I cant think of a better way to describe my experiences cooking ribs other than frustration. The first time i tried it... the most amazing, best tasting ever, but since the hit/miss. I'm using the Mike's 3-2-1 method @ 225-250 (at the dome) and at those temps i sometimes encounter bitter tasting ribs. My process is as follows: cleaning out the egg (taking out he rings, etc), saving some of the left over lump, then adding new Royal Oak lump above the used. I add 2 green egg fire starts and let it burn with the dome open for at least 30 minutes. I then add chunks of hickory or peach and close the dampener down to sliver/slightly open, add the plate setter, pop on the grate, and let the temp stabilize at about 225. I then add the ribs. Where am i going wrong? The ribs have a the taste of what the lump smells like when i first start it up (also it seems that smell is slightly present during the cook). Do you think it's the Royal Oak - I'm using a bag that i had for a while (i stocked up when they went on sale at Walmart)? Should i let it burn for an hour before adding the ribs? Even then there's still unburnt lump, so my thought is the unburnt lump will still give off that bitter smoke? Has anyone had an issue with bitter ribs or have insight as to why this occurs? if so, please describe your solution.