Yoder Smokers got into the business to produce a line of products that would work equally well on the competition circuit and the backyard. After a few years of growing pains in the pellet market, Yoder has emerged as the makers of some very good pellet grills. This, the YS640, is probably their most successful model. Large enough to do some serious cooking yet inexpensive enough to be competitive in the lower price range, this is a versatile and capable grill/smoker.
- High-temperature direct grilling capability
- Precision temperature controller
- Large cooking capacity
- Limited heat retention
- 40 square inches of primary cooking area expandable to 784 square inches
- 150 to 600 F/65 to 315 C temperature range
- 20-pound capacity side mounted pellet hopper
- Chrome plated steel rod cooking grates
- Precision, 5-degree increment control panel
- Powder coated steel construction
- Single layer lid with counterbalance
- Internal baffle for adjusting airflow and heat
- Made in the United States by Yoder Smokers, Inc.
Yoder Smokers pride themselves on how well their smokers and pellet grills do on the competition barbecue circuit and it is true that you find a lot of their products used to turn in winning barbecue. This model is the perfect size and capability for the backyard BBQ cook who also wants a unit that can do direct grilling. The 640 square inches of cooking space is upgradable to over 1,000 square inches. The capacity of this unit is large enough to cook a lot of food but still small enough to warrant firing up for just a few people.
The direct grilling option for this pellet grill is a set of three GrillGrates. This pellet grill does provide for direct grilling by removing the heat deflector plate and replacing the standard cooking grates with the heavy aluminum GrillGrates. Allow for the grates to preheat and this pellet grill can do some good high-temperature grilling.
As is generally required of pellet grills, there is a certain amount of taking apart and reassembling with this grill. Regular maintenance requires removing the grates and heat deflector to clean out ashes and inspect the fire pot. The best way to clear the ash build up is with a shop vacuum.
The Yoder YS640 Pellet Grill is typical of similar products. One of the biggest features that differentiate this grill from others is that this model is made in the United States. Built of heavy steel and looking much more like a smoker than a grill, this is a serious product, but one that can be had for under $1,500 USD, which makes it one of the better pellet grills in its price range.
There is a wide range of accessories and upgrades available for this model and Yoder is proactive about improving the programming on the computer control unit with occasional firmware upgrades. Support for Yoder products has been very good, though some of that depends on the dealer who sells you the grill.