Don't know that I'd use charcoal briquettes--they contain some nasty petroleum products that can give off flavors to your food. Use a lump hardwood charcoal instead.
I have had zero issues regarding off tastes using charcoal briquettes as a heat source when hot smoking meats. Use a quality brand (Kingsford, Stubbs, Royal Oak) and don't get match light and it's not really an issue. I haven't used briquettes for cold smoking, however.
Originally Posted by Lucretia
That said, I do prefer hardwood lump over briquettes, but I won't hesitate to use them if it's all I have and I always stock up on briqs when Home Depot and Lowe's run their charcoal sales around Memorial Day.
I use stubbs as they have no mineral coal or other additives in them and have less ash than the Kingsford. As A rule I hot smoke with lump, but the briquettes burn longer for this cold smoking deal.