Yoder vs Traeger – Which Pellet Grill Is Best?

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There is no doubt about it: pellet grills are more popular than ever. But they are also some of the most expensive grills on the market, and when you buy one, you need to be sure that it’s the right grill for you.

We decided to take a closer look at two leading pellet grill brands on the market: Yoder and Traeger.

While Traeger has gained a reputation with its mass-market models, Yoder is well-known for their high-end smokers.

In this article, we’ll take a very close look at both brands and we will compare two of their most popular high-end models, together with their features.


Yoder vs Traeger Pellet Grills: Model Comparison

One of the biggest differences between Traeger and Yoder models is typically the price. Yoder pellet grills are much more expensive than Traeger’s mass market models.

We’ll take a detailed look at two models: Yoder’s YS640S and Traeger’s Timberline 850.

They are both in a similar price category but come with slightly different features.

Traeger Timberline 850

The first thing you’ll notice about Traeger’s Timberline 850 pellet grill is that it does have a squat, oval-shaped appearance.

This shape is slightly unusual compared to other barrel-shaped grills but it creates a cooking chamber that allows the Timberline 850 to fit three cooking racks while still being relatively compact.

Together with the extra large cooking area, the unusual design also allows a much better distribution of smoke and heat

There is an opening close to the drip tray. This redirects the smoke and heat around the back of the cooking chamber.

From there, it is directed to go over food on the top rack.

As this creates a downdraft, Traeger couldn’t use a standard chimney for this smoker but they added an exhaust vent in the back.

There are also some other great features with this top of the line pellet grill from Traeger.

It has a double-walled cooking chamber which retains the heat well, and the stainless steel construction also adds to the heat retention.

This pellet grill has a PID controller which can be connected to your WiFi, and you can use Traeger’s app or Amazon’s Alexa to control your grill.

If you need to keep your food warm for a little while then you can use the Keep Warm setting that allows you to keep the cooking chamber at a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Timberline 850 Pellet Grill Pros:

  • Good-quality construction with full stainless steel which means this grill is durable
  • The grill’s oval shape allows smoke and heat to be distributed through the thick cooking chamber
  • Individual smoking and warming options

Timberline 850 Pellet Grill Cons

  • Traeger offers only a three-year guarantee
  • Some users have reported issues with the mechanics, such as inaccurate thermometers

Yoder YS640s

Typical for the Yoder brand, the YS640S pellet grill is extremely high quality. It is made with high-quality steel and it has been designed with plenty of different options to smoke your food.

The YS640S grill has a micro-controller chip, including a code combination as a replace for the PID controllers that so many other manufacturers use.

This pellet grill can be easily connected to your WiFi, and you can also control it through the FireBoard app.

Yoder’s YS640S grill has an overall grill surface of 1,070 square inches. You can use the two shelves as a cooking area, and there is plenty of headroom to move your food around.

This compact size allows you feed a large party of friends, but it’s also worthwhile firing up for just a small family barbecue in the summer.

The thick steel plate and pipe come with a 10 year warranty against burnout.

We found that the grill has a great heat retention rate and you can even use it in the cooler months of the year.

The Yoder pellet smoker YS640 also has one of Yoder’s “variable displacement damper” which is essentially a metalic plate which directs the heat straight up from the firebox.

This allows you to also do some excellent searing when you choose to get the optional aluminum grate.

YS640s Pellet Grill Pros

  • Made in the US with solid steel which makes this grill top quality
  • Yoder offers a ten-year warranty, including a one-year warranty for the igniter and a three-year warranty for the electronic control components
  • Searing option with Yoder’s Variable Displacement Damper

YS640s Pellet Grill Cons

  • While the YS640S isn’t Yoder’s most expensive option, it isn’t a cheap smoker either

Yoder vs Traeger: Feature Comparison

Traeger and Yoder grills have some fantastic features. Let’s see how both manufacturers compare to each other when you look at their pellet grills’ functionality.

Temperature Control

One of the most important things with any grill is the temperature control options.

Both Yoder and Traeger make use of the latest technology for advanced temperature control.

This ensures that the temperature inside the cooking chamber stays steady.

Traeger uses a a more traditional PID controller which holds the temperature for most of their grills with +/- 5 degrees Fahrenheit.

In comparison, Yoder uses its own designed Adaptive Control System.

It allows you to control the temperature of your Yoder grill flexibly, effectively and accurately.

Many BBQ experts say that their microprocessor is one of the best grill controllers available.

You can check a range of different variables to ensure that the temperature is always steady.

App And WiFi Connections

A grill is not just a basic piece of kit to warm your food with anymore. Apps and WiFi connectivity has become a central part of many grills.

The more devices you can use to control your grill, the more flexibility you have how you prepare your food.

Traeger’s top-end Timberland series allows you to connect to WiFi and even Amazon Alexa, as well as the Traeger app.

In comparison, Yoder’s YS models all feature WiFi connection and they can also be used with the YS Drive app.

The apps from both manufacturers allow you to control the inside temperature of your food and the cooking chamber.

The food temperature check is done with a probe. The Timberline 850 only has one probe, while the YS model from Yoder has two.

One big advantage with Traeger’s app is that it also has a large, searchable database of recipes.

Capacity Of The Pellet Hopper

The majority of pellet grills from Yoder and Traeger have a pellet hopper capacity from 20lbs upwards.

Their high-quality pellet grills YS640S and the Timberline 850 both hold pellets of more than 20lbs.

The pellet holders on both these models are mounted on the side, but Traeger’s new high-end models also comes with a cleaning opening fitted at the bottom of the hopper.

This allows you to remove any wet or old pellets, and you can also use a different type of wood.

One particular feature we really liked when we tested the Traeger grill is the app’s pellet alarm for low pellet levels which lets you know when you need to refill the hopper.

These additional features make it just a little bit more straightforward to refill and clean the grill shelf from Traeger.


Cleaning a smoker is often one of the most unpleasant things but pellet grill manufacturers have come with some ways to make the cleaning process is a little bit easier.

Both Traeger and Yoder grills have different pellet grills fitted that trap any grease which builds up over time.

Traeger’s Timberline 850 comes with a trap at an angle which allows any grease to run into a collector. You can then just clean the collector.

Another great feature with Traeger’s app is that you get a reminder to clean your grill after a couple of uses.

But it isn’t just the grease that can be difficult to clean out. Also the left-over pellet ash can create a mess.

Luckily, both grills capture the pellet ash separate and you can access the ash when you remove the cooking tray.

Customization And Accessories

Both Traeger and Yoder have a range of different accessories and customization options, although Yoder offers a greater variety.

Customer Service

Traeger and Yoder do not just make their grills in the USA but their customer service is also based in the US.

This is why both companies have a reputation for outstanding customer service.


Traeger only offers a 3-year warranty on their grills, while the warranty on Yoder grills are much better.

Yoder models are covered with a ten-year warranty that includes a one-year warranty on the igniter and a three-year warranty on the electronic control system.

Final Verdict: Which Pellet Grill Is Best, Yoder Or Traeger?

Both Traeger and Yoder make some fantastic pellet grills that provide plenty of different features.

While their high-end models, such as the YS640S and the Timberline 850, differ in design and some functionality, they are both a similar price.

The decision for the right pellet grill for you comes down to the features you want and your personal preferences.

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