Expanding the Over-The-Flame Cooking Experience on a YS640s

In Over-the-Flame Grilling on the YS640s, we created a sear zone on the YS640s with three GrillGrate panels placed directly over the flame, Yoder standard grates on the right side, the heat diffuser removed, and the Variable Displacement Damper pushed all the way in.

This setup creates two unique cooking zones, intense heat on the left side and indirect heat on the right. This is ideal for cooking complete meals, including proteins and vegetables for a family of 4 to 6.

In this article, we will show you how adding another set of GrillGrate panels can leverage the fire and airflow to extend the direct heat further to the right and reduce the temperature difference across the grilling surface.  

Grill Setup

For this setup, we will begin by removing the heat diffuser and installing six 19.5” GrillGrate panels to fill the entire grilling surface. For the Variable Displacement Damper position, we’ll start with the damper pulled all the way to the right side, and then push it 6” to the left.

In our tests, this damper placement creates the most even grilling temperatures from side to side. The grill setpoint is 500 degrees. You will notice that the grill will heat up well past the initial setpoint just after startup and any time you have had the door open for an extended period.

This is normal and the grill will settle in closer to the setpoint over time with the door closed.

PRO TIP: For larger cooks, set the grill to 600, this will charge the grates and the cooker body with additional heat, which will speed of heat recovery following door openings.

How Does It Work?

By adding the second set of GrillGrates, we retain the heat and airflow along the flat bottom of the GrillGrates. In addition to heat retention below the grate, we are further benefitting by storing and distributing heat evenly to the right and across the entire surface, while also keeping the grill hotter for a longer time.

When combined, these features reduce heat recovery time, while also reducing pellet consumption. This is beneficial for the grilling environment where you will be opening the door more often to move food around. At a 500-degree setpoint, we see temperatures well above 600 degrees near the flame and a more gradual variance as we move farther away from the fire giving us additional cooking area in the higher heat range.

Once the grill door is opened, we lose some of our temperature above the grate, but we still have the heat stored in and under the grill grates and in the chamber body.

This extra heat and extra grilling real estate also translates into more flavor as juices drip into the channels of the grates and evaporate back up into the meat and around the cooking chamber.  

Why Is This Important?

By controlling how much air is passing through the grates, you can keep the grill hotter, enjoy faster temperature recovery after opening the door and pass more heat into your food over a larger area.

This results in faster cooking times and even more browning, which is where better flavor comes from when grilling. More flavor over less time means a superb overall grilling and dining experience. We are all about that!

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