I usually use Royal Oak Lump with wood added. Works great and very little ash.
But I've also used Kings-Ford Blue. Much more ash and a funny taste, KF also doesn't keep temps much higher than 225* in my smoker. Also I have to start a new chimney almost as soon as I dump lit chimney into basket.
Lump & wood chunks/splits, is my favorite, but lump is expensive.
So I decided to try some Gordon Food Store Hardwood Briquettes.
I'm very impressed with them!
No chemical smell or taste from them.
Takes a little longer to light, than KF or lump. But it burns cleaner and hotter than KF for much longer time, and hold temp range rock steady.
I've used it 3 times now, and I ended up using just as much as I do other charcoal.
Why? Because I always start a new chimney WAY too early! LOL I ended up burning half my briquettes in the chimney waiting for temp drop signal, to add them.
The temp drop is much longer than KF. I have to learn not to jump the gun with these as I would have to with KF.
Only downside is ASH! I mean a TON of it! Even more than KF. So now I know I have to dump ashes often for air supply.
Sheesh! I can cook all day, and not get but a cup or two of ash from RO lump. But I also spend a lot more time added and tending. It's a trade off.
But over all, I'm very happy with GFS hardwood briquettes, and the extra heat and longer burning. Just have to get used to it.
Do you get similar results?