This week I fired my Meadow Creek BX25 Box Smoker with 8 short ribs and a pan of beans and… wow! The beans were heavenly and the ribs were off the chart amazing.
Sneak peek... ready to remove from the smoker.
Plated with homemade cornbread, salad, and fresh brewed sweet tea!
In this story, I fired my BX25 with the basket full of Royal Oak Chef’s Select charcoal briquettes and a split of cherry smoking wood cut to fit in the basket. When I take a lot of photos and video with the smoker open, it messes with my cook time, the smoker temperature, and how long the charcoal lasts, but this should be enough fuel to cook the ribs, or approximately 5 hours. My target temperature was 225–250 degrees and part of the time I was running at 265 degrees, which of course, shortens the cook time and burns out the fuel quicker too. I didn’t mind this because the ribs have a lot of fat to render, and I didn’t think it would hurt them to cook a bit hotter.
Please refer to the owner's manual for instructions firing the BX smoker. I chose to use my weed burner torch, and I had trouble with my torch extinguishing itself; apparently, it hardly gets enough oxygen in there. It might help to add the wood after it's lit as the manual says. I was moving the torch around to get it to work and, unfortunately, got the smoker door hot enough to blister the paint. If you use the torch, keep it inside the basket and pointed away from the front of the smoker.
The BX25 can be used with or without water. For water smoking, make sure the smoker is level and add some water to the water pan and then set the water jug on the port with some water in it. The water pan sits above the firebox, and the heat from the fire evaporates the water, which steams the meat and helps to keep it from drying out as it cooks.
It’s no exaggeration to say I’ve been able to produce some of my finest barbecue on this smoker.
In fact, the Meadow Creek BX25 Smoker could easily be the best-performing and most hassle-free charcoal smoker on the market.
I used the following variation of a bean recipe from my friend Malcom at HowtoBBQRight.com. I had prepared baked beans on the smoker before, but this recipe took the beans to an entirely new level. My wife and I both thought they were the best beans we’ve ever eaten.
- 2 cans Bush’s Original Baked Beans (drained)
- 1/2 red onion, finely diced
- 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 cup Meadow Creek Hickory Smoked Sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon Butcher BBQ Grilling Addiction rub
- 1 teaspoon real salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Once you have the ingredients prepared, simply mix everything in an aluminum half pan and set the pan in the smoker for several hours. The beans are fully cooked already so the time is not critical. You want the flavors to fuse and expand with smoke and drippings.
Put the pan on a rack under the ribs to catch the drippings for around 2 hours and then swap them so the beans are above the ribs to avoid getting too much grease in the beans. I let my beans collect too many drippings, but I just spooned some of the grease of the top, and they were perfect.
I purchased these beef short ribs from my local Weis. They come separated into individual bones. All you need to do is trim off some of the thick fat if you want to, remove any attached silver skin, and sprinkle the meat with barbecue seasoning. I used Butcher BBQ’s Premium Rub.
Arrange them on the smoker grate so they aren’t touching each other and cook them until they reach an internal temperature of 200 degrees F or until a probe or skewer easily slides into the thickest part. This should take about 4–5 hours.
The smaller ribs were done in 4 hours, and I left the rest of them on until after we had eaten. By then the smoker was cooling off and the ribs were having a hard time recovering from the photoshoot temperature drop, so we just pulled them off and finished them when we reheated them as leftovers.
A few minutes before you remove them from the smoker, brush them with your favorite barbecue sauce. I used Myron Mixon’s Hickory Smoked sauce.
Are you hungry yet?
To complete the meal, my wife baked a batch of cornbread in a cast iron skillet, tossed a bowl of salad, and brewed some good ol’ southern sweet tea. It was a meal fit for kings!
The Meadow Creek BX25 Box Smoker is perfect for backyard use with enough room to feed a small crowd, especially if you add a couple of more grates.
This smoker is efficient, easy to run, and has a compact footprint. You can even smoke with or without water to suit your cooking style. Pellet smokers are quite popular right now, and have always been more convenient than charcoal smokers, but the BX25 and BX50 smokers are possibly the easiest way to crank out award-winning barbecue while maintaining the rich tradition of cooking food with 100% hardwood charcoal and wood.