Just a few tips for breaking in and cooking on the TS Series Smokers
Break In or Seasoning
- Adjust the unit so it is slightly nose down.
- Place a container under the grease valve.
- Open the valve.
- Clean cooking racks with dish soap and hot water to remove any cutting oils and debris from manufacturing.
- Check the inside of the cooking chamber for any debris and, if necessary, rinse.
- Spray the interior of the cooking chamber and racks with a light coat of cooking oil.
- Load the firebox with 20 to 25 lbs of charcoal, light it, and allow the temp to come up to approximately 275 degrees and maintain this temp for about 1 1/2 hours.
- Keep the firebox side vents and chimney vent wide open.
- Adjust firebox vents to regulate temp (opening increases and closing decreases).
- Keep chimney vent wide open at all times. Never close the chimney vent during a cook.
- Now you are ready to cook.
- If starting from “scratch”, fill the firebox with 25 to 30 lbs of charcoal.
- Light the coals either with a torch or a couple of hot chimneys of coals.
- Keep vents wide open and doors closed on the cooking chamber.
- How fast the smoker gets to temp is dependent on ambient temperature, barometric pressure, and wind etc.
- Remember, you are heating up a tremendous amount of steel.
- Once you reach your desired temperature, (225 to 275) place your meat on the racks.
- The sections closest to the firebox will be hotter than the sections to the front.
- We usually put the larger cuts of meats like brisket and butts towards the front and smaller cuts like ribs, chicken, sausage towards the back.
- Once the meat is loaded, place one or two logs on the fire.
- Use only hardwoods such as oak, hickory, cherry, and apple.
- Wood must be dry and seasoned.
- You will know there is a problem if you have black or dark smoke coming out of the chimney.
- Ideal smoke color is light blue/white (at this point you can continue with all wood or a combo of wood and charcoal as we do).
- Regulate your temperature with the side vents on the firebox.
- If your temp gets too high and you are having trouble lowering it, simply prop open the cooking doors.
- Propping open the cooking doors will allow things to cool down.
- If you want guidelines on cooking various meats, check our recipes under “Resources” on our website.
Note: Do not get discouraged if your first cook doesn’t turn out exactly as expected. After a few cooks, you will understand the mechanics of your smoker and develop your own techniques to turning out some of the best BBQ. Try starting with easy to cook meats such as pork butts, ribs etc.
Remember, you can always call us with any questions.
Joe Pino 908-531-8997 (cell)
Bill Drejka 908-209-9106 (cell)
Good luck and may the Lard be with you! X
Our Meadow creek PR 36 is more than a pig roaster. Even though it cooks delicious pigs up to 40 lbs, it is a very versatile backyard cooker. Cook any of the meats you would consider cooking on a conventional gas or charcoal grill and see the difference. This unit can roast, smoke, and grill. Its large 14″ x 35″ stainless steel grate will easily accommodate briskets, ribs, pork butts, chops, loins, turkeys, sausage, dogs, burgers etc.
This article will illustrate cooking whole chickens on this great cooker.
The PR 36 stands at a comfortable 46″. Even though it is designed for the backyard pro, it is no light weight. With a 13 gauge steel firebox, this unit weighs in at 175 lbs. It is easily moved around on its 13″ tires. It comes fully assembled.
We loaded this PR 36 with approximately 20 lbs of charcoal. It is best to start the fire with a torch or chimneys. Avoid lighter fluid.
We allowed the temperature to get up to 275 or 300 degrees before putting the chickens on. Since we had quite a bit of space after placing 4 chickens on the cooker, we added quarters and pieces. These hens were brined when we bought them and were approximately 3.5 lb each. A cajun spice is on the “red” ones and Hudson Bay Beef Spice from Savory Spice Shop in Westfield, NJ on the lighter ones. The Hudson Bay Spice was awesome, and preferred by our guests. If you look closely, you will see an aluminum tray under the grate. The PR 36 comes standard with a grilling pan for grilling things like dogs, burgers, and wings. We keep the pan in when doing an indirect cook and place an aluminum pan on the grilling pan with about 1″ of water. It helps to add some moisture to the cook.
The PR 36 comes with a commercial grade thermometer. One of the best features on the PR 36 is the ease of adjusting the temperature for the cut of meat. Vents on the firebox and the hood make this a simple process. Once set, it requires minimum fire maintenance. For this cook, we wanted to maintain about 250.
We are close to the 2 hour mark, and as can be seen, some of the chicken pieces have already come off the grill. We continued cooking about another 30 minutes until the internal temperature was 170 degrees in the thigh joint. Cooking will always vary depending on the size of the bird, atmospheric conditions, and the amount of fire.
And the finish product. Delicious, moist and tasty BBQ chicken complimented with a nice savignon blanc or chardonnay makes a meal that your guest will not forget. The GrillBillies’ way of cooking. LARD HAVE MERCY!!