Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

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freddie987
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby freddie987 » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:13 pm

Whats hapenned to slamkeys?
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:42 pm

freddie987 wrote:Whats hapenned to slamkeys?


I know, right? The Yoder mafia has him swimming with the fish, LOL.

Honestly, Yoder has reached out to me and it’s kinda hard to post anything negative after dealing with Joe. He’s an honest guy trying to make things right. He’s really went out of his way to help me, this coming from the VP of Yoder who’s very busy with commercial clients along with meeting production demands that have grown so big in their pellet line.

I hope Yoder has contacted slamkeys.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Sun Jan 21, 2018 2:56 pm

About to buy myself an Yoder Loaded Witchita, and found this thread...

Did Yoder made an replacement door that they send out for free?
Or are all new Witchita's delivered with it ?

Any pictures ?

Also, How did Slamkeys cut the lower curved shape in the metal so nicely ?
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sun Jan 21, 2018 7:52 pm

Darkfix wrote:About to buy myself an Yoder Loaded Witchita, and found this thread...

Did Yoder made an replacement door that they send out for free?
Or are all new Witchita's delivered with it ?


Last I heard they are sending new doors out to anyone who asks, for free, you’ll just have to weld it on or find/know someone to do it.

In my opinion, I would do a lot more research maybe, read some of Aaron Franklin’s books. Once you gain some knowledge you’ll know what works. And just have Yoder build it to you’re specs. or go with a different offset. There’s top down or bottom up heat depending on where the smoke stack is placed with heat management or tuning plates, both work great.

There are very happy owners with Lone Star, Gator or Horizon. They’re all in the same price range. If you want a Yoder by design might want to move up to a 24” Kingman, I’ve read nothing negative about them. And they are built like a tank as with all their offsets.

I wish I’d done more research, good luck.

Mine is For Sale, it has the new door but not getting the results I anticipated. I even have a shorter heat management plate that’s wider that sits parallel with the cooking grates that created more flow but dried out a brisket cook last time I used it. I’m just burnt out after ruining 80% of my briskets, and that’s several hundred bucks worth. I only use the charcoal basket with added wood chunks lately, yesterday day I smoked 17 lbs of bacon cured pork belly’s with hickory chunks at 200F to an internal temp of 150F, turned out great. But I use a different smoker for brisket.
Last edited by BurningStick on Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby freddie987 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:12 pm

I hadn’t heard about them sending out free doors. Do you know anyone that has received one?
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby BurningStick » Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:28 pm

freddie987 wrote:I hadn’t heard about them sending out free doors. Do you know anyone that has received one?


A few months ago I seen a post on the The BBQ Brethern by YS-Joe that who ever wanted one, can contact Yoder to get one sent out. I personally would request it with the top butterfly blocked. Hopefully they are still sending them out. I haven’t talked to Joe for awhile.

Edit: They sent me one, but they picked Wichita up, welded and painted it for $100 labor when I couldn’t get my neighbor to weld it. I’m only 30 min. away from them.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:15 pm

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?!
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby freddie987 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 4:13 pm

Horizon smokers sells in Europe via european distributors and is made in usa
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Wed Jan 24, 2018 6:47 am

I just got confirmed that the latest shipment of Wichita smokers have the "updated" door as standard.
Anyone that has a picture of one on the Wichita?
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:39 pm

Darkfix wrote:I just got confirmed that the latest shipment of Wichita smokers have the "updated" door as standard.
Anyone that has a picture of one on the Wichita?
There were a couple photos of the Cheyenne door update posted online, but it looks like Yoder just moved the vent down a little, rather than addressing the major concern of the firebox mounting position and the blockage from the heat management plate. The initial reports from the owner mentioned having to move the smoker so the smoke stack was close to his fence because wind was still causing it to flow backwards. You can see in the photo (which was taken when the pit was basically brand new) how heat was still flowing outward from the top vent and leaving a burn mark.

This is a Cheyenne with the updated door. I still haven't seen a Wichita with the door update, but I imagine it's similar to the Cheyenne change. Remember, Yoder still insists there is no problem as long as you understand you have to build a small fire in the right-rear corner of the firebox, remove the heat management plate, use kiln-dried wood, and point the smoke stack away from the wind. Do these things an you'll have yourself a killer pit.
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Comparison of vent location on old vs. new Cheyenne:
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My vent solution for comparison, which shows how low I had to get my vent to prevent heat from flowing outward - well below the center line. After months of cooking I still have no scorching anywhere on this end of the firebox. I'm still in need of a good rotating smoke stack wind deflector, which I plan to work on when I get time. A good headwind blowing down the smokestack always makes for a more challenging cook, even with my vent mod. People with the Horizon smokers say they don't have to worry about wind at all.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Sat Jan 27, 2018 6:30 pm

@Slamkeys:

Your mod looks great, and it appears that it works better than the official "fix"...
I'm about to buy an Offset smoker, and in Europe it's hard to find any decent ones.
You can more or less just chose Yoder or cheap crap stuff.

Managed to get a good price on Yoder...
Kingman is too big for me...

Also I can order Wichita Loaded with old or new door, but guess the old is better with your mod...
How did you cut the curved line.. Jigsaw?
On the new door, you can mod it, since they just lowered the intake...

Horizon had or has an page, but it's offline so I guess they don't have any European distributor anymore.
I've sent mail to them, but haven't responded in an week...

Maybe someone here can help me out on an Horizon?
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:10 pm

Darkfix wrote:@Slamkeys: How did you cut the curved line.. Jigsaw?
I explained most of my mod on the Yoder Community Forum: http://community.yodersmokers.com/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1570. I used a commercial-grade orbital jigsaw to extend the straight cuts, then I drilled a hole big enough to insert the jigsaw blade to start the curved bottom cut.

Update: If you clicked the above link and didn't arrive at the intended article, it's because Yoder removed all my posts (damage control?). My original intention was to share my journey and what I did to make the Wichita work better for me, so I'm a little surprised my efforts were viewed as an attack on Yoder. I still support the company, but I had hoped my speaking out would benefit future customers and make Yoder even better than they are today. I've re-posted the article at the following link, minus all the responses that were added to the original thread: http://texasbbqforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=31199

Here's the bad boy I cut the vent with, circa 1984! it's a Sears Crafstman Industrial 2-Speed Jigsaw with paddle switch. I usually put masking tape on the bottom plate to keep it from scratching and help it glide better. This particular model always held a perfect 90 degree angle on the blade so I didn't have to worry about the leaning cuts I experienced with the other cheap jigsaws I've used. It also has an adjustable orbit feature that makes it cut more aggressively as you adjust the orbit depth. For nice straight cuts, I don't use the orbit and I cut slow and steady to prevent burning up the blades.
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Another image I found on eBay (about $100 bucks with shipping), shows the Black & Decker equivalent. Sears merely re-brands appliances from other companies, so this was the model they re-branded as a "Craftsman Industrial" jigsaw.
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I used several of these bades to make the cuts. As soon as they started to dull, I put in a fresh one. The blades shown are designed for 1/8" to 1/4" steel, and the door is 1/4". I had the most trouble with the round 12" replacement vent because the outer edge was cut with a plasma cutter, and it tempered the steel enough to burn up a couple of my blades almost instantly. The door cuts weren't that difficult, and I only had to do minor filing with a single-cut flat file to finish them up prior to painting.
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Last edited by slamkeys on Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:59 pm

Darkfix wrote:@Slamkeys: I'm about to buy an Offset smoker, and in Europe it's hard to find any decent ones.
Lang will ship internationally, and they're pretty popular in the US. Here's a testimonial from someone in England: http://blog.langbbqsmokers.com/the-best-offset-smokers-in-the-world/

Lang BBQ Smokers
International Shipping
Please call us at 1-800-462-4629 or 912-462-6146 for international shipping arrangements.

Horizon has a dealer in Australia, so I wouldn't give up on them shipping internationally. Australia is apparently having a surge in BBQ smoker sales, so it's no surprise American companies are trying to capitalize on that.
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby Darkfix » Sun Jan 28, 2018 4:59 pm

@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?
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Re: Just Bought A Yoder Loaded Wichita

Postby slamkeys » Sun Jan 28, 2018 9:41 pm

Steven Raichlen is using a Yoder Loaded Wichita on his show now (he used to use Horizon exclusively), and I noticed a few things when I watched an episode.

1. In this shot, it is clear the heat management plate has either been removed or positioned away from the ash deflector. Moving the plate away from the ash deflector is a trick T-Roy said he uses himself, and it's a good way to improve flow because the heated air will rise into the cooking chamber without having to battle the downward angle of the heat management plate. The firebox vent is still in its shipping position with the handle facing inward. It's hard to believe they overlooked that.
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2. In this shot, they were talking about refreshing the coal base. He said they start with 2 full chimneys of coal, and apparently they have to add more coals periodically. Not exactly what we expect to do with a "stick burner," but we've heard many testimonials before about the need to add chimneys of charcoal throughout the cook to prevent smoldering logs. The inward-facing vent handle is visible here too.
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3. In this shot, they have moved the vent to the outside! This might be another rookie mistake, but I also considered that it might be intentional. When you mount the vent on the inside with the handle sticking through the upper vent opening, the vent wont open 100% because the handle hits the edge and prevents it from going any further. Is it possible they did this to gain that extra area that is normally blocked because of the width of the handle? Considering this pit's reputation for oxygen starvation with the door closed, it makes sense to try and eke out as much vent area as possible.
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