Originally Posted by HookahWaffle
If you're using coco coals,
as sambooka said, make sure they're fully lit, other than that, where do you store them ? I had a bad box of CH Naturals from john once, they sat in the basement too long and absorbed a shitton of moisture. If the coals have a high moisture content, no amount of letting them sit on the stove will keep them lit, they will go out as they near the center of the coal (since it hasnt started burning yet and is still filled with water).
Try a different box or keep your coals in a better place, such as a kitchen cabinet above the stove or an area that gets a decent amount of heat to reduce moisture buildup.
If the second scenario is the case, and the coals are moisture soaked, forget it, the entire box is going to be crappy.
I definitely leave them on the stove for a while. Usually about 11-12 minutes. I don't always flip them half way through, so sometimes there's a spot of black on the top which goes away within a few minutes of smoking.
I was thinking it might be a bad box. I got about 5 boxes from John which are now stored in a cedar chest in my bedroom before they're ready to be used. The box currently in use is kept in a jar with a clamp sealed lid. So I think if they have moisture issues they must've come that way. But now that I think about it, I think it's just since I opened a new box a few nights ago that I noticed the problem.
Is it possible that some of the box is damaged, while the rest of the box is fine? Cause not all the coals have the problem.