Multi-Zone Cooking on the Yoder Smokers YS640s

Multi-Zone Cooking on the Yoder Smokers YS640s


One of the major benefits of cooking on a YS640 is its ability to cook an entire meal on the grill. When we want to prepare a quick meal for around 4 people, we set the grill up to deliver multiple heat zones, including direct cooking over the flame and indirect cooking to the side of the flame.

This allows us to get a nice browning on our proteins and gently cook our vegetables at the same time. Read on and we will show you how setting up more than one cooking zone in the YS640S will save time and effort, while producing an amazing meal.

The Setup

Since we will be cooking a portion of our meal directly over the flame, we will first install the two-piece diffuser with the access door removed.

Our Variable Displacement Damper (VDD) will be positioned 6” in from the outermost setting from the right. A 3-panel set of GrillGrates will be used on the left side to create our hottest zone and standard grill grates will be used on the right, so we get as much airflow as possible on the right side for indirect cooking.

You can also use a second set of GrillGrates in this area if you would like. We will be cooking everything on the lower main grates, but can also use the 9” half-depth second shelf above for holding food as it gets closer to being done. The grill temperature is set at 450-500 degrees. With this setup, you will see temperatures above the setpoint on the left third of the grill over the flame and temperatures above 300-350 on the rest of the grill. 

How Does It Work?

With the diffuser in and access door removed, we are creating a powerful over the flame cooking station on the left side of the grill using the intense heat above the firebox. This is where we will do our higher temperature grilling and roasting.

We can move food into the flame for more browning and out of the flame to the right as it gets closer to being done. The right side of the grill is also set up for lower temperature grilling. This is a good place for roasting our vegetables or warming sides as well. If we desire a little char on vegetables, we can always move them to the left and over the flame to finish.

We are also able to use the second shelf above to keep food hot if anything gets done early. The key here is timing so that food requiring longer cooking time goes on the grill first, then items needing less time to cook are placed on the grill later so that everything comes off the grill at the same time. This also means everything goes to the table while it is still hot. 

Why is This Beneficial?

With the grill set up for multiple zones, we are leveraging the versatility of the YS640 to take advantage of every inch of the grill's cooking surface. This will shorten your overall cooking time as the multiple zones allow you to cook your entire meal at the same time.

Cooking your entire meal on the grill also means less to clean when the meal is complete. In the end, this setup saves time, reduces cooking and cleanup time, making you look like the Master of the Grill. We consider this a win!