Yoder Smokers has a reputation for building some of the best smoking equipment on the market. Their Pellet Grills, or maybe more accurately Pellet Smokers are the envy of both backyard cooks and barbecue competitors. Yoder builds a solid, heavy-duty pellet grill that looks and feels like a piece of heavy machinery. These made-in-the-USA grills may cost more, but they are worth the price. The Yoder YS640s Pellet Grill is their midsized pellet grill but still costs more than $2,000USD. And there is well over a thousand dollars worth of extras you can add on. This is a serious pellet grill for the serious pellet griller.
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Yoder YS640S Pellet Grill
Yoder got their start in competition smokers. The kind of rigs that people haul out to parks and parking lots to show off their barbecue skills. When they made their first pellet grill it was built around that same design. Notice the counterbalanced lid and the reinforced, stay-cool handles. These are features you find on large offset smokers, not pellet grills. Most pellet grills are lightweight, a little flimsy, or shiny and pretty. Yoder doesn’t build those. They build tanks.
The Yoder YS640S Pellet Grill is Yoder’s midsized pellet grill and yet it is larger and will do more than most of the competition’s top-of-the-line units. This cooker is heavier for the size by nearly 50% and has a superior cooking system that produces and holds smoke better than the pellet grills you find at the local hardware store. It really is lightyears beyond the big name pellet companies.
And if this isn’t enough you can get the competition version of this model that comes on a heavy cart and four inflatable tires.
- 1,070 square inches of cooking space
- 150 to 600 F/65 to 315 C temperature range
- 20-pound capacity side-mounted pellet hopper
- Chrome-plated steel rod cooking grates
- 5-degree increment control settings
- Powder-coated steel construction
- Single-layer lid with counterbalance
- Internal baffle for adjusting airflow and heat
- 10-gauge steel construction
- Heavy-duty cart with two wheels and two casters
- Total weight of 335 pounds
- 10-year warranty on the cooking chamber
- 3-year warranty on the pellet controller (ACS System)
- 3-year warranty on the ceramic igniter
- Made in the United States by Yoder Smokers, Inc.
Full Review – Yoder YS640s Pellet Grill
The YS640s is a 335-pound pellet grill on a simple but heavy-duty cart. When you compare cooking capacity to weight, this is the heaviest pellet grill on the market (not counting the competition version of this model). This is all 10 gauge steel construction with a high-temperature powder coat finish. The primary grill grates are 7/16-inch chrome plated steel rod, the same material used for the two side shelves. The upper grate is expanded steel. The whole unit sites of two large rubber wheels and two heavy-duty casters. Despite the weight, this unit is easy to move. The lid has a high-insulation gasket so all the smoke leaves through the smoke stack and not through any seams.
The cooking chamber is designed to maximize cooking versatility. The high lid height means you can smoke several beer can chickens at once, all standing up. Or a couple of beer can turkeys if you want. Of course with the upper rack in place this unit will handle half a dozen pork butts or up to four whole packer briskets. This unit has a lot of capacity for the area it occupies.
The Cooking System
Yoder has engineered an excellent cook system for their pellet grills. The deflector plate has a removable door over the firepot. This allows for easy access for cleaning but also lets this pellet cooker do direct grilling at a surface temperature of 700°F. The hopper capacity is 20 pounds and the placement allows for a short auger to feed wood pellets. Everything in the firepot is overengineered. A heavy metal plate protects the end of the auger and the ceramic ignitor is encased in a metal shell. A grease drain diverts drippings into a metal bucket that hangs off the bottom of the cooker (hey, they can’t get everything right).
The controller is pretty standard for this level of pellet grill. It has full WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity. There are two integrated meat probes so you can monitor the pit temperature as well as two food items. The software is provided by Fireboard, one of the best temperature monitor companies out there. So you get cloud connectivity and data storage for all your cooks. Because Yoder is using Fireboard for their smart app and controller management, they can put their R&D money into improving the core features and build quality.
The Yoder YS640S Pellet Grill has a very distinct look to it. From the counterbalanced lid to the heavy black construction, this looks like a serious smoker. And it is. But, of course, that appeals to a certain segment of the BBQ community. But looks isn’t what this pellet cooker is all about. it produces serious smoke quality and certainly outperforms competitors like the Traeger Timberline (comparable in size but substantially more expensive these days). So if you are looking for occasional pellet smoking in a shiny, lightweight configuration, look somewhere else. If you are serious about barbecue and want something that with the convenience of a pellet grill, then this is the unit for you.
Why You Should Trust Me
I have been writing about Barbecue & Grilling for 25 years. I have cooked on almost every grill or smoker ever built. In that time, I have endeavored to match people with the grill or smoker that is right for them. I believe that the right product is the one that you find easy to use, capable of doing everything you want, and reliable for the long haul. If you have a good first experience, you will be back for more. In this way, we grow barbecue for the next generation. I want you to make the memories that your children will cherish.
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