Robert W

Mike, Thanks for taking the time for Q & A. Why doesn't Weber recommend the use of lump?

"Remove the lid and center section before lighting the charcoal briquettes. Weber recommends the use of charcoal briquettes (A) with your Weber® Smokey Mountain Cooker™ smoker. Lump charcoal or heat beads are not recommended."
From my personal experience, lump can and will burn inconsistently and who knows about taste. You never know what you are getting bag to bag.

With briquettes like kingsford, royal oak, etc.. you will have predictability. And with major brands -always.

I used this one brand i found at a drug store one time. Arrow? It was prolly just their brand.. but dang, that stuff was great.

So as I will recommend to new users.. start with briquettes. After a few good cooking experineces, try lump if you like and see what happens. mix it with briquettes, do what you like. there are no rules and your special mix may be the best you ever hard and the secret to your success.

Remember.. like any product you buy, the manufacturer gives general guidlines and starting points to get you off on the right foot and enjoy the experience right away. I bought a new guitar amp yesterday and it came with a guide to dial in sounds right away. they weren't hard and fast rules, but i was up and running asap.

BUT.. NEVER EVER use matchlight-type briquettes in any smoker. It can cause a bit of damage to the unit and possibly yourself. those are fine for smokey joes and kettles when you are at the beach, but not for this application.