Are you new to hookah, and curious about how to pack a hookah bowl? As your hookah destination, Hookah Wholesale Co has the knowledge and experience to get you up to speed with hookah packing. In hookah culture, 'packing' is used when referring to precisely placing hookah tobacco inside of the bowl that will be smoked; this is an important step in getting your hookah session started. To help your first hookah session go smoothly and successfully, follow Hookah Wholesale Co 's experts as they take you through their foolproof way of packing your hookah bowl every time.
Packing hookah bowls with the proper amount of tobacco is essential for a successful hookah session. Today, we will be focusing on a simple packing method which can be used for many hookah bowl types and brands. This method requires the use of Serbetli hookah tobacco, an excellent hookah brand known for its quality and flavor profiles that provide great hookah session experiences. No matter your level of hookah experience, this simple method utilizing the premium hookah tobacco from Serbetli can make packing hookahs easy, helping to ensure smooth, enjoyable hookah sessions every time.
Serbetli Hookah Tobacco is an excellent choice. Unlike traditional hookah tobacco, Serbetli utilizes more natural ingredients, offering flavors that are both original and highly authentic. Consequently, this hookah tobacco provides a rich, savory smoke with earthy, subtle spice notes and complex undertones that aren’t found anywhere else! Whether you’re in the mood for classic flavors or something a bit more exotic, Serbetli shisha tobacco is sure to satisfy your cravings — paving the way for a memorable hookah session to remember.
First, let’s go over all of the items you’ll need to prepare your first bowl:
- Hookah Bowl (preferably Turkish-style)
- Serbetli Tobacco (or another starter brand like Adalya)
- Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil (or a heat management device like the Kaloud Lotus)
- Toothpick (or a Hole Poker)
- Cube Coconut Charcoal
- 1000W+ Heating Plate
If you’re missing any items, we carry most of these on our website!
Note: From here on out, we will be referring to a heat management device as a HMD.
In preparation for hookah smoking, it is important to remove the tobacco from its packaging and fluff it up in a small dish using a fork. Not only does this help spread the shisha juices evenly throughout, but it also provides an optimal dispersion of heat when you light up. This necessary step should be repeated each time a new bowl of hookah tobacco is packed and not just on the first use of the product from its original seal.
For hookah smokers looking to start out with a classic hookah bowl that provides thick smoke and great hookah flavor, the Kolos Mita hookah bowl is an excellent choice. Made in Russia, this Turkish hookah bowl has become a staple for hookah enthusiasts who appreciate its solid build and superior performance. However, it’s important to remember that different hookah bowls smoke differently, so hookah smokers should feel free to experiment with different styles to find their personal preference.
One of the most enjoyable activities hookah smokers can partake in is filling the hookah bowl with hookah tobacco. While it may seem simple, this step is critical to having a hookah session that is rewarding and provides great flavor. When filling the hookah bowl, one should gently grab around 15-20 grams of hookah tobacco and place it in the hookah bowl in a mountain formation.
Fluffing hookah tobacco for the perfect setup is a surefire way to ensure an enjoyable hookah session. Before loading hookah tobacco onto the hookah bowl, set aside the hookah foil and heat management device (HMD). Take your toothpick and lightly press down the hookah tobacco so that it ends two millimeters below the rim of the hookah bowl if you’re using hookah foil and one millimeter if you’re using a HMD. It is important not to pack down too hard as this may make your hookah session taste overly harsh.
You want to make sure that it’s all evenly leveled.
Now use your toothpick and poke down directly in the center so that it goes through the center hole. Make a light swirling motion that creates a direct hole in the center of the tobacco all the way through to the bottom - this is to help with airflow and yield optimum hookah performance each time you inhale! This technique works especially well with Turkish bowls since they only have five holes for airflow as opposed to phunnel bowls that are completely open down the stem of the bowl.
Another thing to pay attention to is the density of your tobacco. If it is too dense, you’ll get poor airflow, and your tobacco won’t cook evenly. Ideally, your hookah tobacco will have an even density throughout the bowl.
Before moving to the next step, I will discuss the differences between using foil or a HMD.
Using foil to heat hookah bowls is increasingly popular across the world because it is much more cost effective than a hookah heat management device (HMD). As an added bonus, heating your hookah bowl with foil is fast and simple. With far less material for the heat to get through, your hookah will be prepped and ready to enjoy in no time. When you are done, cleaning up is a breeze since you can simply discard the foil after use. All in all, using foil is an excellent choice for enthusiasts who want a great hookah experience without breaking the bank.
Heat Management Device
Hookah enthusiasts everywhere are rediscovering the hookah with the introduction of hookah heat management devices (HMDs). An HMD is a piece of metal that serves as an easy replacement to foiling and poking holes. You can now put it directly on top of the hookah tobacco without any extra effort or setup. You simply place your hookah coals inside and adjust the heat with a rotating cap that opens and closes vents. This makes it incredibly simple to manage your hookah's heat, leading to extended hookah sessions. At the same time, it extends your hookah coal’s life by staying hot for longer periods than foil. The Kaloud Lotus is considered to be one of the best hookah HMD options available, but be sure to only purchase authentic ones as there are plenty of imitations out there!
Take your pick of foil or a HMD for this next step and follow the appropriate instructions.
For foil: to get started, you should take your heavy-duty hookah foil and pull it out about four to five inches, then rip it off keeping the whole sheet intact. After this, fold that piece in half for a double-layer effect. Make sure the hookah foil stays as clean and wrinkle-free as possible before covering your bowl with it as tightly as possible without tearing any of it. It's best to make sure the hookah foil is drum tight to avoid any disturbances when taking a pull from the hookah. Finally, use a toothpick to poke holes about 2-3mm apart in a circular pattern all the way until you reach the center for optimal smoke flow
For HMDs: It’s very simple! All you have to do is carefully place the device on top of the bowl in the center of the tobacco, and you’re good to go.
There are two types of hookah charcoal available: quick-lights, and coconut coals. Quick-light coals light quickly, but burn out quickly as well. They also add a funky flavor to your hookah bowl which may not be desirable for some. Coconut hookah coals give the best results in that they add no taste and last longer - making them far superior to quick-lights. If you're looking for the perfect hookah coal for your session, stick with natural coconut hookahs coals. Not only will it make it more enjoyable, but also a lot more efficient and cost-effective.
The only way to light coconut coals is with a hot plate or a single coil burner stove as well. Do NOT use a flat top stove as it will leave burn marks.
If you're using foil for your hookah then we recommend three cubes of charcoal (preferably from the brand Icon Hookah). But if you're opting for a hookah that uses a Heat Management Device (HMD) then you can get away with less and only need two cubes. This is because the HMD is better designed to lock in heat and reduce burn-offs. So the next time you light up your hookah, just remember: three cubes for foil, two cubes for an HMD!
To light hookah coals, place them on your hot plate, then turn the heat on to the highest setting.
Once you see that the charcoal is halfway lit (it will be red), use your tongs and flip them over.
When you see that they are fully lit, you can turn the burner off to avoid overcooking the coals, which reduces their lifespan.
For foil: To start things off, it’s important to place your charcoal in three different corners of the hookah bowl. Avoid putting them directly in the center or too close together as this can cause a hotspot and you’ll end up burning very quickly. An ideal setup is to have your coals slightly extending over the edge of the hookah bowl – this provides a more even heat distribution across your bowl. Allow no less than 20 to 30 seconds of heating and you should expect thick clouds and great flavor within one to two minutes after beginning to pull on your hose.
When it comes to hookah, proper coal management is essential for achieving the maximum potential from your hookah setup. When using natural coal cubes, you'll want to adjust your coals every 10-15 minutes or when the cloud output begins to die down. This is because the part of the coal touching the foil will behave in a manner known as 'blacking out', reducing the amount of heat that reaches the hookah bowl. To optimize your session, one should take each coal off the bowl, tap it on a tray to remove any excess ash, and then blow lightly on them. Next, flip your charcoal to a different side and place them at different corners of the bowl before repeating with the other two cubes. You should rotate all of your charcoals to fresher spots each time you adjust them for even cooking each time! With Serbetli tobacco in a Turkish hookah bowl, foil, and three natural coal cubes ready for rotation every hour or so, you can look forward to rich flavor as well as impressive clouds!
For HMDs: Luckily for hookah lovers everywhere, hookah heat management devices (HMDs) like the Kaloud Lotus offers an easier, simpler alternative to the setup process. With HMDs, all you need are two coal cubes, place them into the HMD with the Kaloud Lotus centered on your bowl, put the cap on, and you’re ready to go! With just a simple twist of the cap you can adjust how hot or cold you want your hookah bowl to be - when you close up all vents it will be the hottest and is perfect for great flavor hits. If you find that it's too hot with all vents closed, all it takes is a quick twist of the cap to open up some vents and let off some of that hot air. And when using Serbetli shisha in a classic hookah bowl along with a HMD and two coals, hookah smokers can expect about one and half hours of great flavor and thick clouds - perfect for sharing with friends!
Congratulations on loading and smoking your first hookah bowl! Smokers can enjoy hookah for many reasons since it often involves gathering with friends, enjoying delicious flavored tobacco, and laxing in a comfortable environment. Whether you've smoked hookah before or not, it can bring joy to any smoker who has the patience to learn packing methods! Thanks for reading our tutorial and learning some of the fundamentals of hookah bowl-packing. We hope you enjoyed every aspect of loading your very first hookah bowl.