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How To Set Up a Hookah | A 9-Step Guide

BY ANTHONY B · UPDATED JANUARY 18 2023

When you bought your first ever hookah pipe, you might have a reasonable question of how to set up a hookah. There are a few different ways of preparing hookah, though the same basic steps apply in every case. Hookah can be prepared utilizing regular aluminum foil as well as the Heat Management System.In this tutorial, we’ll demonstrate how to set up hookah using aluminum foil. 

To set up hookah we will need:

1. Separate the stem and glass base. 

While some hookahs have stems that are screwed into the base, others have stems that are attached with a rubber grommet and that you must separate by twisting and pulling.

2. Fill the glass hookah base with cold water.

 How much water to put in hookah? When reattaching your stem, make sure the bottom of it is not submerged more than 1 – 1.5 inches into the water. The smoke won’t be filtered enough if you do not add a proper amount of water. Then again, if the water is too much, it will be hard to inhale. You will master it after a few tries.

Hookah Base Filled with Water

3. Join the stem to the glass base.

 Make sure it fits tight. Next, attach the hose to hookah through the hose port. Put the tray on top of the stem.

Hookah Stem and Hookah Hose

4. Place three coals on your electric burner to light them up.  

We do not recommend using quick lightning coals, as they give your smoke an unpleasant odor. The best choice would be to utilize natural hookah charcoal.

Hookah coals on electric burner

5. With a fork, scoop some hookah tobacco into the bowl.  

The measure of tobacco depends on the size of your bowl. 

Shisha tobacco

You can remove leaf veins from the tobacco as they might produce an unpleasant odor when burnt.

Hookah Flavor

You need to gently pack the tobacco two or three millimeters under the bowl’s edge, so it will not be too close to the foil. At the same time, try packing it as fluffy as you can so that air can flow through it freely.

Hookah tobacco in a hookah bowl

Our blog also has a more detailed guide on how to pack a hookah bowl

6. Make a funnel the width of a pencil at the center of the tobacco to help get the air flow going. 

Shisha tobacco in a bowl

7. Prepare the foil 

Now it’s time to prepare the foil so that it can be wrapped over the bowl. Tear a piece of foil and fold it two times. Wrap foil around the bowl’s top and make small holes in a cylindrical fashion with your poker.

Hookah foil and hookah bowl

When you finish, attach the hookah bowl to the stem, and don’t forget to use a rubber grommet to ensure that it sits air tight. 

Foil poker and hookah bowl

8. Check your coals 

Next up, we have to check on our hookah coals. If they are red-hot, then it’s time to place them around the edge of the bowl using hookah tongs.

Hookah coals on electric burner

Arrange the coals evenly around the top of the bowl to prevent heat from being distributed unequally, which will heat and burn your tobacco much faster. 

Hookah coals on hookah bowl

9. Give the coals some time to warm the bowl up before you begin smoking.

 Add new red-hot coals as your smoking session goes on to keep the hookah going.

Hookah coals on hookah bowl

This is one of the easiest ways to prepare hookah, and it allows you to achieve the best results.

In this tutorial we used Wookah hookah, Cocodalya natural coals, and Adalya shisha tobacco. 

Want to know more on the best hookah products in 2022? Check this articles:

1. Best hookah flavors in 2023
2. Best hookahs in 2023 
3. Best hookah bowls in 2023
4. Best hookah coals in 2023