Mother’s Day Cook on Big Black

Sometimes it's fun to cook a smoker full of meats that finish in several hours. In this story I'm sharing photos of a 6-hour cook I did for our annual Mother's Day celebration on Big Black, my Meadow Creek TS250 Tank Smoker.

Meadow Creek TS250 Tank Smoker Trailer

Big Black is a finely decked-out tank smoker trailer with a BBQ42 chicken cooker, insulated firebox, charcoal basket, stainless steel exterior shelves, and the trim package.

It pulls like a dream on the highway and cooks meat in style, making a great impression for on-site catering projects. The reverse flow draft and rounded tank ends help reduce varying temperatures throughout the tank, which are common in offset smokers.

Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker

I filled up the smoker with a case of baby back ribs, a case of Italian sausage links, a case of breakfast sausage links, 16 bacon-wrapped chicken thighs, and a couple of cans of Bush's baked beans.

Prepping Baby Back Ribs

To prep the ribs, I removed the membrane, trimmed some excess scraps of meat, and seasoned the entire surface with a seasoning blend. Meadow Creek Brisket Seasoning is my go-to for ribs, but I mixed a couple of different ones together for this project.

Prepping Baby Back Ribs
Prepping Baby Back Ribs
Seasoning Baby Back Ribs
Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker
Meadow Creek TS250 Tank Smoker Trailer
Meadow Creek TS250 Offset Tank Smoker

The wood box is quite handy for carrying charcoal and other supplies. The BBQ42 Chicken Cooker is one of my favorite upgrades on a TS250 trailer.

Prepping Chicken Thighs

For the chicken, I used 16 boneless thighs, wrapped the meat around a piece of cream cheese (1/16 of a box). I seasoned the inside of the thigh with John Henry's Chicken Tickler and then wrapped each one with a piece or two of bacon, and finally seasoned the outside also.

Prepping Chicken Thighs
Prepping Chicken Thighs
Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker

I started these on the top rack, but after I removed the sausage, I moved them down to the hottest part of the smoker, which is on the bottom grate close to the firebox. By this time, the smoker had cooled off a bit and was hardly hot enough to finish these on the top rack. The extra heat helped to crisp the bacon and finish the chicken quickly.

Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker
Stainless Steel Workshelf
Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker
Baked Beans on Meadow Creek TS250 Tank Smoker Trailer

For the beans, I simply added some barbecue seasoning to store-bought baked beans and smoked them for several hours to take on some smoke and collect some drippings. It helps to stir them every 30 minutes. They were delicious!

Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker
Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker

The sausages were good, but I've found that the casing is tougher and more wrinkly than what I cook these on the BBQ42 over a hotter fire. However, for whatever reason, the casing was tighter and more tender after reheating them.

Meadow Creek TS250 Tank Smoker Trailer
Meadow Creek TS250 Tank Smoker Trailer

I fired the smoker with about 20 pounds of charcoal and then fed it pecan log splits roughly once an hour.

Meadow Creek Reverse Flow Smoker

Once the ribs were in the smoke for 3 hours, we wrapped them in heavy duty aluminum foil for 2 hours, and then put them back on the smoker unwrapped for about 1 hour.

If you're going to wrap your ribs, the main thing is to keep them wrapped until they are basically done or as tender as you want them. The timing will vary by 1) your smoker temperature, 2) how often you open the smoker (I take a lot of photos), 3) and how much meat is on the ribs.

Wrapped Baby Back Ribs
Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Wrapping them in foil makes them tender faster. After 2 hours in the foil, these were tender enough to unwrap and glaze.

If you're doing a case at a time, some racks will be smaller than others, and they won't all be done at the same time. I prefer to unwrap the small/thinner racks first, and let the others cook a little longer.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Ready for a sauce glaze.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

I simply brushed the top of each rack with Sweet Baby Ray's sauce.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

Put them back in the smoker for about 30 minutes to let the glaze set.

Smoked Baby Back Ribs

They are done once 1) the meat pulls apart on a 90 degree angle as shown above or 2) you can easily pull a bone away from the meat.

Smoked Sausages
Smoked Sausages
Smoked Sausages
Meadow Creek TS250 Tank Smoker Trailer

Pretty handsome, right?

Meadow Creek TS250 Tank Smoker Trailer

A tank smoker like Big Black is perfect for feeding crowds of 100 people or even more, depending on the meats you are cooking. The BBQ42 grill makes grilling chicken and sausages a sinch and the tank handles the meats which are better suited for low and slow, such as ribs, pork butts, and brisket.

We want to help you be the hero at the party.

About the Author

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

Leave a Reply 7 comments

Sam - July 15, 2018 Reply

Good morning, a quick question about wrapping the boneless thighs with bacon, how do you secure the bacon wrap so it doesn’t come loose? Toothpicks?

Thanks,
Sam

[Reply]

Lavern Gingerich Reply:

If you stretch the bacon a bit as you’re wrapping it and wrap it so that the tail end of the piece overlaps, it tends to stick to itself.

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Rick Pollard - July 15, 2018 Reply

Now that is an outstanding cook!!!!
My guess would be that there was not any leftovers.

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Sebastian broughton - July 15, 2018 Reply

I need an price on smoker

[Reply]

Lavern Gingerich Reply:

We have suggested retail prices listed in our online catalog. Please browse to the model you’re interested in and then use the quote request button to send a request to your nearest dealer.

[Reply]

wayne manzanares - January 20, 2019 Reply

I love all of your articles with cooking tips etc but most of your articles deal with smokers. I purchased a PR60G whole hog gas grill and so far I really like it. I would respectfully request that you give some tips on this unit and how I can improve my cooking of several cuts of meat and not always a whole hog. Thanks I may purchase a smoker at a later time but for now I only have the gas grill. Help

[Reply]

Lavern Gingerich Reply:

Hi, thanks for your feedback. We have a Facebook group for Meadow Creek equipment owners. I’m sure you could get tips and a lot of helpful answers to your questions there from people who are using these units. Are you on Facebook? Check it out here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/794299587431905/

[Reply]

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