Breaking in Big Black, My Meadow Creek TS250 Smoker

My all-time favorite Meadow Creek cooker is the TS250 Tank Smoker with a BBQ42 Chicken Flipper on the front. And more precisely, a TS250 with this set of upgrades: insulated firebox in the smoker, sliding charcoal basket, stainless steel work shelves, and the trim package.

This smoker is built on a sturdy trailer frame with LED lights and pulls like a dream behind your pickup truck or SUV. The insulated firebox and reverse flow draft make it easy to crank out amazing barbecue, and the spacious racks hold enough meat to feed a hungry crowd. The trim package and stainless steel shelves give it that perfect touch of class.

Simply put, this barbecue trailer exudes competence, endurance, and usefulness.

My job at Meadow Creek includes playing with Meadow Creek smokers and grills and journaling my adventures here on the blog. First up is my dream TS250 smoker trailer, which I refer to as “Big Black”.

Meet “Big Black”

This post is the first of a series where I will document my adventures with Big Black. Come along to discover what the TS250/BBQ42 trailer can do and how it does it. There will be plenty of tasty photos along the way to show the cooker in action.

I seasoned the smoker on May 31 and did my first cook on June 1. We grilled chicken leg quarters on the BBQ42 Chicken Cooker and cooked a pile of low and slow barbecue in the TS250 Smoker—6 pork butts, 2 whole beef briskets, 6 whole chickens, 3 racks of St. Louis style ribs, and 12 pounds of sausage.

Grilling chicken in the chicken flipper while cooking low and slow in the TS250.

Whole choice brisket

Pork butts ready for seasoning

I trimmed and seasoned the briskets and pork butts with Meadow Creek Brisket Rub.

Seasoned fryer

I used Meadow Creek Gourmet Seasoning on the chickens and kept it really simple… seasoning on the skin and under the skin around the breast and thighs.

Spare ribs trimmed down to St. Louis style

I trimmed the ribs down, removed the membrane, and seasoned them on all sides.

St Louis Ribs

The briskets and butts went on first, early in the morning. Later, I added the ribs and chickens, and lastly, the rope sausage.

Chicken, briskets, ribs, and pork butts

Nice color in the smoke

Smoked ribs

Pork butts getting some color

Pork butts, brisket, and ribs wrapped in foil

Once the briskets had a nice bark, I wrapped them in aluminum foil.

Smoked chicken

Smoked chickens

The smoked chicken was delicious even though the skin wasn’t very crispy from the indirect heat.

Smoked sausage

Who doesn’t like sausage? Very tasty!

Choice brisket

I’m no brisket champion but the brisket turned out great. Nice bark, tender, and delicious flavor.

Insulated firebox on the offset smoker

This trailer has an insulated firebox and sliding charcoal basket. The double-wall insulated firebox holds a tremendous amount of heat and will make your charcoal go further. The basket holds the charcoal away from the firebox sidewalls and makes it possible to hold more fuel at once. (Warning: you can overheat this thing very easily!)

I will get into fuel usage and firing tips in future posts, so if you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll be happy to address it.

Firing the TS250 Smoker

It is important to heat up the tank with a propane torch to make the smoker draft properly.

Inside of smoker oiled and ready to fire up for seasoning

Stepping back in time, here is the smoker with the inside of the cooking chamber sprayed with cooking oil.

Oiled and ready to season

I left the grates in the smoker for the initial burn-in although the stainless steel grates do not need to be seasoned, just oiled.

Firing the TS250

Sliding charcoal basket

Top rack with chickens and pork butts

Big Black has a door and work shelf on both sides of the smoker. The two stainless steel cooking grates slide out in either direction for easy access to the food. Handles on the bottom grate make it easy to pull out.

Sliding stainless steel shelves make it easy to load and handle the meat

Me wrapping the butts for more time in the cooker

Stainless steel shelves make clean-up easy

I love the stainless steel shelves. Wide enough to catch the mess and to hold utensils and pans while you’re loading and unloading meat.

Handy storage box in the front

The storage box on the front is extremely handy as well.

Firing the BBQ42 to grill chicken

The BBQ42 Chicken Cooker mounted to the front lets you grill chicken and sausage links in the double-sided sandwich grate. Or swap out the standard rotating grate with a flat grate for cranking out dozens of burgers and steaks while you’re doing low and slow in the tank smoker.

Lighting the briquettes with a propane torch

Chicken legs in the rotating sandwich grate

This grill holds about 40 pounds. I simply seasoned these chicken leg quarters with Meadow Creek Gourmet Seasoning.

Turn the whole rack with one hand

Grilled chicken on the BBQ42

Smoke rollin’

Chicken legs grilled on the BBQ42

Grilling chicken on the BBQ42

If you dream of cooking barbecue for crowds and you love playing with fire and cooking with charcoal and wood, Meadow Creek is here to help! Meadow Creek works hard to pack a surprising level of durability, craftsmanship, and user-friendly design into these trailers.

Click the link below to learn more about the TS250 trailer and to request a quote. Select the options you’re interested in and click on “Request a Quote” to send an inquiry to your assigned dealer.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to see more, leave a comment below with your suggestions for future articles or any questions you might have about choosing your Meadow Creek trailer.

Sizzling regards,

Lavern Gingerich

About the Author

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

Leave a Reply 10 comments

Jim - June 22, 2017 Reply

I just ordered the 26s. Does that need to be seasoned as well or is it ready to go out of the box?

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Lavern Reply:

It should be seasoned. The instructions should be in the manual you get with the cooker. If you need any help with it, you can reach out to us on our contact page.

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chas nicholson - June 22, 2017 Reply

lavern
I bought a 42 last year from your dealer in Raleigh nc. I only got the cooker with no receipts, rub or instructions. I need some receipts and information about your rubs.
Good cooker. any help that I can get would be appreciated.

chas

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Lavern Reply:

How close are you to Grill Billies in Raleigh? I’d suggest visiting their store to pick up some rubs and ask Joe for tips on running the BBQ42.

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Terry Alford - June 22, 2017 Reply

Is the price listed the price of your cooker if not what will yours run? Is there any kind of a payment plan or financing available?

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Lavern Reply:

Please click on the link above to the TS250 and check the upgrades for mounted BBQ42, insulated firebox, sliding charcoal basket, stainless steel shelves, and trim package. I also have live smoke, but that’s up to you. That will give you the total suggested retail price but you should still check with your dealer for a quote with freight and tax and everything. You can also check with your dealer about financing.

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Mike - July 25, 2017 Reply

Bought the same setup last year from MeadowCreek BBQ supply , looking forward to your fire management tips and techniques

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Jim Carroll - August 1, 2017 Reply

We took delivery of two BBQ42 chicken cookers a couple weeks ago. Steve of St. Croix BBQ in New Richmond, WI, is the ideal dealer for such a great piece of equipment. He has extensive real-world, hands-on experience in the use of Meadow Creek’s excellent equipment. Steve has done the cooking for many non-profit organizations’ fund-raisers, and, as a result, has a wealth of information to share, and he enthusiastically shares it.

The main event for which we bought these is a Parish Festival coming join a couple of weeks. Our Knights of Columbus Council gave one of our units a “trial run” at a recent group picnic, and the chicken we cooked was praised by all whom we served. We’re looking forward to putting our annual Parish Festival “on the map” for our local communities as word of the quality of our charcoal-grilled chicken is passed around surrounding communities. The BBQ-42 is a high-quality unit that should last for generations with fairly simple care.

St. Croix Barbecue with Steve at the helm is a formidable asset for anyone in a multi-state radius who plans to cook great food for crowds. Meadow Creek equipment with such solid support; this is the REAL DEAL.

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jim hardman - August 14, 2017 Reply

Noticed that you have a warming box with it’s own stack. Does it have a live heat option. If so how is the temp control.

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Lavern Reply:

Yes, it has live smoke. I was only using it as a warming box so far. I’ll be using it for cooking soon and will include that in a future post.

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