Lump charcoal does burn cleaner, once it is lit. But, if you put cold lump into a fire, it will also throw bad smoke initially. The key, as already stated, fire management for a consistent fire and preheating the coals. When I am doing a cook in my kettle, I preheat the charcoal in my chimney, I just light up a chimney filled with what I think I will need, fire off a few briquettes with a torch or paper and let it heat up and offgas. Works fine.
I'm feeling bearish, and I'm packing a Wusthof Grand Brisket slicer from MABA
"perhaps...but then again...maybe not..."