Greetings all and thank you for such a splendid resource. Yesterday I drove the 500 mile round trip to the nearest Yoder dealer and picked up a 640. I seasoned it last night and just finished a test rack of ribs.
I was torn between the YS1500 or the YS640. Several times a year I need the capacity. After seeing a YS1320 in person I decided that when the time comes where I really, really need more room I'll just buy another 640.
Here are my initial thoughts:
Like many others have said, this thing is a beast! The fit and finish are superb and the lid fits so well that barely any smoke escaped during today's cook. At 640 square inches it's virtually identical in size to my now gone, Traeger Texas, but it looks bigger. The main cooking surface is a bit more square and to my eye that works out to more efficient loading. The second shelf is a must and adds a great deal of capacity. Just by looking at it I'm pretty sure two or three butts would fit.
Everything that people have said about the controller is true. It flat out works. With just one rack of spares loaded I saw a couple of swings of 10-12 degrees. Nothing really when you only have as little product loaded. My experience as a former
restaurant owner is that temperature swings are greatly reduced when you have a decent load in the smoker. Most of the time the controller read within 5 degrees of the 225 it was set.
I initially was concerned about the lack of smoke. It was steady but never billowed great gobs. After it came up to temp all was good. Just a nice steady, (well mostly steady) stream of blue smoke; the good kind.
As this was the first cook I didn't really pay a whole lot of attention to times. I smoked for about an hour or so, maybe an hour and a half at 180 and then at 225 for about three hours. I foiled for may another 90 minutes and then finished by basting a bit of sauce.
In the pic below the ribs look a tad dry. I can assure you they were not. Excellent texture. I've got sharp knives and even with a sharp one if the ribs are mushy it's almost impossible to get a good cut. These cut like butter, no mushiness at all and just slipped right off the bone.
I didn't take any pics of the cooker as there are a ton already.
Thanks again and I'll be back with more pics.