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BBQ Smokers, Pig Roasters, Chicken Cookers, and Grills From Meadow Creek


I'm Lavern Gingerich, advocate for Meadow Creek barbecue equipment and editor of StoryQue magazine. Take a few minutes to discover our blog, recipe library, StoryQue Magazine, and revolutionary barbecue equipment. You can find us on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

The Handbook for Choosing Your Meadow Creek Smoker or Grill

This full-color guide is packed with charts, photos, and articles to help you determine if Meadow Creek is a good fit for you and choose the model that fits your presentation, cooking style, menu, and crowd size goals.

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Meadow Creek BX50 vs. Backwoods Competitor

August 25th, 2015

This chart illustrates some of the differences between two cabinet smokers—the Backwoods Competitor and Meadow Creek’s BX50. The following article explains the differences in more detail.

Meadow Creek BX50
Backwoods Competitor
Style Wet and Dry Smoking Wet Smoking Only
Price $2,795 $3,550
Outside Dimensions 66″h x 44″w x 34″d 55.5″h x 20″w x 27.5″d
Oven Size 29h” x 24w” x 20d” (8.1 cu. ft.) 33″h x 20″w x 20″d x (7.6 cu. ft.)
Grates 4 stainless steel
($75 each for more; up to 7 total)
8 nickel plated
($60 each for extra grates)
Grate Size 18″ x 22″ 19.5″ x 19.5″
Total Grate Area 1,584 sq. in.
(2,772 sq. in. with 7 grates)
3,042 sq. in.
Auto Water Feed Yes $810 extra
Reverse Flow No Yes
Water Pan Removable Permanent
Insulation 1″ 2″
Doors Painted Stainless steel
Stand 2 solid tires and 2 casters 3″ feet ($213 extra for casters)
Weight 625 pounds 350 pounds

warning  Check current prices online.

By comparing the BX50 with the Backwoods Competitor, we don’t mean to bash the Backwoods smokers; they make fine smokers. Our intention is to show you how much value the BX50 offers for the money.

Wet and Dry Smoking

The Backwoods Competitor requires water or liquid in the pan to stabilize the smoker temperature. The BX50 is built for wet or dry smoking, which means you can use it for jerky and other foods that need a dry smoke environment.

Size and Weight

On the outside, the BX50 is much bigger and weighs 275 pounds more than the Competitor. The BX50 is a beast and you will probably want help rolling it up and down a trailer ramp. The weight proves you’re getting a lot of steel for your money.


The BX50 oven is 0.5 cubic foot larger and each grate is 15.75 square inches bigger, which is really not much difference in the whole scope of things. However, the Competitor does have more cooking area out of the box since it ships with 8 grates.

The Competitor ships with 8 removable grates 3” apart with the option to add more grates. The BX50 Box Smoker comes with 4 removable grates 6” apart. You can add 3 extra grates for a total of 7, which reduces the grate spacing to 3”. The Competitor’s 8 grates offers almost 300 square inches of cooking area more than the BX50’s 7 grates. This extra cooking surface would be useful for thin items such as ribs; however, for thicker items, such as full briskets and pork butts, you will need more than 3” spacing.

Comparing our meat capacities with the Competitor, it looks like there is not much difference. For example, they list 8–12 briskets. We list 2 briskets per grate, times 4 grates, which equals 8. We list 16 pork butts; they have 16–18. We list 4 racks of baby back ribs per grate, which equals 28 racks when using 7 grates. They list 22–26 slabs of baby back ribs. Since the BX50 grates are bigger, the only way they are getting more capacity is by using more grates or crowding the grates more.

Auto Water Feed

The BX50 comes with a 5-gallon water jug that keeps water in the pan. This is really helpful if you don’t want to hassle with opening the smoker door and checking the water level on those long cooks.

Air Flow

The Competitor is reverse flow, and some people have wondered how the BX50 air flow is designed. The BX50 is not reverse flow; however, it is insulated and produces very consistent temperatures in the oven. In our experience, the top and bottom thermometers show only several degrees difference once it’s up and running, at least when using it as a water smoker.

The BX50 is an upright smoker with the fire box in the bottom and a water pan, steel plates, and a grease pan separating the fire from the food.

Here is a break-down of the air flow:

  • The air enters the firebox through vents on the sides of the firebox. The vents make it easy to fine-tune your fire and hold a consistent temperature for a long 8–12 hour burn.
  • The water pan sits directly above the fire. It slides into the smoker on the left side of the firebox. Two latches hold it in place on the outside.
  • Above the water pan is a solid plate of steel with 1” holes around its perimeter.
  • Above the first plate of steel is another plate of steel, with a round pattern of holes in the center.
  • The grease pan slides in above the second plate of steel, diffusing the heat even more. The air flows past the grease pan in the front and back.
  • Now we are in the cooking chamber where the food is. The smoke stack is at the top of the cooking chamber, in the middle of the ceiling. The air enters the stack left and right, traveling through a short horizontal channel, then up and out.

Water Pan

The Competitor’s water pan is permanently welded into the smoker to keep it from warping. It must have water in it for the smoker to maintain a stable temperature. The BX50 water pan is removable and held securely by positive lock latches on the outside of the smoker. It is heavy enough that it will not warp or burn through if you run it dry.

If you have any questions about the Meadow Creek BX50 Box Smoker or any of their equipment, fire away! We’ll be happy to help.

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6 Responses to “Meadow Creek BX50 vs. Backwoods Competitor”

  1. Ricki Snyder Says:

    Can a BBQ guru be attached to nthe BX50 without drilling?


    Lavern Reply:

    Yes, it has a pipe coming out for the Guru to attach to.


  2. Ricki Snyder Says:

    Can you also burn wood to help flavor the meat?


    Lavern Reply:

    Absolutely. If you use all wood, you’ll have to learn how to control a consistent temperature and optimum smoke just as you would in other smokers, but some chunks or splits on top of the charcoal will be easy to master.


  3. Brian Painter Says:

    I purchased a BX50 smoker 2 years ago. I love it. I run a GURU with a 25cfm fan. It does everything advertised. It holds the heat great. The drip pan catches almost everything making cleanup easy. It does get very hot at the back so I had to learn not to push the meat too far back. I had to learn how to use it but It is exactly what I was looking for. I fully believe that my two sons will be fighting over who will get it when I’m gone.


    Lavern Reply:

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Brian!


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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 Catererssorry, too much risk). Please realize that we (Yoders 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 youre 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 ethicshonesty, diligence, and fairness. Whether its 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.