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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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The Simple Secret to Tender, Mouth Watering Grilled Chicken Every Time—From the Skin to the Bone!

July 23rd, 2016

Grilled Chicken

The Classic Grilled Chicken Problem

How many times have you tried to grill chicken quarters on that trusty old grill, only to dry out the surface every single time? You know… crispy skin, fully cooked but not dried out, and tender all the way through?

Rest assured, you are not alone. It’s a common dilemma.

However, the good news is that it’s not your fault. And the better news is that I can show you how to grill perfect chicken. And the best news is that it’s easy as pie if you do it right.

Note: When I refer to chicken in this post, I’m talking about bone-in chicken halves, quarters, thighs, or legs with the skin on.

One way to solve this problem is to precook the chicken in water on the stove. Then before it’s done cooking, remove it from the water and finish it off on the grill. I’ve done this on my gas grill already and it works. But think of it, how degrading is it to cook the chicken in water? I mean hey, we’re talking barbecue. On second thought, let’s just forget I said that.

A more legitimate solution would be to just throw it on your offset smoker and give it a good dose of indirect heat. Unfortunately, this just causes another problem—rubbery skin. Even running your smoker “hot and fast” doesn’t necessarily make the skin edible every time unless you’re really good at it.

There is a better way. Two, actually.

grilling chicken on barbecue with flames

Offset the Fire

Most of the grills out there are not designed to grill chicken, or rather a full grate of chicken. The grate is way too close to the fire. But don’t get worried. If you have a plain ole’ grill, such as the Weber Kettle grill, you can build a fire on one side, put your meat on the other side, and close the lid. Or build a small fire on both sides and put the meat in the middle. (If you’re cooking with gas, just turn on the one burner.)

Add some wood to make a little smoke, and now you’ve got a cross between grilling over a hot fire and smoking indirect. Cook the chicken indirect for a while, then finish it directly over the hot coal to crisp up the skin. You will turn out some great barbecue. But how is this going to work if have 30 or 100 or even 500 people to feed? That’s where a big pit comes in.

Into the Pit You Go, Birdie

The easiest and best way to cook the most amazing bone-in chicken is maintaining enough distance between the fire and the meat—still direct grilling, but not as direct as on a regular grill.

That’s why you see people laying up pits with concrete blocks for chicken barbecues at fund-raisers, auctions, open houses, etc. Sometimes they even wire two grates together and have two big guys flip the whole rack by hand instead of flipping each piece of meat separately. It works and is one of the best ways to cook bone-in chicken halves and pieces.

So you stack up a couple rows of 8″ concrete blocks on a flat area, build a hot fire in it, set some grates on top, and get to loadin’ the chicken. It seems we’re really on to something until the fire starts flaring up, the skin is burning, and the chicken is drying out—and wait a minute—there’s still red juice on the inside!

Believe it or not, this is normal. Same frustration as on that grill you picked up at Home Depot.

You see, your chicken is still too close to the fire. If your pit was tight with vents and lids, a foot would be enough space, but you’re cooking on an open pit with cracks and no easy way to fine-tune the fire.

Simply build your pit up to about 32″ deep with a couple more rows of blocks, and now you have the setup you need to feasibly crank out amazing grilled chicken without too much worry of flare-ups and frantic chaos while you try to flip chicken “90 miles an hour”.

The goal is to crank out grilled chicken that is fully cooked on the bone, but not dried out on the surface—crispy perfect skin and juicy all the way through. Cooked uniformly from east to west, north to south.

And now you can do it!

There are also other secrets to grilling outrageous chicken, such as seasoning it well, getting smoke flavor into the meat, knowing when it’s done, etc, but using the proper grill is the most important step.

Flipping Chicken

The Coolest Grill Ever

Speaking of equipment, Meadow Creek Chicken Cookers make it easy as pie. There is no better way to grill chicken known to man!

Known as the “Chicken Cookers”, Meadow Creek’s grills with rotating sandwich grates take barbecue fund-raising and backyard grilling to a whole new level.

Double-sided easy-turn grates make it easy to turn the entire rack of meat with one hand. The stainless steel grates never rust and are easy to maintain, for many long years of use.

Meadow Creek Chicken Cookers come in a variety of sizes, from backyard patio models to road-ready trailers with multiple pits you can pull behind your truck. Imagine arriving on site with your pit intact and ready to fire up, instead of arriving with a load of blocks you have to set up and take down every time!

Browse these grills in our online store: Meadow Creek Chicken Cookers


Easy to crank out hundreds of meals


Outstanding craftsmanship


Stewart Ellis (above) from Clear Brook, VA is a Meadow Creek Chicken Cooker user. He has 60 years experience in cooking barbecue and this is what he said about his experience cooking on a Meadow Creek grill, “I started cooking barbecue chicken with my dad in the late 40’s and 50’s. He would cook for our church and fire company fundraisers. After my father died, I started barbecuing chicken for the churches or any other fundraiser. I have cooked chicken for Relay for Life and for band camps, but mostly for churches. I purchased my Meadow Creek cooker in 2005. This is one of the best investments I have ever made. This would be a great business for someone. The best reward is when someone comes up and tells me, ‘That is the best chicken I ever had; how do you keep it so good and moist?’ Thanks, Meadow Creek!”

Browse these grills in our online store: Meadow Creek Chicken Cookers

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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.