Traeger vs Yoder: Is the Timberline or the YS640S Right for You?

Traeger vs Yoder

Traeger vs Yoder: Is the Timberline or the YS640S Right for You?

If you are on the market for a pellet grill, you undoubtedly have heard about Traeger and Yoder grills. You may be wondering, though, which brand is better?

What follows is a comparison of grills, in this case, Traeger vs. Yoder and an assessment of which grill gives the most bang for the buck.

Traeger vs Yoder

Traeger Vs. Yoder

One thing needs to be made clear: You will not go wrong choosing either of these grills. Both will meet and exceed even the most demanding expectations. There are only two questions you need to ask when making your decision:

  • What features are you looking for?
  • What are your plans for the pellet grill?

The answers to those questions will help you decide what pellet grill is best for you.

Traeger grills are slightly less expensive than Yoder grills. The disparity is so much that a head-to-head comparison is almost impossible. Two that are similar in terms of size and capabilities are the Traeger Timberline 850 and the Yoder YS640s.

The grills cost:

  • Timberline 850: $2,000
  • Yoder YS640S: $2,200 + Shipping

Depending on the model Yoder grills can be slightly more expensive, however there isn’t a major difference in the price between the two manufacturers. 

For comparison purposes, the Timberline 850 and Yoder YS640s are as close to an even match as can be gotten.

Here is a look at both companies and the two highlighted grills.

Traeger Timberline 850 (~$2,000)

Traeger is the granddaddy of commercial pellet grills. It has always been a leader in the pellet grill market, starting with the first pellet grill back in 1986.

From the start, Traeger produced top-of-the-line pellet grills but as happens with many companies that experience rapid growth, success led to some quality issues with later versions of the Traeger pellet grill.

Traeger fixed those quality issues and is now known as one of the most reliable grills makers on the market. Made in China, they are available at many different brick-and-mortar retail shops and online, including on the company website.

Traeger grills are currently considered top-of-the-line and include the latest bells and whistles, including up-to-date tech, internal and built-in temperature probes, and WiFi compatibility.

The Timberline 850 is the prototypical Traeger pellet grill. The grill is squat, solid, and muscular-looking. The 850’s cooking chamber is oval and holds three racks. A high-profile hood accommodates the three cooking racks.

Heat and smoke distribution are even; an opening behind the drip tray moves smoke and heat back up into the cooking chamber. Once there, the curved hood returns both smoke and heat to the food, creating a complete immersion of whatever is cooking.

Rather than have a conventional chimney, the Timberline 850 uses an exhaust system that covers the entire back of the grill. The vents in the system create a downdraft for smoke and heat, further engulfing the food on the grill.

Bells and Whistles

The Timberline is WiFi-enabled that helps for remote PID controller management. The remote PID ensures that the grill temperature is even and allows the person cooking food to adjust it remotely. The PID works with the Traeger app as well as Amazon Alexa.

Another option is the Super Smoke function, which delays the release of smoke for a deeper smoky taste. Additionally, a Keep Warm function regulates the cooking chamber and keeps it at 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Key Details

Here are some other details of the Traeger grill:

  • Cooking Space: 850 square inches
  • Grill Rack Material: Stainless Steel
  • Hopper Size: 24-pound capacity side-mounted pellet hopper
  • Construction Material: Double-Wall stainless steel
  • Control: D2 temperature controller
  • WiFi: Compatible with WiFire, Amazon Alexa, and the Traeger app
  • Warranty: 3-year in the USA only
  • Manufactured: China

In addition, the Timberline 850 has a cook temperature range from 165 degrees to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is adjustable in 5-degree increments.

The pellet grill’s dimensions are:

  • Length: 51”
  • Height: 46”
  • Depth: 28”
  • Weight: 213 pounds

The Timberline 850 Pros

  • Very rugged and durable with stainless steel construction
  • Double-walled cooking chamber
  • Oval shape promotes more even heat and smoke distribution
  • The Keep Warm setting is more than just a secondary warmer
  • Super Smoke option allows for saturation of smoke within the food

Timberline 850 Cons

  • Some reviews have criticized the thermometer sensors
  • The 3-year warranty is on the light side
  • There is no warranty for the electronics or igniter

Yoder YS640s ($2,200 Plus Shipping)

Yoder has prided itself on a more robust pellet grilling presence than just backyard grillers. It emphasizes on its website that its grills are “competition-level” and “competition ready.” Recently, the company has focused on manufacturing a more affordable backyard grill. Professional-grade pellet grills suitable for competition remain Yoder’s focus.

That has benefited its efforts to expand into the backyard market. The expertise in competition-caliber grills has resulted in backyard grills that stand out for quality and performance. Those grills also have several bells and whistles that are not found on standard backyard grills.   

That means its costs are higher than just about anyone else on the market. You get what you pay for, but you are going to pay for what you get.

The company was founded in 2007, which makes it a middle-aged pellet grill competitor. From the start, as mentioned, the company’s mission has been to manufacture competition-grade smokers and pellet grills. The YS640s is a break from that, but not a break that sacrifices the robustness or reputation of these workhorse pellet grills.

The goal with the YS640s is to continue to produce competition-grade grills and smokers but to have a line of affordable pellet grills to expand their market share. That said, it is still the pellet grill of choice for those who do not have budget constraints.

Like just about every other grill, the YS640s puts its credentials upfront for all to see. This pellet grill announces it is the gold standard just by its looks alone. Constructed of a mixture of steel and in possession of standard and proprietary bells and whistles, the YS640s is well worth the investment.

The grill also is WiFi-enabled but only works with Yoder’s YS Drive app. It provides over 1000 square inches of cooking space via two shelves. It has 11.5” of headroom and can smoke enough food to handle just about any sized party. That said, it is not so large that firing it up for a few friends is a waste of pellets.

Yoder is so sure its grill will stand up to whatever it is dealt that the YS640s comes with a 10-year guarantee against burnout. It also has great heat retention, which makes it an awesome choice for smoking food in colder climates. 

There is one feature that sets the YS640s apart from its competition, and that is the Variable Displacement Damper. The damper is a metal plate that consolidates and concentrates heat produced by the firebox. This retains heat rather than let it dissipate into the cooking chamber, which enables superior searing functionality on its optional aluminum grill gate.

Key Details:

The following are the basics of the YS640s:

  • Cooking Space: 1,070 square inches of cooking space from two 16” x 20” cooking grates in the main chamber and a 15.5” x 28” slide-out shelf that sits on a second level.
  • Hopper Size: 20 pound capacity in a side-mounted pellet hopper
  • Grill Rack Material: 6/16” hardened chrome-plated round bar steel
  • Construction: 10 gauge steel for the hopper and 14 gauge steel for the cart
  • WiFi: YS Drive App-enabled
  • Warranty: 10-year warranty vs. burn through
  • Manufactured: USA 

The YS640s provides a range of cooking temperatures, from 150 degrees to 600 degrees Fahrenheit. It is adjustable in 5 degrees Fahrenheit increments. 

The Pellet grill’s dimensions are:

  • Length: 61”
  • Height: 54”
  • Depth: 36.24”
  • Weight: 335 pounds

YS640s Pros

  • Built like a tank with full steel construction
  • Is manufactured in the USA
  • 10-year warranty, including a 3-year warranty for the electronics and a 1-year warranty for the igniter
  • The Displacement Damper, which allows for searing, is something most pellet smokers cannot do well

YS640s Cons

  • Can be difficult to move due to it’s weight.

Buyer’s Guide

Most head-to-head competitions demand a clear winner. The “mine is better than yours” debate has been a mainstay of backyard grillers, probably for as long as grilling has existed. Between the Timberline 850 and YS640s, however, both are clear winners in regards to what they are intended to accomplish.

If you are the average backyard griller, the Traeger is the clear winner. With all Traeger products, you get an amazing grilling product that can tackle just about anything you throw at it.

With the Yoder, though, you get a top-of-the-line grill that, as the company will tell you, can hold its own in competitions. 

That creates a dilemma: How to judge one against the other?

Comparison Points

Some comparison points do allow for a head-to-head contest between Traeger and Yoder.


Both are pretty even in this regard, although Yoder offers more space. Yoder wins this by a nose.


Traeger’s warranty seems like it was created because Traeger felt like they needed a warranty. Yoder’s warranty – 10 years and then limited warranties for the electronics and ignitor is hands down a better deal – but also something you would expect for a grill that retails over $2,000.


For what you pay, both are top of the line. The Yoder’s construction can survive virtually anything thrown at it, but Traeger’s is not far off. Traeger cannot compete with Yoder’s bells and whistles either, but for the average griller, what Traeger offers is more than adequate. Yoder wins in overall quality.


Both have a wide range of temperature settings, and 5-degree increments mean it is very difficult for someone to burn something unless they are not paying attention. Both have electronic controls that let a griller dial in on the temperature they need. 

Yoder gets about 100 degrees hotter, which allows it to sear. Because of that, Yoder has the advantage.


Both can rust if not cared for. That said, if you are prone to beat a grill up, you may want the Traeger just because of the price of the Yoder. Yoder makes it easier to deal with ash, but Traeger is more versatile in what you can do to control grease. On maintenance, it is a tie.


Traeger’s grill is smaller, lighter, and more mobile. Yoder’s is mobile, but a better option is to park the grill in its place and keep it there. Yoder’s weight also makes moving it around often difficult, and to do so, you need to have a space that can deal with over 300 pounds. Traeger wins the mobility contest.


This is probably the most controversial of all the evaluation points because Yoder might contest the assertion, but Traeger is better known and offered in more places. Getting parts replaced or repairs done is easier on a Traeger. If you are looking for a grill online or brick and mortar, there are just more Traeger grills out there.

Much of this is because Traeger has been around longer and has much better name recognition. Yoder is relatively new to the backyard grill market, is extremely expensive, and thus, is more difficult to find. Traeger wins on availability, and it is not close.


That brings us to cost. As mentioned, Yoder is for the griller looking to make a statement and Traeger is better suited for the casual griller or someone just starting. For most people, though, Traeger is the better option. Though there isn’t a significant price difference in the high-end models from each manufacturer, Traeger offers quality grill options in an array of prices.

Final Thoughts

Determining a winner in a grill comparison between Traeger v. Yoder depends on what you are looking for in a grill. If you want a backyard grill that can handle anything you throw at it Traeger is your grill. If you want a backyard grill that can handle anything you throw at it with top of the line durability and all the bells and whistles, Yoder is definitely the way to go.

If these grills are slightly out of your price range then check out these other comparison guides:



Highlight that Treager is made in China and the Yoder in Kansas. Stop with the price difference without the America vs Cina explanation. Some people will pay more for American made. Traeger was not American once it sold out the Traeger name and now has design flaws due to the drip pan.


This article screams “yoder is the clear winner” until the end where they had to reach to find reasons why the traeger is better. Then, says they’re even unless you want more, then the yoder. It’s almost as if traeger is financing these lists, and the writer doesn’t want to be sued for misinformation.


Bought my YS640 last May. Had to replace control panel 3 times, and the heat probe 2 times.
I bought a smaller Camp Chef as a back up. Wish I would have bought a Camp Chef 36 inch instead.

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