What to Choose and How to Light a Hookah Coal

Knowing how to properly light a hookah at home is a basic step if you are preparing your hookah for the first time at home. Hookah Coal is one of the most basic and essential ingredients to make a good hookah. They are the heating elements that tobacco needs to cook and create clouds and flavor. Now let's take a look at the two main types of hookah coal and the different ways to light them.

Safety First:

Before diving into how to light a hookah, we need to ensure some precautions for safety purposes. Lighting any type of charcoal releases carbon monoxide, so it's a good idea to start a fire outdoors. If for some reason you need to turn on lights indoors, it's best to open all possible windows and keep coals away from pets.

Hookah Coal Type

There are two main types of hookah coal. Instant light coal and coconut coal. The quick light shines quickly due to the accelerator added to the outer layer of coal. People usually use fast lights when in a pinch because they can be easily turned on with simple lighters.

Coconut coal has become an industry standard and is the main focus of today's blog. This coal is made from ground coconut husks and is great for hookah sessions. It takes longer to light, but lasts much longer, minimizes ash (assuming you use quality coconut coal), and adds no flavor to the bowl, giving you the cleanest taste possible when smoked. Coconut is of great value in extending the life of a session and can cost at most a few rupees more than instant light coal.

How to Light a Hookah on Fire

The most common way to light coconut coal is to use an electric burner. You'll want to find a burner with a coil, like the Little Goa hookah coal burner. This burner has a single coil and is the most efficient way to light coal. Avoid electric burners with flat tops as they do not provide oxygen to the coal bottom and will not light the entire coal.

If you want to use a domestic stove, it is recommended to light coal only on a stove with a coil top or on a stove with flowing gas. Coal heat damage may eventually require you to replace the coil, but a coil replacement can be done for around ₹50-100 and is easy to replace. Previous experience suggests that the coil should be replaced after a year or so. For gas stoves, it is convenient to have a stainless steel mesh on which to place the coal. This will give the coal room to breathe properly, which helps with lighting times. Do not light coal on an electric stove! Coal can leave permanent marks and completely destroy the stove surface.

How Long Does It Glow

A quick light takes about a minute to fully turn on. When the coals start to ignite, place them on the tray until fully lit (turns gray and glows red) and then place them in the center of the bowl. If you are using this type of charcoal, make sure to turn it on completely before use, as the coal has an accelerator that makes it taste much worse and is not safe to inhale.

For coconut coal, place the coal on the burner of your choice and turn on the heat. After about 5 minutes, when the coals are half-lit, you need to turn them over. When the lights are fully lit, you can place them in the bowl and enjoy the session. Again, make sure the lights are fully on before you start smoking. When the coal is fully coated with light ash and a glowing red/orange layer, you know the coal is fully lit. It takes almost 8-12 minutes to light a coconut coal, depending on the size of the coal.

The reason I stress that you have to wait until the coal is fully lit is that if it's still on, not only will it not be hot enough to start the bowl, but you may inhale carbon monoxide. Another important point is not to over-fire the coal. If the coal is on the burner for too long, the excess heat will reduce the coal and eventually shorten the hard-prepared nice smoking time.


That's all! We hope this blog has helped you learn more about hookah coal. It is important to follow and understand these guidelines to ensure a quality hookah smoking session. Continue to enjoy the bowl until next time.

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