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How to Use Charcoal for Hookah

  • 11 min reading time
How to Use Charcoal for Hookah - The Premium Way

Hookah is a centuries-old tradition from the Middle East. It offers a unique smoking method where flavoured tobacco, called "masses", is heated, and the resulting smoke passes through water before being inhaled by the user. This water filtration gives the smoke a smoother and cooler texture, making the experience distinctive from conventional smoking methods.

The charcoal is at the heart of this ritual, which heats the tobacco. With the right charcoal, the hookah experience can be protected. The charcoal's type, quality, and preparation are pivotal in determining the smoke's flavour, intensity, and longevity. As such, understanding the intricate relationship between hookah and charcoal is essential for anyone looking to dive deep into the art and pleasure of hookah smoking.

Types of Charcoal for Hookah

Charcoal for Hookah

Selecting the right charcoal is crucial. Different charcoals offer varying burn times, heat levels, and flavours.

Quick Lighting Charcoal

As their name implies, quick-lighting charcoals are designed for swift ignition and are especially favoured by those who seek a hassle-free start to their hookah sessions. These charcoal come to life in seconds with a simple spark from a lighter. However, convenience comes with a cost. Accelerants used to speed up lighting might give the smoke a bad flavour. They're great for beginners and on the go, but experienced hookah users may choose natural alternatives for a purer flavour. Choosing charcoal requires balancing convenience and taste.

Natural Coconut Charcoal

Natural coconut charcoals are the gold standard for many hookah connoisseurs. Crafted from compressed coconut shells, they offer a clean and sustainable heat source. They contain no accelerants, unlike quick-lighting charcoal, so the tobacco flavour remains pure. Their purity makes them popular: they burn longer, sustain heat, and don't add chemical flavours to smoke. Natural coconut charcoals are appreciated by seasoned hookah smokers who want an authentic, uninterrupted smoking experience. They stand out in hookah charcoal for their lengthy burning time and flavour preservation.

Lemonwood and Olive Wood Charcoal

Natural coconut charcoals are the gold standard for many hookah connoisseurs. Crafted from compressed coconut shells, they offer a clean and sustainable heat source. They contain no accelerants, unlike quick-lighting charcoal, so the tobacco flavour remains pure. Their purity makes them popular: they burn longer, sustain heat, and don't add chemical flavours to smoke. Natural coconut charcoals are appreciated by seasoned hookah smokers who want an authentic, uninterrupted smoking experience. Their prolonged burning time and flavour-preserving qualities make them stand out in hookah charcoal.

Preparing the Charcoal for Hookah

Preparing the Charcoal for Hookah

Ensure a Safe Workspace

When dealing with anything involving fire or high temperatures, the environment you operate in becomes paramount. Setting up a safe workspace means selecting a non-flammable surface, clear of potential fire hazards like papers, fabrics, or other combustibles. The lack of such materials greatly lowers unintentional fires. Watch out for the burning charcoal rolling off or falling over. Despite hookah's relaxing atmosphere and tasty taste, safety should always come first. A little caution helps you enjoy your hookah session without surprises.

Gather Necessary Tools

Before setting up your hookah, having the right tools at your disposal is essential. A pair of sturdy metal tongs are non-negotiable, ensuring safe handling of the hot charcoal and minimising the risk of burns. Ignition requires a reliable lighter or torch, especially for quick-lighting charcoal. For natural coconut charcoal lovers, an electric stove provides an even heat source to flame the charcoal. Planning isn't just about speed; it's about establishing a fluid experience where you can go from step to step while maintaining your safety and session quality.

Choose the Right Charcoal


Beginning your hookah session on the right note starts with choosing the ideal charcoal. The market offers quick-lighting charcoals and natural coconut charcoals with continuous heat. Each type has its unique characteristics, influencing not just the taste but also the longevity of your smoking experience. Quick-lighting charcoals ignite instantly, but genuine coconut charcoals burn cleaner and heat evenly. Understanding your choices and each option's intricacies is crucial. Selecting the correct charcoal is an art that can enhance your hookah experience.

Lighting the Charcoal

Igniting your charcoal is both an art and a science. For quick lighting charcoal, grab it securely with tongs and apply flame from a lighter. Watch for the mesmerising sparkles that dance across its surface as it catches fire, signalling its readiness. Please wait until it glows uniformly for optimal results. However, natural coconut charcoal takes longer. Place it on a high-setting electric burner or use a torch to heat it. A continuous red light indicates well-heated charcoal ready to enhance your hookah experience.

Wait for Even Heating

One of the secrets to a perfect hookah session is the consistent heat your charcoal provides. Once ignited, it's essential to exhibit patience and allow the charcoal to heat evenly. An evenly lit charcoal will have a uniform glow across its entire surface, indicating it distributes heat consistently. A thin, white layer of ash will build on the surface over time, stabilising the heat. This ash layer insulates charcoal, keeping it warm. A smoother, tastier, and more pleasurable hookah session can result from taking this small moment to guarantee even heating.

Transfer to Hookah Bowl

Customising your hookah experience is all about finding what works best for you. One such personal touch might involve breaking or sectioning your charcoal. Hookah bowls, especially smaller ones, may not fit a full charcoal piece. Use your trusty tongs to break the charcoal into smaller bits. These parts distribute the tobacco evenly, making every pull hot and tasty. Sectioning your charcoal can improve the quality and durability of your smoking session, whether it's for a bowl size or personal taste. Finding the right balance is key.

Monitor and Adjust

As you settle into your hookah session, your involvement doesn't end. To maintain a consistent and delightful experience, watch the charcoal's position on the bowl. Over time, as the charcoal burns, certain areas of the tobacco might receive more heat than others. Reposition the charcoal with tongs to avoid this. This easy tweak helps distribute heat evenly, making each pull tasty. You may avoid burning tobacco too quickly and enjoy every hookah session by monitoring and making minor adjustments.

Enjoy and Replace as Needed

Charcoal, as it burns, naturally reduces in size and intensity. Replace when the heat wanes or the charcoal shrinks significantly. Before adding new charcoal, use tongs to tap off the ash and remove old charcoal carefully. It frees up space and lets the new charcoal burn well without ash. Be diligent in replacing charcoal and cleaning the bowl to ensure every puff is tasty, smooth, and pleasant. Wishing you many unforgettable hookah moments!

The Premium Way: Elevating the Hookah Experience

The Premium Way stands as a beacon of excellence in the world of shisha charcoal and coals. This leading provider has carved its reputation on the pillars of quality, consistency, and durability, making it the top pick for numerous shisha aficionados. For those in pursuit of an unparalleled shisha experience, At The Premium Way, we not only promise but deliver charcoals that enhance every nuance of your favourite flavour. It's not just about providing heat; it's about ensuring that the warmth is perfect, amplifying the essence of your chosen shisha. 

Safety Tips for Using Charcoal with Hookah

Using Charcoal with Hookah

Work in a Well-Ventilated Area

When enjoying a hookah session, the ambience and setting are often as crucial as your flavours. However, a vital factor that many overlook is the environment's air quality. Using charcoal to relax produces carbon monoxide, a colourless, odourless gas that can be dangerous in large amounts. It is why your hookah space needs good ventilation. Open windows, fans, and spacious rooms scatter carbon monoxide and give fresh air, keeping you safe as you relax.

Use Heat-resistant Gloves

Handling hot charcoal is an intricate dance of precision and safety. While experienced hookah users might feel confident using just tongs, the unpredictable nature of glowing charcoal means there's always a risk of burns. Enter heat-resistant gloves—a game-changer in the world of hookah preparation. These gloves protect your skin from scalding charcoal with high-temperature materials. Wearing these gloves reduces the chance of burns when adjusting the bowl's coals or lighting a new piece, making you more relaxed and assured. Better to be over-prepared than to suffer a terrible burn. So, when in doubt, glove up!

Store Charcoals in a Dry Place

Charcoals, while seemingly simple in appearance, have a delicate nature that demands proper storage. Moisture is a silent adversary to charcoal. When exposed to dampness or humidity, charcoal can become challenging to light and may burn less efficiently. Wet charcoal can also flame unexpectedly, providing a safety danger. Store your charcoals in a dry, cold place to maintain their quality and heat for your hookah session. Consider keeping your hookah experience's heartbeat; a little care ensures every session is great.

Avoid Lighting Charcoals Near Flammable Objects

Igniting charcoal might seem straightforward, but it's essential to remember that they're a potent heat source capable of easily sparking fires. As charcoal glows, sparks and extreme heat transform nearby flammable things into fire dangers. Paper, curtains, tablecloths, and clothing might catch fire if placed near the illumination. Avoid combustibles before lighting charcoal for safety. A safe, clutter-free atmosphere protects your surroundings and sets the mood for a relaxing hookah session. Safety first prolongs fun!

Never Use Gasoline or Kerosene 

Some might be tempted to use accelerants like gasoline or kerosene to hasten the charcoal lighting process for a quicker hookah session. However, this shortcut can lead to difficult consequences. Fuels like gasoline and kerosene can start fires quickly and uncontrollably with charcoal. They also emit harmful vapours that are unhealthy to inhale. Accelerants can also change the taste of tobacco, ruining the hookah experience. Stay with electric stoves or torches for a safe, authentic session. The best hookah experience requires patience and safety.

Wait Until the Charcoal is Completely Cooled Before Disposal

At the end of a relaxing hookah session, one might be eager to wrap things up and finish other tasks. However, it's crucial to approach the disposal of used charcoal with patience and caution. Hot or even warm charcoal, when discarded in trash bins, can lead to unintended fires by igniting other waste materials. The residual heat in charcoal can start a fire, making a benign deed deadly. Always let charcoal cool preferably overnight to avoid this. By morning, they'll be safe to handle and dispose of. A little patience at the end ensures safety and peace of mind, finishing your hookah experience correctly.


Using charcoal for hookah can elevate your smoking experience. You can enjoy a flavorful, smooth, and safe session by choosing the right type and following safety precautions. So, the next time you set up your hookah, remember these tips and light up responsibly!

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