Yoder Backyard Smokers are built for serious backyard and competitive cooking and they have a great reputation for craftsmanship. The bodies of all Yoders are built out of new 1/4″ thick steel pipe and plate and have a lifetime guarantee against burnout. There are several sizes and types available to match the capacity and cooking style you want, and if that is not enough, they say they can customize any unit to your needs. Most of their units are offset smokers, with a side firebox, and the fireboxes have a removable cooking grate if you want to grill in them. Of course you can grill in the main cooking chamber if you want as well. All grates are removable. The handles are all coiled stainless steel that remain cool to touch, there are work shelves in front of the cooking chambers and fire boxes, a shelf below the cooking tube, and large steel wheels on one side to help you move them. Yoder also makes very well respected trailer mounted rigs and pellet smokers.
Even though they are reasonably priced, these are most definitely not COS (cheap offset smokers) like the Char-Broils. Although cheap offsets are notoriously difficult to cook with because they leak a lot and heat tends to build on the side of the firebox, Yoder offsets move heat and smoke from right to left nicely because the thick steal absorbs it and radiates it evenly. To help, Yoder chimneys are all attached to the end plate rather than the center tube to insure maximum airflow across all the food. To further help with heat distribution, they offer an optional “heat management plate” (shown at right). It is a heavy steel plate that deflects heat and smoke from the firebox down and towards the chimney allowing you to make hot spots and cool spots if you want. This deflector plate has holes in it so all smoke and heat are not redirected.
There are other options available. You can order counter weights for the doors on some models that make them a lot easier to open and close. There is a liquid propane lighting system available. Another nice option for the Wichita and the Durango and standard on all 20″ and larger units is a built in pot warmer. This option is welded directly on top of the fire box and provides a flat surface to warm up sauces, pot of beans, or whatever might need a hot plate.
Abilene 16 BBQ Grill (shown at right) has a 16″ wide and 32″ long cooking chamber with 500 square inches of cooking surface. This unit does not have an offset firebox like the offset smokers (below) so it is primarily a grill, but its 32″ long cooking chamber can easily be set up for multiple heat zones and for smoking. There is a front shelf and a shelf below the cooking chamber. It weighs 225 pounds. The intake damper is on the opposite side from the chimney for good airflow.
Cheyenne 16 BBQ Smoker is pretty much the same as the Abilene, but it is 4″ longer and it has an offset firebox to allow for indirect heat cooking and smoking. The cooking chamber is 16″ wide and 36″ long with an 18″ long fire box. The firebox has its own shelf and can be used for direct heat grilling. Of course the body can also be used for direct grilling. The cooking chamber has two levels of shelves making it large capacity, and top shelf is split in the center so half the top shelf can be removed. The firebox has an intake vent and a door on the side to make it easy to add charcoal and wood.
Durango 16 (shown at left) or Durango 20 are called the Swiss Army Knife cookers of the Yoder line. The Durango 16 has a 16″ diameter and 36″ long cooking chamber with a 48″ tall vertical chamber and an 18″ long fire box. The Durango 20 has a 20″ diameter and 42″ long cooking chamber with a 54″ tall vertical chamber and a 22″ long fire box. A 24″ diameter is also available but not in their catalog. The vertical chamber cooks about 50 to 75°F cooler than the horizontal area allowing the smoking of foods that are best at cooler temps like cheese, fish, nuts, jerky, and sausage. The vertical chamber has hooks for hanging things like sausage, fish, or ribs and three removable grates with 8″ of clearance between grates. Both cooking chambers have dial thermometers mounted in them. A pot warmer is optional.
Wichita 20 BBQ Smoker (shown at right) has a capacious 20″ diameter and 42” long cooking chamber with a 22″ long offset fire box. The cooking chamber has a whopping 1,700 square inches of cooking surface and more is optional. There is a pot warmer on top of the firebox.
Kingman 24 BBQ Smoker is the largest “backyard” tube shaped offset available from Yoder. Similar in design to the Wichita, the cooking chamber is 24″ diameter x 52″ long with a 24” long fire box. This monster has a top slide out shelf and a total of 2,350 square inches of cooking area including the direct heat grill in the fire box. Counterweights on the door are standard as is the heat management plate and two dial thermometers.
Stockton Square Vertical BBQ Smoker packs a lot of cooking area into a small footprint with 4,300 square inches of cooking surface on four steel wheels. It has eight 24 square inch removable racks stacked 4″ apart. That will hold at least 24 racks of St. Louis Cut ribs, more baby backs. There are two thermometers and two dampers on the firebox, one for oxygen intake and one controlling heat and smoke into the cooking chamber.