So, I did two bags of Royal Oak, used a 2nd grate to help keep it from falling through. It worked ok, but seemed to run really hot, then burn up fairly quick, and I'd have problems holding temp towards the end of a 6 hour rib smoke (really had to start opening vents and temps swinging both ways). I thought ok I'll go back to briqs because even though I've only maybe done 8-10 smokes I remembered last year my first long smoke of 9 hours on a pork butt I didn't have many problems and was running Kingsford Comp. briqs. So I tried those again the other day for about a 2 1/2 hour smoke. While it took about 3/4 of the bag to fill the ring mostly up.......I used a new method I learned from a post from "fpnmf" to use a can in the middle and twist the ring to settle the charcoal.........temps seemed more stable although I had to open the vents up more to get to temp vs. the RO. I did have to shake the ring a few times during the 2 1/2 hours to knock out ash though when the temps wanted to fall a bit. Got done, had plenty of charcoal left, closed the vents. Go and look the other day and instead of going out, the charcoal had pretty much burned itself up after so I basically used 3/4 of an 11lb bag for a 2 1/2 hour smoke, oops. That never happened with the lump.
So now I'm not sure what to try next. I've been thinking of Stubbs briqs, I believe it's supposed to be a lot less ash. I wanted to try the Wicked Good but I can't find any of their briqs around here and their website is out for now. However, assuming it's still there, my local CA Backyard store has a 22lb bag of Wicked Good weekend warrior lump. What do you guys think? Should I try the Stubbs briqs next? Or give the WG lump a shot?