I've only used lump in my uds and have done a few briskets with it. That being said you will get some fare ups with the lump but they will go back with a little time. It takes some tending with the lump.
For the very first time I'm going to try briquettes for a 8lb pork shoulder tomorrow. I've read some say they get a more even burn using the briquettes. I'm thinking this will be a 10 to 12 hour smoke so I want to see how they will do with this long smoke.
The briqettes are more even and last longer. I still prefer chunk but I like being tied down to the smoker and the beer cooler all day. "Nope hun can't do that now got to watch the smoker." Works out fine so far.
Keep in mind that a Brisket will come up to temps much quicker on a UDS. Lump will work fine or maybe a combination of lump and briquettes. I'd even go as far as suggesting a water/liquid pan below the brisket....that would help even out your temps across the grate.
Good luck with your smoke.
I've had a pork shoulder in the uds for 6 hours and while the temp to this point have been nice and steady at 230-240 they started to fall off at this point. It's not due to the lack of fuel that's for sure. I looked in and the ash build up wasn't bad enough to choke the briquettes out or so I thought. I took the basket out and shook it out and replaced it. The temps are now back up and running fine, although a bit of a spike of course.
So far this has been the only negative point in using the briquettes. We'll see how the rest of the smoke goes. The shoulder is wrapped and back in the smoker. I'll take it to 205 for pulling.
Having to shake the basket is still easier than having to constantly adjust the air flow, that's for sure. Maybe with a bit more practice using the briquettes I can minimize that too.
I really like the Kingsford Competition Briquettes although it burns a little hotter. The blue bag Kingsford that we get out here has a funny smell to it when it is lighting. I have heard that there are two Kingsford plants in the US and the blue bag stuff on the West Coast has the funny smell but the blue bag stuff in other parts of the US doesn't.
Anyway, the Kingsford Comp stuff smells real nice. I did some chicken leg quarters with it and no smoke wood and they came out awesome. I have used Royal Oak briquettes too but like the Kingsford Comp stuff better. Not much selection around here.
Went to GFS today to pick up some lump. They were out of course. They had some "Hardwood Briquetes", food service quality, 60% larger briqs. I bought a couple bags and once the initial burn of lump (had about a quarter bag left) I'll try those. Got a pork loin on and some new tuning plates in the snp. Building a new charcoal basket too. Bubba I'm on the hunt for a candidate for my first UDS. :)