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Put some celery seed or pink Him sea salt in that rub (natural nitrates). I remember the thread that Zmokin was talking about. I think moisture is another way to acheive one. Wrap in bacon, spray, mop ....
I've done one where i used strawberry sauce(frozen bag and sugar,heated) as the base, sliced strawberry as roni, shaved white choc after it comes off the heat as the cheese. Sprinkle with fresh grated pistachio.
Here's my short suggestion.
Don't use less lump. Have a full fire box, and light it, and/or stir the lump so that it is burning evenly. You don't want a super hot spot in the center, and almost nothing burning towards the edges. …
I guess one advantage of southern coastal living is not having this worry. Currently have about five lbs RO. But I have to pass Wallys on the way home from work where RO is $6 for 8.8lb bag year round.