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Meadow Creek vs. Lang Smokers

May 2nd, 2011

Now a title like that should get the fire stoked!

First of all, I am not here to disrespect any brand out there. (In fact, you might be shocked to hear me recommend the Lang.) My goal is simply to help you choose the BBQ smoker that’s right for you if that time should come.

Some people see the similarities between a Meadow Creek and a Lang and have a hard time making up their mind. I am happy to share our perspective on the differences between Meadow Creek and Lang smokers.

Meadow Creek Versus Lang

First of all, I need to say, there is a segment in the market that will go for a Lang and not a Meadow Creek because of price. We strongly feel Meadow Creek is priced fairly, but it is a superior product, and therefore, a higher priced rig.

Here are some of the differences between a Meadow Creek tank smoker and a Lang:

  1. Ash Pan: Meadow Creek Offset Smokers have a sliding ash pan in the firebox. The pan makes it easy to remove the ashes while you are cooking or after the burn. Lang doesn’t use an ash pan.
  2. Rounded Ends: A Lang smoker has flat ends on the cooking chamber. We believe reverse flow draft isn’t made for flat ends. A Meadow Creek tank smoker is made from a tank with rounded ends for better air circulation.
  3. Latches: Meadow Creek smokers have adjustable, positive-lock latches on all the doors. Your doors will never pop open while bouncing down the road (and that’s without using a bungee strap ;-). Lang uses a “homemade” lever-type latch on their smoker doors.
  4. Grates: All Meadow Creek cooking grates are food-grade stainless steel and have a 25-year warranty against rusting. Lang’s grates are regular steel that will likely be a little rusty the first time you open the door. Grates that don’t rust make clean-up a lot easier and eliminate all rust contamination on your food. Also, on a Meadow Creek tank smoker, the cooking grates slide out. The Lang grates do not slide out. Sure is a nice thing when you need to pull it out for loading or working with the meat.
  5. VIN Number: If you buy a Meadow Creek trailer from us, we can give you the VIN number for you to register it. If you want to register a Lang, you have to register it as a homemade trailer, which is more of a hassle.
  6. Options: It’s fuzzy to me exactly what options Lang offers. But with a Meadow Creek smoker, you can add insulation to the firebox, stainless steel work shelves, and a bunch of other stuff.All the TS models come with a warming box that you can use to cook beans and keep meat warm or upgrade with live smoke for more smoking room.
  7. Quality: One big deal for us is the major difference in quality. I have seen a brand new Lang with a crooked cut in plain sight and rusting grates. You can tell Meadow Creek gives a lot of attention to detail when it comes to cuts and welds. The folks at Meadow Creek grind sharp corners and welds smooth and go the extra mile to achieve top-notch quality. Click here (then scroll down a little on the page) to watch “Gazing at Beauty”, a close-up look at Meadow Creek’s revolutionary smokers.

Now, let me clarify here. It’s very possible that Lang would give you sliding stainless steel grates and some of the other stuff I mentioned for additional cost; but, I am just trying to give you my honest comparison.

It really comes down to what is important to you and what you can afford.

  • Do you want a smoker with grates that get rusty?
  • Do you want a lower quality smoker?
  • Do you want to spend less even though some of the angles might be a little crooked and some of the welds a little crude?

If you don’t mind that, then by all means go for a Lang.

Did you hear me say that—”Go buy a Lang”? And I assure you, I will probably lose some money by saying that. But hey, I just don’t see any point in you calling us on the phone when Meadow Creek isn’t even a good fit for you.

Or…

  • Do you want the “Cadillac” in the smoker industry?
  • Do you want grates that won’t rust?
  • Do you want an elite cooking experience, attention to detail, and knock-your-socks-off craftsmanship?

If that is you, then by all means, go for a Meadow Creek BBQ Smoker.

The choice is yours.

Closing Thoughts

It may be debatable whether the round ends in the smoking chamber make a difference, but Melvin from Meadow Creek told me the story of a couple guys that were cooking side by side. One had a Meadow Creek TS60 Smoker and the other had a Lang. The guy with the Lang was getting annoyed because he needed to keep adjusting the cooker while the TS60 was a breeze to maintain.

I don’t know if we can base anything on a single story. We have never cooked with a Lang. But we have cooked with Meadow Creek smokers and can say they are a breeze to use. Of course, the reverse flow rigs still take some occasional adjustments, but they are like tug boats gliding down the river. I can say that from personal experience and observation. Besides they are handsome and the welds are amazing.

Also, when you are checking out prices, make sure you compare apples to apples. Stainless steel grates, warming boxes, and awesome craftsmanship do affect the price.

When it comes to Lang, I have read good testimonials and people love their Langs. I am sure they do a good job of cooking. But when I see the quality of their cuts and welds and look at the features lists, it makes me think that Meadow Creek could deserve more recognition for introducing such an amazing revolution to the BBQ industry.

Do you have any more questions?

Just leave a comment on this blog post or call Marlin toll-free at 877-248-7753. Or click here to browse our website for lots of good stuff.

We are here to help you have fun, cook great food, and discover revolutionary barbecue equipment.

Until next time,

Lavern Gingerich

Tags: ,

16 Responses to “Meadow Creek vs. Lang Smokers”

  1. Bill Says:

    Well you maybe right in some respects but i can tell that i am sold on a lang which i havent received yet but because of the research i have done, and for the money i believe i will be able to create just as ggood BBQ on the Lang for alot less money. I deal with Steel, welding and metal fabrication everyday and i can tell you that your TS60 is so over priced…..what a bummer

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    I am convinced you can make awesome barbecue in a hole in the ground, so yes, it depends a lot on the chef. :) I hope you enjoy your Lang for years to come.

    [Reply]

  2. Marcus Says:

    Well, I have a lang smoker and let me tell you it’s a good smoker for the money I just can’t see why your smoker is so much , unless you can lite it and forget it ?.!!!

    [Reply]

  3. William Payne Says:

    I’ve been researching a catering/competition BBQ for over a month and have looked at Lang, Meadow Creek, and Klose (as well as some others). For all the features I want: Stainless steel cooking grates, slide out charcoal and ash pans, dual axles, slow cooking/warming box with heat control, drain valve, wood box, etc., it looks like the Meadow Creek TS-250 or TS-500 with BBQ42 chicken cooker is actually less expensive.

    If anyone has a different assessment, I’d love to hear from you as I am ready to place an order.

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    William, thank you for posting here. I’m glad to hear from you and your choice to go for a Meadow Creek. :) I am sure Marlin would be happy to talk with you and answer any questions you still have. You can reach him at 877-248-7753. Press 2 during the greeting to get straight to his line. –Lavern

    [Reply]

  4. tom Says:

    i have cooked on both lang [i currently own and use a 1st generation lang 48] and meadow creek [ts 250, with a bbq guru], in competition and at home. both are very good pits, and will, in the hands of a good que cook, produce great results!

    but, for ease of use – and easy clean up, the meadow creek wins every time!

    the first time i cooked on the ts 250 was with my boss’s team. it was at the first diamond state championship, dover, delaware [october 2006] infamous for really lousy weather, and that big pit ran great all night, even with 35 deg. and 40 mph. winds! and, as much as i love my lang, it would just never have stayed hot in those conditions.

    and, we came in 5th in brisket, and, if memory serves, 18th overall!
    not too bad, for a first pro comp!

    this is why my new comp team [U.S. BBQ ARMY] will, at some point this season, switch over to meadow creek pits. [with bbq guru's of course- sleep is important,too!]

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    Tom, thank you for your kind words and for taking the time to post your experience. –Lavern

    [Reply]

  5. Darrell Rogers Says:

    Yep….. a Lang are mildly on the “crude” side in terms of glitz and galmour, however, that being said, “for the money” it will hold up to almost any other cooker of similar design. It’s the chef and his or her knowledge of their cooker that makes the difference. Does the unit accomplish your cooking goal? I will stand to be corrected, if I am wrong. I will admit that I haven’t done all of my homework on Meadow Creek. It appears to be a propane tank. True?? Propane tanks usually are not uniform in thickness throughout. Is it true 1/4″ steel?? Langs, Bubbas, Klose, Gator and JJ’s are like tanks and pronbably will still be smoking when you grand kids are old and gray. Just my thoughts. One is a finished looker, and the other a down to earth get the job done pit.

    I will concede the stainless steel grates as being a better option. The ash pan is a real benefit,but not necessarily mandatory.

    [Reply]

    Darrell Rogers Reply:

    Meadow Creek is quite good looking. Meadow Creek is NOT 1/4 steel. Yes Meadow Creek has some nice features, and those with the money will certainly go for this line of smokers. Langs are not cheap eiher, but for the money, they will stand up to most anything including Gator and Klose. When you get to know your pit, you can even make a 55 gallon metal drum sing and dance. Does your pit get the job done?? Once you become a skilled pit chef, you will become a winner with almost any cooker.

    [Reply]

    Darrell Rogers Reply:

    Meadow Creek is quite good looking. Meadow Creek is NOT 1/4 steel. Yes Meadow Creek has some nice features, and those with the money will certainly go for this line of smokers. Langs are not cheap eiher, but for the money, they will stand up to most anything including Gator and Klose. When you get to know your pit, you can even make a 55 gallon metal drum sing and dance. Does your pit get the job done?? Once you become a skilled pit chef, you will become a winner with almost any cooker.

    [Reply]

  6. wayne c Says:

    let’s see ts60 vs lang36 …
    $1100 cost difference … lang wins
    .097″ steel versus .25″ stainless steel … lang wins with 2.5 times thickness
    lang is stainless steal, ts60 the typ of steel that will rust … lang wins
    31×18 1/2 versus 18″x23″ …. lang wins

    lang has top shelf slide out, one point for the ts60
    I like ash pan in the ts60 so another point

    lang SS grates are a $195 option but still $900 ahead lang wins

    bottom line, the TS60 is inferior in quality of materials.

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    Thanks for your post, Wayne. I’m happy to help.

    Where did you come up with .097″ steel thickness? The tank is .1875″ and the firebox is .25″. Lang uses .25″ rolled steel, and it’s true Meadow Creek tanks are thinner but that’s not the part where rust is a concern. The firebox is what’s important. Lang has switched to rolled steel with a flat end cap; Meadow Creek still uses tanks. The theory is that Meadow Creek’s round tank end will help swirl the heat more consistently around the reverse flow baffle and back over the meat. So are you going to argue for a thicker smoking chamber and ignore the flat end? Is there really a difference? I don’t know for sure.

    Which parts of the Lang36 are stainless steel? According to the photos and what I have seen in real life, they don’t use any stainless steel on a standard unit. Meadow Creek’s cooking grates come standard in stainless steel.

    About a year ago, Meadow Creek discontinued the TS60 for the TS70P which is longer and has locking casters on the end. The TS70P is the same price as the TS60 and has 56 square inches more cooking surface than the Lang36.

    All of the cooking grates in the Meadow Creek tank smokers slide out. Lang36 comes standard with a sliding top grate.

    The ash pan on the Meadow Creek is sweet.

    Meadow Creek’s welds and cuts are beautiful. The tank smoker design is very handsome in appearance. Our tank smoker customers love to cook with class.

    Meadow Creek’s service is amazing. As a distributor for Meadow Creek, we work really hard to take care of our customers and treat people like we want to be treated. We are serious about this stuff and do our best to return calls and follow up with quote requests. Some of our competition does not have these same values.

    To me this comes down to what your budget is and what is important to you. Meadow Creek is for people who want to invest in service and a well-made product that is easy to use and will last a long time.

    -Lavern

    [Reply]

  7. Paul Jackson Says:

    I’m in the home work stage right now. The concept of reverse flow seems to make sense. What I don’t understand is how you make it happen. It seems to the heat & smoke would go straight from the fire box and right up the chimney.

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    There is a baffle under the grate that is closed on the firebox end and open on the far end. The air flow is forced to travel under the plate and enter the smoking chamber on the end opposite the firebox.

    [Reply]

  8. Larry Says:

    I am building a smoker with a 500 gallon propane tank on a tandem axle trailer similar to your TS500. My question is, how close can the fire box be to the rear tire and not be concerned about the heat damaging the tire? The smoker sets off to left side of the trailer and fire box is 8″ from the surface. I have located the front of the fire box 8″ from the back of the rear tire. The axles are 4400 pound axles ( 3500 pound hubs, spindles, larger tubes ). The fire box is 3/8″ plate steel. I have more weight distributed at my rear axle with the cooking chamber level. Is this something I need to be concerned about or should I consider moving the smoker forward on the trailer? I can lower the jack on the front of the trailer to position more of the weight to the front axle. I would appreciate any advise you may give me. The craftsmanship and quality you put into your smokers are excellent. I fully understand what it takes to build smokers such as yours. The pricing you are asking is well worth it. Thank You.

    [Reply]

    Lavern Reply:

    I can’t give you advice on building a trailer, but you should post this question on one of the barbecue forums and I’m sure you could get some help there.

    [Reply]

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Struggling to choose the right cooker for your needs? Check out our Meadow Creek cooker comparison charts. If you would like to discuss your dream cooker over the phone, call Marlin toll-free at (877) 602-1568 to get some good, friendly advice. Or if you're close by, come visit our display lot in Pikeville, Tennessee to check out these fine barbeques! We offer a 30-day money back guarantee on all our Meadow Creek barbeque equipment (except the Ultimate Caterers—sorry, too much risk). Please realize that we (Yoder’s Smoky Mountain Barbecue) are a dealer for Meadow Creek. This promise applies only if you buy from us. If for any reason you are not happy with your unit, you may return the cooker to us within 30 days of the delivery or pickup date, and we will refund the purchase price minus the shipping and handling. You are responsible to pay the return shipping.
What did you think of the videos? Meadow Creek makes some amazing smokers, pig roasters, chicken cookers, and grills. All this equipment is made in the Amish Community of Lancaster County, PA. The talented craftsmen at Meadow Creek hand-make each unit. They seriously go the extra mile to make sure you’re smoked pink. What really puts the sauce on the brisket is all the revolutionary features and options that make barbecue fun and easy, and even a money-machine, if BBQ is your business.
Integrity: Meadow Creek cookers are made in a culture of Godly ethics—honesty, diligence, and fairness. Whether it’s a Shoo-fly pie or a barbecue smoker, you will be treated right.
Stainless Steel Grates: Every Meadow Creek barbecue cooker comes standard with non-rusting stainless steel grates. This eliminates the hassle of scrubbing rust and the danger of possible rust contamination on your meat.