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Completely Torn

CrownPoint210

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Hi Everybody!

I'm usually just a fly on the wall soaking in the endless, amazing information here, so thank you all! I'm torn between upgrading my pellet smoker and to upgrade to a Yoder YS640 or get into a stick burner such as the Loaded Wichita. My wife said I can only get one, not both (the audacity! LOL). I currently have a cheap Smoke Hollow pellet grill that was on sale at BJs for $250 a couple years ago. Yes, it creates decent BBQ but it seems like I can never get that true BBQ flavor, amazing bark and experience. I've tried every strategy I can think of super low and slow to soak-up more smoke, however, always seems a little disappointed. My family loves it but I think I can do more.

On the other hand, this pellet smoker I currently have spikes 25-30 degrees. So I'm constantly watching it, and managing the cook. Will the higher-end Yoder YS640, will I get pretty damn close to stick burner quality smokyness? I know ppl compete with these things. If so, I may go that route. If not, I'm eager to get into the full BBQ managing a fire experience with an off-set since I'm babysitting my current pellet grill with not my full desirable results.

I'm eager to receive your feedback and thanks in advance!
 

SmokinAl

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It’s pretty simple if you want the best flavor a stick burner is the way to go, but one that holds a constant temp is pricey. My Lang 36 was 1250 + shipping. But you do have to add a split every 45 minutes or so. It will hold a steady temp once that mass of steel heats up, usually about 1 hour after you start the fire. I just start the fire & put the meat on, I don’t wait until the smoker gets to the proper temp. And I don’t really worry whether it’s running at 225 or 300. It really doesn’t matter in the final product. The advantage of running at a higher temp is the meat gets done quicker & in my opinion, it’s as good or better than low & slow. But that has just been my experience, others may have had a different experience.
Al
 

daspyknows

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Best move I made was going with a stick burner (Horizon Marshall). It requires paying attention but the food is worth the effort.
 

CrownPoint210

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Joined Sep 17, 2019
It’s pretty simple if you want the best flavor a stick burner is the way to go, but one that holds a constant temp is pricey. My Lang 36 was 1250 + shipping. But you do have to add a split every 45 minutes or so. It will hold a steady temp once that mass of steel heats up, usually about 1 hour after you start the fire. I just start the fire & put the meat on, I don’t wait until the smoker gets to the proper temp. And I don’t really worry whether it’s running at 225 or 300. It really doesn’t matter in the final product. The advantage of running at a higher temp is the meat gets done quicker & in my opinion, it’s as good or better than low & slow. But that has just been my experience, others may have had a different experience.
Al
Thanks very much for your input. I am going to pull the trigger on the loaded wichita. That thing looks like a beast so should have the characteristics you mentioned in your post.
 

SmokinAl

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Thanks very much for your input. I am going to pull the trigger on the loaded wichita. That thing looks like a beast so should have the characteristics you mentioned in your post.
That sounds like a great choice!
I’m sure you will love tending to a fire with a beer in your hand. To me it’s very relaxing & you & your family & guests will love the BBQ coming off that smoker!
Al
 

Kai Yaker

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I have used both the YS640s and stick burner. In fact I have a Kats on order and still plan to run my Yoder.

The Yoder640s is a pretty simple unit to operate. There was a bit of a learning curve in relation to making sure it is clean and start up temps. After that, pretty simple. Turn it on and let it go. The smoke profile is a little weak compared to a stick burner but the convenience of being able to leave the house for hours while it smokes can be a benefit. When its cold and snowing its not to bad to check the pit temp and meat temp while sitting in my living room watching football. As I wrote, the smoke profile is a little weak; but at times I add a smoke tube and it all works together.

But I enjoy a good fire and love drinking beer while I run a smoker which seems to fit real nice with operating a stick burner.

Something else to think about; I can have five or ten bags of pellets in my shed and no issues. On the other hand, I just stacked a 1/2 cord of cherry and a 1/2 cord of oak in preparation for the stick burner. That wood takes up space.

Drink beer, play with fire, have great smoked meat = stick burner.

Drink beer, have the ability to leave the house, have an okay smoke profile = pellet pooper.

Get BOTH! Easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
 

HalfSmoked

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Seems like you been given some nice pointers. Now your choice.

Warren
 

gary s

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I'm a Stick burner always have been, but I've seen some great Q from pellet and electric smokers both. My opinion is what most fits your need and are most comfortable with.

Gary
 

flatbroke

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A few people have a pellet smoker and a stick burner. Some use both often. Some use the pellet smoker due to the convenience and use the stick burner on larger cooks or time permitting. And others may not have ever used their stick burner. Comes down to preference and no choice is wrong as long as you and yours are happy. Some dream of having a stick burner. You pass through life once. Get what makes you happy and enjoy the ride.
 

civilsmoker

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I'm one of those that have and use both often. Since you have a old pellet, if it is still working KEEP it!! that way you will have a pellet and a stick burner. When I have the time, the stick burner is 100% the best flavor but hey the pellet is WAY better than the inside oven....100 times any day of the week. And like Al said, I think there is WAY TOO much time and effort spent on keeping a smoker at the magic 225.... I'm 100% with him that 225 to 300 doesn't bother me a bit..... This is especially true with a stick burner, if it starts running a little hot and you damp it....you could cause bad smoke, to me keeping "clean" smoke is #1 rule and then #2 is have a reasonable range of cooking temp....#3 practice over and over again and over......and over.....
 

bill1

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I can have five or ten bags of pellets in my shed and no issues. On the other hand, I just stacked a 1/2 cord of cherry and a 1/2 cord of oak in preparation for the stick burner. That wood takes up space...
I think Kayaker hit the nail on the head. If you've got the space, and especially if you have a plenteous supply of wood, then the stick burner is tough to beat. But if you're living in an apartment and have just a compact car for hauling, well then a pellet burner, electric, or kettle/bullet sure have their place.
 

ofelles

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As an alternative:
I have a YS640 and love it and still use it, but I wanted more smoke flavor. I was going to get a stick burner and during my research, I changed my mind. As mentioned above the acquiring and handling of wood is a consideration. I am mobility impeded and don't move around like I use to. (and as we age this happens to us all)

I started looking at cabinet style cookers and found that they were at least close to a stick burners smoke profile. This added to the more manageable charcoal and wood chunks for fuel, I quickly decided.

I wanted an insulated model because of better/easier temp control and even cooking. I am a buy American and quality kind of guy. (cry once and get it over with $$$ wise) I looked at Lang, Lone Star Grillz, and Shirley comparing workmanship and customer satisfaction. I ended up purchasing A Lone Star Gillz large model (bigger is better). I have not been disappointed at all. With an added Pit Bull fan and FireBoard controller is in the neighborhood of set and forget. The first several cooks I did were manual so I could learn how it behaved. Manually it still was easily managed.

The Yoder you are looking at and cookers by the companies I mentioned all make great stick burners. Good luck on your jpurney!
 
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chef jimmyj

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. I added up purchasing A Lone Star Gillz large model (bigger is better). I have not been disappointed at all.
That is one Sweet Smoker! I would love one but I don't smoke that quantity of meat any more. Now , I've been looking at the baby brother, the Pee Wee. All the great features just much smaller...JJ
 

ofelles

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That is one Sweet Smoker! I would love one but I don't smoke that quantity of meat any more. Now , I've been looking at the baby brother, the Pee Wee. All the great features just much smaller...JJ
I mostly cook 1 or 2 butts or briskets at a time. It handles it well. I would assume that it uses more fuel than a pee wee would but I'm okay with that. I occasionally cook for a friend who feeds the homeless monthly and it works great for that.
I just cooked a couple of butts and gave some to a good friend who is from S. Carolina, he said it tasted like he was back home again. High praise in my book.
 

bill1

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Those Lone Star Grillz have a nice labyrinth option for the firebox too. All their verticals look very nice, compact, and ready for the long haul.
 

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