How to set up a hookah at home?

Almost every lover of making smoke from time to time thinks: “Is it possible to cook hookah at home no worse than in specialized establishments?  We answer: yes, you can! In this article we have collected the best tips from hookah gurus to make it work for you. Now you can organize creative leisure for yourself at any time of the day or night. 

So, in order to start hookah magic, you will need:

  • The hookah itself! For home use, choose a device that fits your needs. Whether it be a compact device you can easily store away after smoking, or one retrofitted with multi-hose use that is sure to stand out and leave an impression due to its height and design. When selecting a device be sure to pay attention to the basic equipment of the hookah. It should include a shaft, a flask, a hose and other accessories such as a bowl.
  • Tobacco. You can take your time experimenting with the strength of the smoking substance, the various flavors and manufacturers indefinitely. Buy tobacco only in trusted places and follow the expiration dates;
  • Coal. Often, two types of ignition material are used – tableted and natural. The first is available in the form of tablets. They are filled with saltpeter, so they light up very quickly, but they give a lot of sparks and harmful fumes. The second, natural charcoal, is made from pressed coconut shells. Such coal “stokes” for a long time, but it gives a lot of heat, smolders for a long time and is harmless. Much less often, special charcoal is used (it must be crushed) or professional electric coals;
  • Good old foil or its modern substitute – an HMD stratus. It is used to regulate heat. So, if the temperature of the hookah is too high, the smoke will be bitter, but if you make it too low you will experience heavy drafts and tasteless fumes. Keep in mind that while you can buy foil in almost any supermarket, coals can only be bought in smoking designated stores and/or distributors. A stratus is an aluminum container with sliding flaps in the middle of which hot coals are placed. Closing the holes on the lid with them, you can increase the heat and vice versa. 
  • Tongs. Required for moving the hot coals. Do not try to use your hands!
  • Electric stove. Compact stoves used for the exclusive use of heating coals are the most convenient.
  • LED. Add some drama to the smoking experience! Shishabucks offers the option of adding an LED under any of the smoking devices to add both color and customization.

Well, it seems, if everything is ready, you can start!

Preparing the hookah for smoking

The secret of a delicious hookah is in the careful preparation for the smoky relaxation. Conditionally, it can be divided into several stages:

  1. Washing the device itself. Do not be lazy! Properly clean not only the flask and bowl, but also the shaft, hose and mouthpiece. The easiest way to do this is with a small non harsh bristle brush and a natural cleaner. This will help to get rid of unnecessary odors and smoking hookah will be much more pleasant. Make sure to clean your device after every use!
  2. Drying and assembling the device after washing. Thoroughly dry all parts of the hookah and wait for it to dry completely. Make note that some components of devices may not be suitable for dishwashers. For example, no part of any anodized (colored portions) Shishabucks devices may be placed inside a dishwasher.
  3. Water pouring.
  4. Bowl clogging.
  5. Smoking hookah at home.

Everything regarding the first two points should be straight forward. However, the subsequent steps require a little bit more knowledge that we are happy to share them with you!

How much water should be poured into a hookah

One of the most important nuances when preparing a hookah is to fill in the optimal amount of water. If it is not enough water is added, the draft will be heavy, and the smoke itself will irritate the throat, but if there is an excess of liquid, you simply will not be able to properly smoke the hookah or there will be little smoke.

One of the great benefits of the Shishabucks devices is that each acrylic base indicates the optimal level of water for you! The horizonal black line below the logo shows exactly how much water you should be adding for each smoking session.

The water should be up to the line above the “Shishabucks”!

Packing the bowl

In order to fully enjoy the aroma and taste of the smoking mixture, use the tips for driving from experienced hookahs:

  • do not tightly pack the tobacco into the bowl, otherwise it will be difficult for the flow of hot air to pass through it and there will be little smoke. It is better, on the contrary, to loosen it a little. As a rule, 12-15 grams of tobacco is enough for one gas station of a hookah. It is easy to select it by eye, since the weight of a small standard pack is 50 grams;
  • If you opt to use foil, then it is advisable to fold it in 2-3 layers, turn the glossy side down and the matte side up and make holes. Stretch the material well so that it does not come into contact with tobacco. Holes are usually made with a needle and a toothpick, from the outer edge of the bowl in a spiral inward. The approximate distance between the holes is 0.5 cm. Remember: the uniform distribution of the holes is a guarantee that there will be a good heating of the smoking substance, which means that it will give up all its flavor. But with a stratus, everything is made much simpler: you just need to fill it with hot coals and put it right on top of the bowl. This eliminates the entire need of foil.

Ignition time

Is the water filled? the tobacco snugly placed in the bowl? Then it’s time to fire up the coals! To fill a stratus, usually 2-3 pieces of coal are enough. Coals can be heated:

  • on a gas stove, placing directly on the included burner;
  • in a cast iron pan (Teflon or ceramic will not work). Cubes are easy to flip;
  • by a lighter (or better not an ordinary one, but a turbo lighter);
  • in the oven. Put the coal for 5-10 minutes in the oven at a temperature of 180 degrees.
  • in the microwave. It will be enough for 10 seconds at maximum power;
  • on a gas burner. The method is quite extreme, but as a temporary alternative it will do.
  • on a special electric stove. And this is perhaps the best option for those who care about the convenience and aesthetics of the process.

And to stay with unburned fingers and a whole beard, carefully turn the coals over with tongs. You can pick it up when they acquire a characteristic reddish tint. And do not forget to ventilate the room after handling coal – consider fire safety rules.

How to smoke a hookah

After all the set-up work is done, you can smoke a hookah! Just wait for the bowl to warm up, take a couple of blows, and then take one deep draw and exhale the smoke.

If it is bitter, then the heat is too strong: you need a couple more purges, you can remove one coal or turn the handle to open more holes on the stratus.

Alternatively, the heating of the bowl can be accelerated by inflating the coal or covering the bowl with a cap or closing the holes if they were previously opened. Don’t forget to keep the heat up by taking draws every once in a while, even when you are not actively smoking!

That’s it, now you are armed with knowledge on how to cook a delicious hookah at home!