Taste Test: Yoder Y Series BBQ Smoker

Last month, we checked out Yoder's YS640 Hardwood Pellet Cooker, a pellet fired BBQ unit that can be used for smoking, baking and grilling. If you're looking to host a different kind of BBQ over the long weekend, a pellet smoker could be the way to go. Here are a handful of recipes we tried, ranging from jalapeño poppers to succulent hanger steak.

The Yoder YS640 Hardwood Pellet Cooker is powered by a firebox that sends a steady flow of heat through the cooking chamber and out the chimney. Unlike traditional gas BBQs, the air and smoke from the Yoder travel through the length of the cooking, imparting colour, flavour and texture into the food.

The inbuilt variable displacement damper (VDD) offers a high level of temperature control in different sections of the grill depending on where the damper is placed.

It has a cooking area of 51x81cm on the main grates and 39x71cm on the second shelf which should be ample room for the largest of family gatherings. The grilling temperature is capable of reaching nearly 400C which is hot enough to bake a traditional wood-fired pizza.

We recently tried out some tasty morsels created on the Yoder YS640 in a bid to find out what the cooker is capable of. Below you can find the full recipes for each meal, along with our taste verdict.

Jalapeño Poppers


  • Jalapeño Peppers
  • 225gm of Pork Mince ( or Pork & Veal )
  • 225gm of Philly cream cheese
  • Finely shredded Colby Cheese
  • Bacon Strips


  1. Slice the Jalapeño Peppers in half.
  2. Core out the centre of the peppers (saving some seeds).
  3. Fill with a mixture of Pork Mince, Philly Cream Cheese & finely shredded Colby Cheese. If you want more heat, you can sprinkle some of your saved seeds on top of the mix.
  4. Wrap with Bacon Strips & secure with toothpicks.
  5. Insert the Heat Management plate & 2 x Chrome Cooking Grates & Top Shelf. Start the Yoder Y Series Pellet Cooker & set temperature to 300F.
  6. Cook on the top shelf, on a Frogmat if possible.
  7. Cook until the bacon has rendered to your liking. Peppers will be darker, and all filling melted.

Verdict: 7/10

These really pack a bite. I found them to be slightly too spicy -- and that's coming from a serious heat fan. For more delicate palates, I'd recommend eschewing the seeds on top and perhaps swapping out the jalapeños for baby capsicums.

Mango Jalapeño Planked Salmon


  • 2 Salmon Filets
  • 2 Cedar / Alder Planks
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • 1 x Jalapenos, ( or medium green chilli ) cut into rings
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1.5 tablespoons of garlic, minced
  • one third cup of Riesling
  • 1.5 tablespoons of whole grain mustard
  • 1 x cup of Mango preserves
  • sprinkle of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 x ( 3″ ) Rosemary sprigs


  1. In a saute pan over medium heat, heat oil. Add Jalapenos & onion, saute until caramelized.
  2. Add garlic & once it is soft, deglaze with Riesling.
  3. Next add mustard & mango preserves & bring to a simmer over low heat for 20 minutes & let completely cool.
  4. Remove the Heat Management Plate & insert the “Grill Grates” on the left side & one set of chrome grates on the left.
  5. Start the Yoder Y Series Pellet Cooker, lid closed & set temperature to 450F

  6. Soak planks in water for 3 – 6 hours & place Salmon on skin side down & the top with mix & rosemary.
  7. Place your Cedar planks with Salmon on the Grill Grates, over the direct flame.
  8. When the plank begins to smoke, move plank to the indirect side on the chrome grate to finish cooking until Salmon is Medium-rare.
  9. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

Verdict: 8/10 This would have been one of the best smoked salmons I'd ever tasted. Unfortunately, the portion I received was slightly burnt around the edges despite being cooked by a practiced chef (to be fair, he was being distracted by a flock of hungry journalists). For best results, you really need to pay attention during the grilling process.

Hanger Steak (AKA butcher's cut)


  • Hanger steaks
  • Tatonka Dust or preferred seasoning


  1. Cut the Hanger Steaks in half & coat with Tatonka Dust. Leave for 5-7 minutes, turn over & repeat process
  2. Preheat Yoder to 235C and Direct Flame Grill with Heat Management Plate removed & “Direct Grilling Package” inserted
  3. Cook to Rare – Medium Rare only (around 10 minutes on grill)
  4. Rest for 8 – 10 minutes
  5. Slice & serve as required

Verdict: 9/10 This was just amazingly good. Hanger Steak is widely known as 'the butchers cut' because there are only two steaks per cow which butcheries frequently keep for themselves. Comprising of a muscle that hangs from the lower chest of a steer, it is generally considered to be the tenderest cut of meat. The barbecuing process imparted a subtle smoky flavour that didn't detract from the seasoning or juices. Yum!

For more information about Yoder BBQ grills and smokers, pay a visit to the GrillPro Australia website.


    don't call yourself a "serious heat fan" if jalapenos are ever too spicy for you :[

    Bit unfair to tease me with hanger steaks if they are hoarded by butchers :(

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