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Pulled pork and brisket cooked for 12 or 14 hours make a great story and taste outstanding, but some days an all-day cook is just too much. Thankfully, there are plenty of meats you can cook on a smoker in 4–6 hours. In this story I fired up "Big Black," my Meadow Creek TS250 Smoker, for a quick and tasty barbecue of ribs and chicken.

The TS250 comes with two sliding cooking grates. In this cook, I'm only doing four racks of pork ribs and six whole chickens, so I didn't use the top grate. This smoker can hold a total of 45–47 whole chickens or 26–34 racks of baby back ribs, so we could have gotten about 4 times as much meat on.

I fired the smoker at 10:15 am with Royal Oak's 100% Hardwood Charcoal Briquettes.

The easiest way to fire a Meadow Creek tank smoker is with a propane torch. The torch quickly heats up the steel tank and the inside of the smoker, which is important for getting the temperature in the smoker stabilized.

If you've been following along, you know Big Black has the optional insulated firebox and charcoal basket. I can load it with 40 pounds of charcoal and a couple of log splits and it will burn for close to 6 hours without needing to be refueled. This cook took around 40 pounds of charcoal.

It's a little tricky firing the smoker this way and is easy to overheat. The trick is to get the tank heated with the torch, then light a small portion of the charcoal (enough to give it a good start so it doesn't smolder, but not enough to overheat the smoker). Then you must close the firebox door and vents and keep them shut until it winds down. The cracks around the door and vents will let enough air in to feed the fire.

Big Black Blog Posts

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By 10:30 I had the meat on.

My recipe was very simple. Season the chicken with Meadow Creek Gourmet Seasoning and remove the membrane on the ribs and season them with Meadow Creek Brisket Rub.

Rolling smoke and having fun...

Ain't they pretty?

Nice color!

I wrapped the ribs around 2:00 after 3.5 hours in the smoke.

Ribs back in the smoker, wrapped for 1.75 hours.

Ribs unwrapped and back in the smoke for another hour.

Dandy looking ribs!

Sliced and ready to serve.

Oinkicious...

Ribs worth smiling about!


For more photos, features, and available upgrades for the Meadow Creek TS250 smoker, view this smoker in our online product catalog. Once you're there, click on "Request a Quote" to send an inquiry to your closest dealer.

About the Author

Lavern is the online brand ambassador for Meadow Creek Welding and founder of StoryQue magazine.

Leave a Reply 3 comments

Danny Millsaps - October 17, 2017 Reply

Looks very good, those ribs especially, good color.

[Reply]

Kevin Kent - October 17, 2017 Reply

Looks delicious Lavern.
Your rig is the same thing I want, so I enjoy the pictures of your cooks.
Just curious though, how many ribs and whole chickens can you fit in the TS 120.

[Reply]

Lavern Reply:

Thank you, Kevin.

At least a dozen racks of spare ribs or 15-18 racks of baby back ribs. It should hold 30 whole chickens. You can get more capacity charts inside the buyer guide.

[Reply]

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