Hookah FAQ – How to Load a Hookah Bowl

February 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Hookah FAQ

how to load a hookah

Learning how to set up your hookah properly is essential in order to experience the best flavor, smoking session length and amount of smoke.

First, make sure that your hookah is airtight. Then add clean water to the base of the hookah. About one inch from the bottom of the downstem (the pipe inside of the glass base) is perfect.  Once these two provisions are made, you can move on to loading the hookah bowl. Start by taking your shisha, or flavored tobacco, and breaking it into small clumps. Place these clumps loosely in the bowl, and make sure the clumps stay slightly below the rim; otherwise it will overflow when you try to put the foil on top of the bowl. Make sure that the shisha isn’t packed down too much inside the bowl, because you want breathing room for all of the air in the bowl to go to the shisha for the best flavor.

The next step is to put foil over the bowl filled with shisha. Take time to make sure the foil is pulled taught over the bowl, and fold it down well over the rim to make the setup as airtight as it can possibly be. Next, for ventilation, you will need to poke many small holes in the foil covering the bowl. The best tools to use for this would be a safety pin or a toothpick. Poke many holes in the foil, but make sure that the holes aren’t too big, otherwise ash could fall down through these holes as your coal burns above.

Now you are ready to put the bowl on your hookah and place the coals on top of the foil.

From my personal experience, lighting the coals properly is often the trickiest part of setting up a hookah for smoking. Be sure that you’ve bought the right sized coals for your hookah, and read the instructions on the package. Make sure that each coal is entirely lit, and place them on top of the foil.

At this point, you can test your hookah.

If the flavor gets too strong, remove the coals for a little while and let it cool down. During a hookah session, also make sure to move the coals around with a pair of tongs. Every ten or fifteen minutes should be enough. Always following these steps will provide for a great hookah smoking experience.

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