By Steve Nelson (Pitmaster Club member: Troutman)
Have I found the Holy Grail? Well maybe not, but I did find an accessory for my pellet cooker that has dramatically increased the smoke levels during a long cook. As explained in this article, pellet smokers are so efficient they often don’t produce enough smoke to satisfy Texans and others who want strong smoke flavor.
I run a Pitts & Spitts custom rig. It was originally a P&S log burner that’s been converted into a pellet cooker using the Smoke Daddy Pellet Pro hopper, burn pot and PID controller. I love this rig for its convenience and size. I can cook well over 100 pounds of meat in the thing. I really like heavy smoke profiles in my barbecue, the kind you get with a log burner or charcoal burner with wood chunks. My custom P&S pellet smoker works wonders on delicate proteins like fish, but beef and pork cooked on it always seem to lack that smoky flavor I love.
I happened to be cruising the Smoke Daddy website looking for something completely different and came across the Heavy D Stick Burning Heat Diffuser. At $100, it was a little on the expensive side, but I figured that it looked promising enough and decided to buy it. The Heavy D replaces your current diffuser plate, and it’s made of heavy 10 gauge steel, so it should last forever without warping.
When I installed it, it needed a little propping up to get the proper clearance over the burnpot. Otherwise, it fit like a glove. The Heavy D is pretty much like other pellet smoker heat diffusers. It’s a big steel plate, but it has perforated chambers that sit on either side of the burnpot. You load the chambers with small splits or chunks of wood, and they smolder and smoke from the fire in the burn pot, producing some really nice smoke levels.
Like what you’re reading? Click here to get Smoke Signals, our free monthly email that tells you about new articles, science, recipes, product reviews, mythbusting, and more. Be Amazing!
For the inaugural cook, I did some beef ribs and was more than satisfied. The Heavy D produced about 2 to 2 1/2 hours of smoke at 275ºF. When the wood is spent, the smoke tapers off. That’s usually enough to impart a nice smokiness to the meat, as it did with my beef ribs. Here’s the smoke level at the 1 hour mark, rolling pretty thick…
And here’s the smoke just before the 2-hour mark. At this point, the smoke was nice and blue. As we explain in this article, blue smoke is the best tasting.
After that, it tapered off to nothing. But you could always load more wood for longer cooks. To keep the wood from igniting and increasing your grill temp too much, the perforated chambers have removable end plates.
I’m more than satisfied with the results. This accessory has turned my pellet “cooker” into a true pellet “smoker”! If you’re frustrated with your pellet smoke levels like I was, you might want to give it some consideration. I was actually at the point of thinking of selling the unit. But the Heavy D breathed new life into it! Smoke Daddy says it fits any pellet smoker with a centered burnpot and 19 1/2″ depth, which covers most makes and models. Depending on your rig, you could even give Dennis at Smoke Daddy a call to see if he can build a custom one for you.
Smoke Daddy, Inc. is a family owned business run by a semi-retired machinist who invented the Original Smoke Daddy Cold Smoke Generator. Since 2009, the company has expanded and now produces a wide range of cold smokers, pellet smokers, pellet hopper assemblies, wood pellets, chips, chunks, and custom smoker parts and accessories.
Published On: 1/27/2020 Last Modified: 9/24/2021
These are products we have tested, won our top awards, and are highly recommend. Click here to read how we test, about our medals, and what they mean.
A big part of this site is our unbiased equipment and product reviews. We love playing with toys and we have no problem calling them the way we see them. Some companies pay a finder’s fee if a reader clicks a link on AmazingRibs.com and buys a product. It has zero impact on our reviews, zero impact on the price you pay, and the sites never tell us what you bought, but it has a major impact on our ability to keep this site alive! So before you buy, please click our links. Here’s a link that takes you to a page on Amazon that has some of our favorite tools and toys: https://tinyurl.com/amazingribs
Winner of the National BBQ Association’s product of the year award. This 8.5″ x 11″ magnet contains more that 80 benchmark temperatures for meats (both USDA recommended temps as well as the temps chefs recommend), fats and oils, sugars, sous vide, eggs, collagens, wood combustion, breads, and more. Although it is not certified as all-weather, we have tested it outdoors in Chicago weather and it has not delaminated in three years, but there is minor fading.
The PBC has a rabid cult following for good reason. It is absolutely positively without a doubt the best bargain on a smoker in the world. Period. This baby will cook circles around the cheap offset sideways barrel smokers because temperature control is so much easier.
The PK-360, with 360 square inches of cooking space, this rust free, cast aluminum charcoal grill is durable and easy to use. Four-way venting means it’s easy to set up for two zone cooking with more control than single vent Kamado grills. It is beautifully designed, completely portable, and much easier to set up for 2-zone cooking than any round kamado.
ThermoWorks’ Thermapen ONE provides an accurate reading in one second or less. The ONE also includes features that are common on high-end instruments: automatic backlight, rotating display, and water resistant seals. Don’t accept cheap substitutes.
Click here to read our comprehensive Platinum Medal review
This is the first propane smoker with a thermostat, making this baby foolproof. Set ThermoTemp’s dial from 175° to 350°F and the thermostat inside will adjust the burner just like an indoor kitchen oven. All you need to do is add wood to the tray above the burner to start smokin’.
Built around SnS Grill’s patented Slow ‘N Sear charcoal kettle accessory, this 22-inch kamado is a premium ceramic grill that brings true 2-zone cooking to a kamado.