Yoder vs Traeger Pellet Grills – Our Brand Comparison & Thoughts

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If you are in the business of grill shopping, you have probably seen options from the brands Yoder and Traeger. Both are hot names in the pellet grill business and since a grill is usually an expensive purchase, you will want to make sure you make the correct investment.

In general, Traeger has more choices when it comes to grills. With a huge lineup, you have much more of a selection when it comes to choosing which grill you want. You will also have the choice between many different features and specs.

Yoder grills tend to be more on the expensive side, but they come with all the bells and whistles. Even if you buy one of the cheaper Yoder grills, you will still have a grill that performs well and outdoes many other grills from different brands.

In this article, we will review the most popular grill from both lineups, and you can see which one might be a better choice for you. Rest assured though, no matter which one you choose, you will have a long-lasting grill that meets all your needs for grilling for your friends and family.

We will also cover specific features from both brands so that you can see how they take care of their customers and how they compare to each other.

A Quick Look At Our Favorite Yoder and Traeger Pellet Grills:

  1. Traeger Ironwood 885
  2. Yoder YS640S
  3. Traeger Pro 575

Traeger vs Yoder – Grill Features

WiFi/App Experience

Traeger has begun to WiFi enable their grills – a few are even compatible with the Amazon Alexa app. All the Yoder YS series grills can be used with WIFI and the Yoder app.

The apps work pretty similarly in that they let you monitor the internal temperature of the pit and the food. The Yoder grills have two probes though, so you can better measure your food’s temperature from the app.

Since the Traeger app is still relatively new, there have said to be some lag issues with it. However, it comes with a large database of recipes for basically anything you could think of which gives it a one-up over the Yoder app.

Pellet Hopper Capacity

Both of the brand’s grills have a relatively large pellet hopper capacity, most of Traeger’s and Yoder’s flagship grills have 20 pound hoppers. Both of the hoppers are side-mounted, which makes them easier to use and easier to clean than other grills that put the pellet hopper below or elsewhere.

The higher-end Traeger models, including the Ironwood 885, have a pellet cleaning hatch at the bottom of the hopper that allows you to clear out old or wet wood pellets. It also allows you to replace the different kinds of wood you are using if you want to change the flavor or the brand.

The Traeger app can also notify you when the pellet needs to be refilled before you run out. So, in terms of the pellet hopper being easy to use, the Traeger might win in this category.

Cleaning Out the Grills

The grills from the Traeger lines and the Yoder lines have a built-in grease trap. Cleanup is really the worse part for any smoking session as sometimes cleaning it can take longer than preparing and cooking the food.

However, both grills have a setup that makes cleaning much easier. Traeger grills tend to be a tad bit easier to clean than Yoders though. The Traeger grease management system has an angled trap that can direct the grease into a run-off collector on the side. This makes cleaning it and emptying it much easier.

The pellet ashtray can be accessed on both grills by removing the cooking tray. For cleaning the ashes, the accessibility and the cleaning is about the same for both grill series.

Appearance

Generally speaking, Traegers tend to be more nondescript looking than Yoder grills.  That’s not to say Traegers don’t look great, new, and sleek.  It’s just that Yoders make a little bit more of a statement and are sure to be a conversation piece wherever they are set up.

Customizing Accessories

If you really want to customize your grill and make sure it’s unique for you, the Yoder might be a better choice. Yoder has more accessories and add-ons to choose from. For example, the YS640s has 12 optional extras including dual door thermometers. They also have carts with stainless steel shelves if you are looking for something chicer.

Warranty

Yoder has the better warranty by far. Traeger warranty on all parts is only 3 years. All Yoder models have a 10-year warranty with a 3-year warranty for the electronic control system. The igniter only has a one-year warranty though.

Customer Service

Yoder and Traeger both have customer services that are US-based and readily available. They answer the phone quickly and never put you on hold for too long, so you can be sure all your questions get answered promptly.

Traeger vs Yoder – Popular Grills

Traeger Ironwood 885

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The Traeger Ironwood series is one of the most popular grills in the Traeger selections. The squat and glossy appearance makes it seem modern and chic. It has a larger cooking space than other Traeger grills and the design allows for efficient and even heat distribution.

Unlike most grills, this grill is oval-shaped rather than barrel-shaped. The size also allows for it to fit three cooking racks, which is pretty amazing since it has such a small and compact design. There is a large opening behind the drip tray that directs heat and smoke up from the back of the cooking chamber.

One thing that’s particularly notable about this grill is that it doesn’t have a conventional chimney. Instead, it has an exhaust vent that runs down the length of the back of the grill.

The entire grill is double-walled, so it has increased heat retention and it’s constructed entirely of stainless steel. The controller is WIFI enabled if you want to use the app and remote features. You can also use it with Amazon Alexa if you have a compatible device.

If you want to smoke meat, the Ironwood 885 has a Super Smoke Option which lets the smoke linger for longer. You can also use the Keep Warm option if you want to keep your meat inside the grill and aren’t ready to eat it just yet.

Pros:

  • Stainless steel construction is extremely durable.
  • A double-walled chamber allows for maximum heat retention.
  • Keep Warm and Super Smoke settings are very useful.
  • Oval Shape allows for better heat and smoke distribution.

Cons:

  • 3-year warranty is much shorter than other grill brands
  • Mechanical bugs often happen with the thermometer and the Traeger app when you’re using it for WiFi.

Main Specs:

  • 885 square inches of cooking surface
  • 20-pound capacity side-mounted pellet hopper
  • Stainless steel interior
  • Timberline D2 temperature controller
  • Cooking shelves are durable and made from stainless steel rods
  • WiFIRE technology
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa
  • Use the Traeger app remotely
  • 3-year warranty
  • 213 pounds
  • Cooking ranges from 165-degree Fahrenheit to 500 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Can change the temperature in 5-degree increments
  • 51” x 46” x 28”

Overall, the Ironwood 850 has all the latest technology and features you need to grill easily and comfortably. It comes at a lower cost than the Yoder grills and some of the other Traeger grills, but it still is top of the line with features that are usually seen in more expensive grills.

Yoder YS640s

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The Yoder YS 640s is one of the best sellers from the Yoder brand and it is the closest one in quality and durability to the Traeger Timberline 850. Unlike other grills though, the YS64s has a chip and code combination operator instead of a PID controller. This makes the temperature gauge much more accurate than other controllers.

Like the Traeger Timberline, the grill is WIFI enabled and uses its own app to be controlled remotely the Yoder YS Drive app. It has 1,070 square inches of cooking space with two shelves and 11.5” of headroom.

The best part about the Yoder YS640 is that it is big enough to cook for an entire party, but still small enough to cook for just yourself or one or two friends. One of the main specs that people rave about is the Variable Displacement Damper. It’s a metal plate that concentrates the heat produced by the firebox straight up. Most grills put the heat into the cooking chamber which can cause uneven heat distribution.

This feature also allows you to do searing, which can be hard with other grills. The optional aluminum grill grate also makes searing much easier.

Pros:

  • Steel construction is very sturdy
  • All parts are made and sourced in the USA
  • 10-year warranty on certain parts of the grill
  • The Variable Displacement Damper makes it easy to sear, while most pellet smoker grills can’t sear well

Cons:

  • With a price of $1,799, the grill is definitely for those not on a budget since it’s a huge investment.
  • The electronic control system only has a 3-year warranty.
  • The igniter only has a 1-year warranty.

Main specs:

  • 1,070 square inches of cooking space.
  • Two 16” x 20” cooking grates in the main chamber.
  • 5” x 28” slide-out shelf on the second level.
  • 20-pound capacity side-mounted pellet hopper.
  • Cooking shelves made from 7/16” hardened chrome-plated round bar steel.
  • Uses Yoder’s new adaptative control system for temperature control.
  • WIFI enabled
  • Can be used with the YS Drive App-enabled
  • 335 pounds
  • 10-year warranty on some parts
  • 150-degree Fahrenheit to 600-degree Fahrenheit cooking ranges.
  • Temperatures can be adjusted in 5-degree increments.

With a high price point, you can be sure that the Yoder grill outperforms many other grills in both the Traeger and Yoder brands. It’s ultra-high-quality and easy to grill on even for beginners or those who are just wanting to begin grilling.

Reasons You Might Prefer Yoder

If your main goal is to just get the sturdiest grill possible, you might find that Yoder grills might be a better choice for you. All the parts are made in the USA with 10-gauge steel for the hooper. For the cart, you’ll get 14-gauge steel. Both are backed by a 10-year warranty, so, if something happens to break, you have it covered.

While Yoder has some amazing qualities and is the sturdiest in the business, it will run a hole in your pocket if you haven’t saved up for it. If you don’t have a ton of extra money around, but want to get started grilling, Yoder might not be the best choice. If you are looking to upgrade to an amazing grill though and perfect your grilling expertise, Yoder should be your top choice.

Reasons You Might Prefer Traeger

If technology and WIFI is your main purpose for buying a grill, Traeger will be a better choice for you. The app is much more user-friendly and you can sync it to Amazon Alexa to make it voice-activated.

Another reason you might choose Traeger is if you need some help making recipes or aren’t sure what to make. The thousands of recipes in the Traeger app can help give you ideas for your next dinner or party.

Final Thoughts on Yoder vs Traeger

Both grills have some amazing things to offer, but your personal preference and the features you want the most will decide on which grill you will choose. Yoder and Traeger both have amazing specs and features which means no matter which one you choose, you will end up with an amazing grill that can entertain the entire neighborhood or just make nice dinners for your family.

Looking for more Traeger resources?  We’ve compared them with many other pellet grill brands so you can see how they stack up: