Prior to the release of the Yoder Smokers Wood-Fired Oven, I was already a "super-user" of the Yoder pellet grill.
I say that because I use mine for smoking and grilling meats, vegetables, and cheeses more often than your average user. I even bake desserts, casseroles and breads on it. It is truly the most versatile grill I've ever used.
However, when baking, I often "hack" my cooks to get better browning on top of whatever I was cooking.
My hacks ranged anywhere from changing temperatures at certain times to laying a pre-heated cast iron griddle on the upper shelf to work as a makeshift broiler.
Baking was always possible, but never as easy as I wanted it to be. This led me to bake pizzas and other dishes on my Ooni Fyra and Alfa 4-Pizze Wood-Fired ovens.
Because of the setup time involved I would typically only use my pizza ovens on weekends. Cooking pizza has always been fun for me, but everyday baking has been even more rewarding.
So, when I was offered a Yoder Smokers Wood-Fired Oven for testing on my YS640S I was excited to see what it could do.
Since I also have other ovens, the questions I wanted to answer became: is it easier to use than my other ovens? How well does it cook? If I only had one wood-fired oven, would this be “the one?”
Is it Easier To Use Than My Other Ovens?
Installation is simple, and flat out easy once you’ve done it a few times, and the first couple of cooks went better than expected. It was easy to install and get cooking, and the oven kept temperature very well thanks to the thermostat control.
I am no longer distracted from cooking by fire management, which allows me to focus more on what I'm cooking.
With my other ovens, I'm either adding logs or adding pellets as needed, and now I can set it and forget it.
The temperature control of this oven makes baking and roasting a breeze, which allows me to cook a wider range of foods.
How Well Does it Cook?
I can honestly say that the heat in the oven is just as even if not more even than any of my other ovens. This means it cooks everything all of the way through and leaves an amazing browning on top when I need it. Because of the radiant heat moving around the dome, you will still need to turn your food for even cooking, but that is to be expected in any wood fired oven.
Thanks to the thermostat, I don't have to worry about temperature fluctuations, so I can easily cook pizza, smash burgers, lasagna, bread, casseroles, vegetables, and fish all on the Yoder Smokers Wood Fired Oven. I'm even toasting bread, making sauces, and sautéing using the top of the oven as a burner. Talk about versatility!
In the end I feel that no matter what I throw in this oven it all comes out perfectly cooked on the top and bottom.
This thing cooks so well that it inspires confidence. I'm no longer hacking my cooks out of necessity; I'm doing it for fun.
If I Only Had One Wood-Fired Oven, Would This Be "The One?”
After my fourth cook I realized something important: this wood fired oven is so good that it is changing my life. I now have to convince myself to use my other grills and my wood-fired ovens instead of this one.
I'm also trying more dishes and I find myself creating recipes around this oven instead of looking for things to cook because I want to use a certain grill.
My family is now eating more variety and we're even eating healthier because the Yoder Smokers Wood-Fired Oven makes it so much easier, and it makes me want to cook better for my family. It has empowered me to do more and inspired me to be more creative.
This is currently my favorite outdoor cooking device but does that mean this would be my “one” wood-fired oven if I had to choose?
The answer is “absolutely!"
I would not hesitate to make my YS640s with the Yoder Smokers Wood-Fired Oven my “one grill to do it all".
I would even replace my indoor oven with this thing. It is truly that amazing.