Kinds of hookah charcoal for your Shisha
In Hookah Shop Greece we know everything about hookah charcoal, and we love to share this useful information with you. The charcoals are one of the most functional elements of the hookah, as they will “cook” your tobacco in order to create the steam, soaked with the taste you have chosen to add. In order for the tobacco to heat properly, first light the coals to “burn” completely, and then place them on the foil with which you have wrapped the hookah bowl or in your heating device. The heat they produce will enter the bowl and will “cook” your tobacco, producing the water vapor that will offer you this pleasant hookah smoking experience.
How many kinds of hookah charcoal are there and how is each used on my hookah?
Choosing the right coal is not as easy as it seems. In the hookah market, you will find many brands and kinds of charcoal for shisha, but what you choose always depends on your personal taste and your preferences regarding the properties of your tobacco.
There are two main kinds of charcoal: quick lighting charcoal and natural charcoal. In general, natural charcoal, and especially coconut charcoal, provides fresh, organic smoke and a long smoking time, while quick lighting charcoal is preferred when one is in a hurry to start smoking. On average, traditional natural charcoals take up to 10 minutes to fully ignite, while quick lighting ones burn in just 30 seconds.
Let’s see in detail the kinds of shisha charcoal that exist on the market, as well as their basic properties:
Quick lighting Hookah charcoals
Instant quick-lighting coals: As their name suggests, they burn quickly because they are impregnated with a chemical accelerator that allows easy ignition. They are bought in small rolls and are round and black in form, making a “belly” on one side and sunken on the other, so that they do not cover the holes of the foil when placed on it.
Beginners usually prefer them because they offer fast ignition and immediate result. However, due to the speed of combustion and chemicals, they affect the final taste of the steam and they have a strong smell and taste during smoking, usually resulting in headache or dizziness.
You can light these charcoals using a lighter and a pair of hookah tongs. You will notice that their black color quickly turns deep red and in about 30 seconds they will start to turn gray. When this happens to a full extent they will be completely burned, and as soon as they start to remove white powdered carbon from their walls, then they are ready to be placed on the hookah bowl. 1-2 broken coals to slow down the burning speed are ideal to enjoy each of your sessions.
Semi-quick lighting silver charcoals: This is a hybrid type of charcoal between quick lighting and natural, sold in the form of a rectangular flat with cubes. They are covered by a silver chemical that acts as a combustion accelerator and usually takes 1 to 2 minutes to burn completely. They produce moderate heat, making smoking a little lighter than the previous ones and reducing their final influence on the taste and smell of tobacco.
They light up in the same way as the quick-lightning ones, while they are ready for use on your hookah bowl when their silver coating burns completely. In this case, 1-2 coals at a time are also enough to cover your bowl for a normal session.
Natural charcoals for Hookah
This kind can be made from different types of wood: lemon tree, coconut, orange tree, olive tree, or bamboo, and it is usually sold in the form of sticks. Their composition is exclusively natural, a fact that makes them ecological, healthy, and safe to use.
These charcoals are burned harder and therefore usually require the use of an electric heater to ignite, such as a hookah charcoal heater. Their burning time takes about 4-5 minutes on each side, as they do not have chemicals that accelerate the heat, while they offer a completely natural taste that doesn’t affect that of your tobacco at all.
Natural charcoals burn just like wood would, initially turning orange in color and reaching their perfect heating when they become gray-white. 2-3 charcoals are enough for a slow and long-lasting smoking experience.
Natural coconut charcoal: It is a completely ecological product that does not contain chemical ingredients and is made exclusively from compressed coconut shell. It is the most widespread and popular type of charcoal, thanks to its natural composition and its zero influence on the taste and smell of your steam. You can find it on the market in various forms, the most common of which are cubes or sticks.
The coconut Shisha charcoals are difficult to burn and take a long time, so you will need to place them in an electric source with a strong fire, such as a gas stove or an electric lighter. You need to turn them on both sides with the hookah tongs to burn them properly.
The most popular shisha charcoal brands are Tom Coco, the Zocomo, and the One Nation charcoals.
These charcoals are ready for use on your hookah bowl when completely discolored and having a gray-white color. Their slow and ecological combustion makes them completely safe and healthy to use and offers you a long-lasting experience in your smoking compared to quick lighting. That is why 2-3 are enough, while in case your charcoal bowl is big or your smoke is very wet, 3-4 coals are essential for your tobacco to be sufficiently heated.
This type of Hookah charcoals is the perfect fit for making a natural shisha fruit bowl.
Can I reheat my charcoal?
It would be best not to use your charcoal more than once. To always have an authentic and -above all- healthy smoking experience, it is advisable to prefer natural charcoals – especially the natural coconut charcoal- that have a neutral taste and aroma but are also free of chemicals. It is highly advisable to avoid reheating them after use.
How can I control the quality of my charcoal?
A safe way to check the quality of the charcoal you use is to check its color when lightened up: the lighter the color of the coal, the higher the temperature and thus cheaper the construction materials, while the more “brown” ones probably contain better quality ingredients. It is advisable to choose charcoals made from natural ingredients, ideally from coconut shells. This is because the heat provided by the coconut charcoal is completely odorless and tasteless, giving you the best taste of hookah smoke, but also a longer smoking session.
Check out our large collection of popular charcoal brands and heating accessories for your hookah in our shop!