A Delicious Spread of Appetizers and Meats on a Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker

Do you dream of cooking meats on a smoker with plenty of room for juicy briskets, pork butts, and ribs, with a batch of irresistible appetizers on the side?

Here are some exciting ways you could use a tank smoker trailer to cook for a crowd or a roadside barbecue vending setup. I hope you enjoy "devouring" these mouth-watering photos from a recent cook I did on my Meadow Creek TS250 reverse flow smoker

Watch the video of this cook here:

“Absolutely the best and easiest to use cooker I have ever used! 140# pigs, chickens, brisket… I have used it for all. Highly recommended.”

- Steve Kwasnik -

A Meadow Creek reverse flow tank smoker makes it easier to produce great barbecue than on a traditional offset smoker because the meat is more protected from the heat in the firebox. This makes them an excellent choice for someone who needs more room and the presentation of an offset smoker.

We also offer a nice line-up of upgrades on a Meadow Creek tank smoker trailer, such as a BBQ42 chicken cooker mounted on the front of the trailer. This grill is perfect for grilling chicken on the "sandwich" grate. The optional "flat" grate is made for grilling steaks and burgers with the charcoal pan raised for a more direct heat.

What's Cookin'


Prime Briskets

I like to buy my briskets from Sam's Club. If they are in stock, they have Prime Grade Briskets for $3.68/pound.

After trimming the briskets, I seasoned them liberally with Meadow Creek Black Pepper Brisket Rub and set them in the smoker, fat side up. I sprayed them with apple juice a couple of times while they were cooking. Once they had the color I was looking for, or reached around 165 degrees F, I wrapped them in aluminum foil. Then I put them back on the smoker in the foil until the middle of the flat was probe tender.

Trimming a brisket

Looking great

Ready to wrap


Ready to slice and serve


Pork Butts

Sam's Club also carries great looking pork butts with decent marbling. They require very little trimming so I mostly remove them from the package and season them with my rub. This time I used Jonesy Q Pig Pow, a delightful cherry-flavored seasoning that goes well with pulled pork.

I sprayed them with apple juice a couple of times, and then once the center of the butts reached an internal temperature of around 165 degrees F, I wrapped them in aluminum foil until they were done cooking at 200 degrees F. At that point I set them in a plastic meat lug and shredded the meat with heat-resistant gloves.

I didn't get any photos of the pulled pork, but the texture, tenderness, and flavor of the final product was excellent!

Ready to season

Sam's Club also carries great looking pork butts with decent marbling. They require very little trimming so I mostly remove them from the package and season them with my rub. This time I used Jonesy Q Pig Pow, a delightful cherry-flavored seasoning that goes well with pulled pork.

All Meadow Creek smokers and grills come standard with food-grade stainless steel cooking grates.

This smoker makes anyone, regardless of their cooking experience, look great.

Turning a beautiful color

Wrapped in foil until done cooking and ready to pull


Baby Back Pork Ribs

I love simple cooking methods. For these, I simply removed them from the wrapping, pulled off the membrane on the back side of the ribs, and seasoned them with Meat Church The Gospel. I occasionally sprayed them with apple juice but didn't wrap them at all. Once they were tender, they were ready to eat. These were for our family to enjoy later, so we vacuum sealed and froze the racks whole.

Removing the membrane

Seasoning with Meat Church The Gospel

What a beautiful rack of ribs... the color is simply excellent!

The color on these is a bit harsh because of the sunlight but they were delicious!

Click here for more stories, videos, and photos of "Big Black", the customized TS250 tank smoker.


Sweet Peppers

If you enjoy jalepeno poppers, but can't take the heat, you've got to try making them with sweet snack peppers. Many grocery stores carry them and they usually come in a bag with an assortment of red, orange, and yellow peppers. They often vary quite a bit in size, so you might have to buy extra and then use the biggest peppers in the bag for this recipe and use the others for something else.

Halve the peppers and remove the membranes inside the pepper so they are easier to stuff. Fill each half with cheese and top them with pulled brisket, and then wrap each one in a piece of bacon.

For the cheese, I like to mix equal parts of softened cream cheese and freshly shredded cheddar cheese. Add a dusting of Killer Hogs The AP Rub or your favorite barbecue rub and mix it in.


It takes some patience to wrap the peppers so that the bacon stays in place. On the smaller peppers, just wrap the bacon around the pepper straight (like you would a band-aid on your finger) instead of spiraling it. You might want to snip off one-third of the bacon pieces for the smaller peppers.

This smoker is hottest on the bottom rack near the firebox, so I like to take advantage of that when I have something I want to cook at a hotter temperature.

These are done when the bacon is cooked. The bacon on these is a little tough and the exposed brisket got dried out, mostly because I had the door open too much while taking photos and video throughout the cook and because I was trying to leave them on the smoker until I had the grill on the front going for the photos. If you are not filming your cook and can leave the door shut, you will get better results.

An alternative way to do these would be to start them over indirect heat and then sizzle the bacon over direct heat on a different grill or on a grill with 2-zone heat setup.


Beef Tenderloin

A beef tenderloin is a fine piece of meat. It's tender, but also very lean so I would suggest you don't cook it past medium rare.

I seasoned this one with Kosmos Cow Cover and cooked it until it reached the internal temperature I was shooting for. It went higher than I wanted because I was busy with other parts of the cook, but I was aiming for 130-135 degrees F.

It won't take long on the smoker, so it's best to season the tenderloin a few hours before the cook or even the night before to give the seasoning time to blend with the meat. 


Chicken Thighs

After we got the tank smoker going and all the meats on there, we fired the BBQ42 charcoal grill on the front of the trailer to grill some bone-in chicken thighs, potatoes, and onions. It took around half a bag (20 pounds) of Chef's Select hardwood briquettes.

We seasoned the thighs with Kosmos Q Dirty Bird and cooked it in the pivoting sandwich grate, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F.

Irresistible, juicy grilled chicken

Lighting the charcoal with a torch

Charcoal lit and waiting to be spread out

Cooking grate hooked on lid

Chicken loaded

Grate locked shut


Potatoes and Onions

We cooked a 10 pound bag of yellow potatoes and 6 sweet Italian onions.

To prep them, we peeled and halved the onions and washed and halved the potatoes that were too big to fit in the grate whole. Then we sprayed them with Pam cooking oil and seasoned them with Butcher BBQ Grilling Addiction.

These are delicious with a plate of grilled chicken! If you don't care much for onions, you might not walk across the street for these, but cooking them mellows the flavor and they make a nice side in a barbecue meal.

“I have had a Meadow Creek TS250P for a year. It is my third smoker and by far the best! It has an insulated stainless steel fire box and a stainless steel warming drawer. With three stainless steel racks and a stainless steel rib rack that holds 27 sides of ribs, I can smoke all the meat, ribs & salmon I want for my sons & their families, as well as for my bride of 55 years at one time. It is very efficient with the wood that is burned & hold temperatures extremely well.

Everyone that sees it is very impressed with the quality of the workmanship of the smoker. The stainless steel shelves on both sides of the barrel make it very easy to place tools and my sprayers in close proximity to where they are needed and to remove the smoked food when it is ready. It is my third smoker, but also the last one I will ever need. The ash tray makes cleaning the ashes easy, and the removable racks much easier to clean. This smoker is a real WINNER!”

- Leonard S Tibbetts -

Here is a platter with everything except for the brisket and pulled pork. I didn't get any photos of the sliced brisket or the pulled pork.

Stainless steel shelves are easy to clean, and they catch grease drippings that would otherwise fall through the holes in the shelf and land on the fender or ground.

Firing the TS250 Tank Smoker

For this cook, I used half a Royal Oak Chef's Select 100% hardwood briquettes and three log splits to fire the TS250. For the rest of the cook I fed it more wood and used a total of about 20-30 pieces for the entire cook.

I use a propane torch to heat up the tank and to light the wood/charcoal just enough to get it started.

Here the wood is well lit and ready to roll.

Are you dreaming of starting a catering or vending business? Or simply ramping up your capacity for cooking for friends, family gatherings, and charities?

Our tank smokers offer an excellent presentation for on-site cooking.

A mounted BBQ42 chicken cooker on the front of the trailer adds a nice touch and multiplies the usefulness of your trailer by making it easy to cook with direct and semi-direct heat while you’re finishing the meats in the offset smoker.

We also offer some really sweet upgrades, such as the stainless steel work shelves, insulated firebox, and trim package (aluminum wheels and stainless stack), which make it easy to deck out a rig that’s right for you.

Click here to browse more photos, features, and specs on the TS250, then click on customize to see the available upgrades and suggested retail prices:

About the Author

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

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