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I'm beginning to understand a little more about this kamado cooking on the classic and so far I'm really jazzed, I like it. I'd like to get your opinion on charcoal. I've got a birthday party coming up Monday and will be cooking three chickens -- probably roasting them with a Puerto Rican spice, for a family get together. The pressure is on, its my wife's family, and I want this to be tasty! So far, I've tried two kinds of charcoal, the first was Royal Oak from Home Depot and then I got a bag of Cowboy at WalMart. I did a roast chicken with the RO and it was perfect, just a hint of smoke flavor -- but I was running out of charcoal in the firebox and pulled it at 161 degrees, thinking it would it would come up a couple degrees as it sat. Next time I'll wait until 165 Then I tried beer can chicken with the Cowboy charcoal and 1 chuck of applewood. The smoke flavor was too strong and although the chicken was pretty good when I first pulled it off, left-overs had a strong smoke taste. Its possible I didn't have the cowboy charcoal burned enough and there was too much smoke, but it was at the right temperature. Last night I cooked a London Broil, making sure the fire was hot and there was very little smoke coming out the chimney (450 degrees). The steak came out great, but the smoke flavor was a little strong and since I didn't add any wood for flavor, I'm convinced this is from the charcoal. Cowboy lump is probably made from Mesquite since it comes from Texas/Mexico and it seemed there were some 'branches' in the bag. Mesquite is great for grilling steak, but I've always thought it was too bitter for smoked meats. Years ago a guy from Texas told me it was fine for brisket, ribs or pork butts as long as you brined it or sprayed the meat with some kind of citrus juice during the cook. I know there are a lot of people who like Cowboy lump, but from here on out, I'm probably going to scratch it from my list. But, maybe I'm missing something here, and there's a way to get a milder flavor from the Cowboy lump.