Hey guys... long time no see! Sorry! I REALLY appreciated all the great advice I got on this forum a few years back when purchasing a grill... I think I just glossed over these last couple of replies and didn't realize how much you guys like photos of meat...
So I'm here to do two things: show you some photos of some of the MANY cooks I have done on the unit; and humbly ask your advice once again.First, pics of few of my more interesting cooks on the YS640:
[link to album of full size images here: https://www.flickr.com/gp/[email protected]/8129m6
1. Most recent is my go-to-all-time-favorite cut - pork belly. About 8 hours over Apple/Hickory mix. Took it to my buddy's house for a kid's b'day party over here in California... a little weird as he is Jewish and so were many guests
. So of course I called in advance to get his ok... he was hesitant until I said "smoked pork belly" then said they'd set up a separate area for it at the party
. And it was a HIT (pork belly is never not a hit IMHO). And NOW I know Reformed Jews are often ok with pork! Yay! BBQ uniting the world!
Pork belly 1 (pulled):
Pork belly 2 (what it's all about!):
Pork belly 3 (done):
Pork belly 4 (midway):
Pork belly 5 (start):
2. I've never been able to smoke good brisket. Tried all the things and always seems to come out dry. So this time I tried SOUS VIDE style after reading this: http://www.seriouseats.com/2016/08/food-lab-complete-guide-sous-vide-barbecue-smoked-bbq-brisket.html
. And OMG it worked! sous vide'd that whole-packer bad-boy at 150F for ~42 hours, then ~3 hours on the heavy smoke. The cracking in (and thickness of) the bark meant it was really hard to cut, so I was forced to cut with the grain... But damn it was good. Not a bite left of the whole bugger. Salt and pepper rub with hickory smoke.
SV brisket 1 (done but sliced BAD):
SV brisket 2 (come on baby):
SV brisket 3:
SV brisket 4 (let's go for a swim):
SV brisket 5 (whole packer):
SV brisket 6
3. Ummmmmm. So other than BBQ, my other great taste-based-fandom is coffee. So I tried to pellet-roast my own beans to use on with my espresso machine. Used a perforated steel tray that's meant for pizzas/flatbreads to try and get even cooking. It was a pretty massive failure
the cook was uneven and even though temps were super high the smoke flavor was MASSIVE in the beans. I'll probably try it again sometime but man it was something!
4. Man this Yoder can sear a steak. Using searing grates obv. I'd say about 70% of my cooks are steaks.
5. It even makes babies!!!
And turkey. We've had smoked whole turkey's every Thanksgiving and Christmas since I got it. I usually brine the bird for a day or so before cooking and the combo is always amazing, never dry, and a great centerpiece moment everytime.
6. Last but not least... a couple of butts.
Butt 1 and butt 2:
**********************Second, time for me to humbly ask for the wisdom of the forum again...
When I first posted in this thread I was weighing up between Memphis, Mak and Yoder. I went with Yoder for a few reasons (cheaper, would convert to Australian power if we moved home, etc.). And if you judge by my post today you'd think I LOVE this machine... Well, I think I have learnt that I LOVE smoking (and the idea of pellet grills in particular), but I would say I only LIKE my Yoder. I don't love it. A few reasons for this:
1. It never had a great seal and I was always leaking smoke from around where the door closed. The fit was just a bit off between door and body (why I use an A-MAZE-N tube). Spoke to Yoder about it and didn't get a whole lot of help, even though I sent a video.
2. The high-temp silicone that's used around the firebox needs to be replenished relatively frequently.
3. Same for repainting certain areas with the high-temp black paint that flakes off after regular use. If you don't scrape it back and re-paint you get kind of rusted looking areas.
3. The cleaning process in general is more involved than I thought.
4. Switching mid-cook from indirect to direct (which I do nearly every cook) is very involved (lifting hot steel plate which is awkward to get out, etc.).
5. Temp variation within the unit always seems higher than I'd like (and I could never really figure out that damn Variable Displacement Damper).
Added to that is that as I work full-time and have 4 kids, I don't often get the time to dedicate to a big cook. So I'm craving some more advanced features to help with that like wifi adjustments from my phone (while at the office), and setting temperature changes ahead of time when internal meat temp hits a certain point. So I am thinking of switching to Mak 2 Star...
BUT... it's now official I am moving back to Australia in a couple of months. Took a couple years longer than expected but hey. I'll be shipping a whole container load of stuff back, so no worries about freight.
I am wondering if there's any more wisdom now about the whole 50Hz vs 60Hz issue with pellet grills in Oz? I have seen a few tense arguments between members on this forum, and by NO means do I want to re-create that here. But am hoping that as it's been a few years there might be some collective real-world feedback on whether it's truly as big an issue as it sounds.
As you can tell from the above - I do really enjoy cooking on my Yoder and have years of happy memories with it. But I'm craving some stuff it can't give me. However, if it's just going to mung up my cooks because of 10 lousy hertz then I'll likely get more frustrated rather than less so I'll stick with the Yoder and keep having fun anyway!