why those responses are there. Bottom line: History has effectively been rewritten for the new and future customers.

Another thing that bothers me is the dishonesty they are exhibiting right now. Normally when a company improves a product they immediately embark on an advertising campaign heralding the "New and Improved" design. This would be accompanied by updated photos on all sites where the product is being sold, along with specific advantages of buying the new design, and possibly a slight price increase. Then the older models would be discounted for quick liquidation. Have you seen any evidence of this? No. All you see are repeated questions by potential buyers about what has changed. They should have made an explicit demarcation between version 1 and version 2 so people would know what they are buying (old stock vs. new stock vs. used market).

This thing has been going on for a long time now and not a single advertising photo on any Yoder-backed site has been updated to reflect a design change. It's akin to sweeping dirt under the carpet - as long as you don't see it then it's not there.
Last edited by slamkeys on Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:41 pm

FYI - I do have copies of all my lengthy posts if anyone is interested in me re-posting them here or on another forum. I think the door MOD post probably provides the best summary of my journey with the Wichita and how I set out to solve the issues I encountered.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:12 am

If I get a Yoder, then I decided for a Kingman.

Don't ever need that much space...
But as you said, can't find any bad comments on it.

Also they did change intake damper on that model too.

Would be nice to hear from some Kingman owners..



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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:39 pm

Darkfix wrote:If I get a Yoder, then I decided for a Kingman.
The only caution I'd give involves wood usage. The bigger the pit (and firebox) the more wood you're going to consume. If you have easy access to cheap firewood or you only cook once in a blue moon it shouldn't be an issue. It makes sense when you're cooking 8 briskets at a time, but if you're only cooking for the family you might be surprised how much wood you need with the larger cookers.

I looked at the Large BGE vs. the X-Large BGE before I bought my Large, and there's a big difference in the firebox sizes. I'd estimate the X-Large uses almost double the amount of charcoal the Large uses, so it would be wasteful for me to cook a few hamburgers on the X-Large, but the Large size is perfect for our family. They do have after-market charcoal baskets you can put in the X-Large so you only use half the firebox, but you get the point.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby smoke_savage » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:54 pm

Darkfix wrote:@Slamkeys:

* If you try/tried to remove the heat plate:
I can understand that you got better air flow, but did it work better with modded/non modded door?
AAron for example don't use it, and is it better/worse to have it installed in the Wichita?
Pro/Con?

* You wrote that you wonder if you have to "good" airflow now, I guess that you just adjust dampers to solve that...?
In my world, if dampers are open fully, you should have more than 275f, more at +350f and then you can adjust dampers so you get correct temp/flow?!?!

If just wonder since both Lang don't answers my mail, and I did call Horizon and they promised to get my a shipping quote same day, and now it's almost a week.
I guess the shipping will cost $1000-2000....

I can get hold of Wichita for a good price, they have both "old" and "new" door so I can chose.
Also I'm not afraid to cut a bigger hole in the door if need..

* Do you think it's better to mod the New or Old door ????


First of all slamkeys, great work on your findings, I’ve managed to solve my smoker issues that too uses the same butterfly damper! Plus you saved me the cash on buying a Yoder, I can’t understand why they don’t acknowledge this issue, makes me nervous of them as a whole.

@darkfix
I’m uk based also, hit me up on he direct message, I’m bringing in pallets of bbq stock for my business from the US already, I can give you an idea on shipping, which is pricey due to the weight and volume, but there are some solid European made smokers, depending on your requirements.
I’m not sure on the forum rules so won’t post my business links just in case I get banned

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