Friday, January 8, 2010

Smoker of choice

What do ya cook on? One of the questions you hear a lot when people talk about BBQ. I believe you can make great BBQ on any cooker, homemade or custom built. I don’t care if you paid $20,000.00 or $20.00; if you can control a few main components of the cooking process you can have great success. I’ve tasted great BBQ cooked on a converted trash can. Consistent temps of 220 – 275 deg. F, nice clean burn of the smoke wood can produce good BBQ.

The first smoker I used to cook BBQ on was a small, cheap, Brinkman purchased at Walmart for $25. It had zero temp control but I still accidentally cooked some good tasting BBQ, even finished in the top 5 at a local rib cook-off. When I decided to enter some competitions on the KCBS circuit, an equipment upgrade was needed. For the 2006 season I purchased a couple of Weber Smokey Mountains (WSM) and eventually 2 large Big Green Eggs. This line up of cookers won us a Reserve Grand at the NJ State BBQ Championship in 2007, with 1st place ribs smoked on the WSM (still my favorite when it comes to smoking ribs). The hassle and inconvenience of transporting all the cooking hardware to and from competitions had me looking for new smoker options.

After a lot of consideration I found myself drawn to the off-set smokers, or stick burners as they are called. I am lucky enough to have a BBQ pit manufacturer close to home, Meadow Creek BBQ. I took a drive out to their store on a cold day , winter 2008, and bought a used TS 120 reverse smoker. It was the smallest of their tow behind smokers and perfect for what I was looking for! The craftsmanship and functionality was everything I had in mind.

I've used my smoker for two full competition seasons and still love this cooker. I recently had Melvin at Meadow Creek BBQ mount a small roaster (PR36) to the front of the smoker to add some more cooking options. The 2010 BBQ season is not coming fast enough!


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