So I figured out what was happening.
I had always been using Royal Oak before and never had a problem, could poor it in and hand pick out the rest when I am near the bottom to avoid the dust.
When I switched over to the Publix version I started having my problem. I totally vacuumed and disassembled the firebox etc so it was totally clean. Worked pretty good for a couple cooks then started smoking again.
Moved to a different lump and still had problems.
I finally decided to unload all the used charcoal again to find that the lump (both versions) had very small pieces of lump that were all around the bottom of the firebox choking off airflow. I cleared that out and hand picked out only good sized lump and it lit up like it should.
Low and behold, it was my inexperience with not knowing that not all bags of lump are like the Royal Oak and have good sized lump. I will no longer assume I can just pour in a bag. A very frustrating experience but I am glad to have solved this mystery and learned a lesson.
Right in time for football!
This post was edited on 8/29 at 10:46 am