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I love my Yoder YS480 but... temps vary WILDLY.

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    I love my Yoder YS480 but... temps vary WILDLY.

    I'm not talking about up and down, I get that, with a pellet smoker to a degree, and don't really care about a 30°F swing up and down.

    What I DO care about are differences between L/R and F/R and Top/Bottom.

    I see routine temp differences between top and bottom of 30-60°F and from hot spot (front right) to cool spot (left rear) a lot more. Yesterday I tried cranking it to 500°F and saw differences of 100-130°F before 2 of my thermometer probes fried. Those things are $15 apiece and to see temps nearly at 600°F or above kinda concerns me.

    My smoker actually caught on fire (I admit I haven't cleaned it in a while) and I had to quickly remove all the chicken wings and move them inside to finish in the oven and close it up and turn it off to smother the grease fire - which was on the pan from grease dripping from chikkin wings. And the temps weren't from flames, those didn't start until I opened it up.

    I was so proud to get this smoker for such a smokin' deal, way under 1/2 of retail, but I gotta tell ya, my 20+ year old Traeger with the center fire pot and even deflector pan probably is a lot more consistent across the cooking surface. And even without a PID controller like on the Yoder.

    I'm open to ideas to find a way to try to even the heat out from L/R and top to bottom and F/R.

    Does the 480 have the adjustable baffle like the 640? Also, which controller do you have? I find that much difference really puzzling and am really interested in what you are experiencing. I read someone’s complaint that the new controller was giving them problems with adjusting to the right temperatures.


      I truly wish I was smart enough, an well rounded enough, experience-wise, to have some good answers fer ya, but, sadly, that is not presently th case...

      Ain't never had me no pellet cooker...


        I have a non S model 640. There are some variances top to bottom shelf which i would expect given the proximity to the diffuser. AS DonW asked, is there the adjustable damper of the 480? It will help even out the temps some. I am not familiar with the new ACS controllers so not much help.


          I would call Yoder and tell them what is going on. It sounds to me like the controller is bad or the probes are bad. Your controller and probes are from Firevoard and should not have crapped out The probes and cables are rated to about 750 degrees. Good luck.
          Last edited by mountainsmoker; May 26, 2020, 08:21 PM.


            So the thing I do in cases like this is narrow things down.

            1) has it always done this, or is this new? If new, what changed?

            2) Does it happen when cleaned?

            3) Are things setup according to the manual?


              I have a 480 that does not have the new Fireboard built in. There is a temperature variation from the hottest (lower right) to the coldest upper back. When I've set the Yoder to 225 I get temps from 210 to about 245. It's always been consistent and predictable. No, the 480 does not have an adjustable baffle like the larger model. Never had a fire. I clean out the igniter pit area after each use and the ash and grease about once a month from the bottom of the grill. I would contact Yoder, because the experience you have is very unfamiliar to me.


                Correct, mine does not have an adjustable damper or the new controller - this is about 3 years old, I think. And I am not that diligent about cleaning it out, certainly not after every use. Hell, I gotta admit, it's kinda a pain, but I'm going to do a thorough cleaning job on it this weekend and see if I can scrape out all the gook.

                It has always had about 30-40°F difference, but it does seem to be worse lately. I didn't do the real cleanout on it this year, I just emptied the ash pot and went to cooking. So that is probably my first step, it just seemed odd to me that a coating of stuff on the inside could make that big of a difference.


                  I’ve never owned a YS480 but have had a YS640 that experienced similar issues so I will share...

                  check your heat diffuser for warping, there will always be some. The 2 piece diffuser is a must have.

                  with the diffuser out, check support for the diffuser at the hopper end, put a straight edge on it and see if is straight in relation to the grate supports.

                  check the seal around your firebox and ensure the fire grate sits properly.

                  check that both fans are running.

                  check stack for obstruction.

                  Air flow is the key to these grills, once I fixed mine, I loved it but had to sell it to make room for a YS1500S.


                    Check the firebox caulking. Combustion air bypassing the firebox will drive the controller and the performance nuts.

                    As you know, these grills perform with throttled pellet feed into the combustion air flow. The controller is designed to perform with a firebox that doesn't allow combustion air to bypass it. ALL the forced combustion air flows through the firebox at a fixed rate and the pellets are fed to achieve the temperature set point.

                    The firebox has to be cleaned between runs to remove the ash. And the high temperature caulk will have to be renewed from time to time.


                      You may want to try cleaning the Controller temp probe. They get a build up on them that can cause erratic temps sent to the controller. I really like my non S model 480 if my controller goes bad it will get the FireBoard upgrade.



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