When it comes to using the best hookah coals there are two options to choose from: quick light and natural coals.
We go into more detail about the difference between these two types of coals, but all you really need to know is that quick light coals may have a slight taste to them and produce less heat, but they take very little time and effort to heat up.
In a hurry?
Natural coals, on the other hand, have no taste associated to them and you are given more control over the heat, but they take longer to heat up and you can’t use a lighter to do so either.
We’ve recommended the top coals for both of these types.
Hookah Coal Comparison Table
|Coco Ala||Coco Nara||Hookahjohn/ CocoTama||Starlight||NeverXhale||Beamer|
|Type||Natural||Natural||Natural||Quick Start||Quick Start||Quick Start|
Hookah Coal Reviews
Proven to burn 3 times longer than any other natural coal on the market, these natural coals from Coco Ala really are one of the best on the market. Ask any hookah enthusiast and they will tell you the same.
They are made from compressed coconut shell – as all good natural coals should be – as well as natural starch as binder, and come across odorless and tasteless.
108 pieces of coal come included, which are easy to light on a stovetop.
These natural coals are again made from compressed coconut shell. Their real strong points lie in the fact that they are tasteless, and odorless, and best of all burn up to an impressive 60 minutes.
Less than 5% in ashes is left behind, so you really are getting your money’s worth with these coals.
It takes 5-8 minutes to completely light up the coals – of course, via a stove or coil burner and not a lighter. 120 pieces are included.
Hookahjohn/ CocoTama Titanium
The last of the best natural hookah coals are said to be even better than the popular Coco Nara’s. They are made of 100% pressed coconut shell without any fillers, which is always something that is beneficial.
They are arguably better than anything else being sold because they ash as much as 50% less than Coco Nara coals. 108 pieces are included, all of which are odorless and tasteless.
Quick Light Coals
These coals from Starlight are the best-selling and most popular quick light coals on the market. Their popularity is largely in part due to their inexpensiveness, with 10 pieces costing approximately $1 dollar (100 coals are included).
However, best of all they are easy to light with a lighter, stay lit, and last for an impressive amount of time when compared to similarly priced coals.
Better at keeping odor and particularly taste down to an absolute minimum compared to other quick light coals, these from NeverXhale are a popular choice among hookah smokers.
100 pieces that measure 33mm each come included, making them perfect for smaller bowls and solo smoking sessions.
One downside is arguably how they take slightly longer than others to light up, but once lit they last longer than average.
Made right here in the USA, these coals come in 6 rolls with each containing 10 pieces. Their real selling point is how they light incredibly quickly (more or less immediately) with a standard lighter, making them perfect for quick sessions.
The coals stay lit for a longer than average time, and best of all is how they ash far less than the majority of quick light coals on the market.
Hookah Coal Buyers Guide
Different Types of Coals
Quick Light Coals
No prizes for guessing what quick light coals are designed to do. They are designed to take as little time and effort as possible to heat up. As convenient as they are, the downside is that they burn faster, produce less heat, and at times their taste can come through.
Quick light coals are so easy to use because they can be heated up simply by using a lighter. This also only takes 10-30 seconds, whereas for natural coals you will waiting around for around 8 minutes.
It’s easy to tell when the coals are almost ready because smoke will be produced. However, you still need to wait until the coals turn a light gray color. This is necessary because not waiting to do so can result in you feeling lightheaded.
Natural Hookah Coals
Anyone who has been smoking hookah for a long time or those who are more serious about their smoking, naturally use natural coals. This is because they offer two main advantages over quick light coals: there is no taste, and you are more in control over the heat due to the fact that the coal burns hotter, longer, and smaller. They also have the benefit of producing less ash than quick light coals.
The main downside to natural coals is how it takes some time to heat them up. If you’re looking to engage in a quick hookah session you don’t want to be waiting around for a coil or gas stove to heat them up.
Using a coil stove is the most popular option because they are readily available, inexpensive, and are low effort. The process is also easier than using a gas stove. You can tell when the coals are ready to use by seeing whether they have turned a color of light gray on the outside.
Which Type of Coal Should You Use?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as it is purely down to preference. There are a few guidelines that can help you out, though.
On the Go/Quick Session
If you’re planning on taking your hookah with you when you go to a friend’s house or camping, or want a quick session, there’s no doubt that quick light coals are the better option.
If you’re a connoisseur or really are quite sensitive to subtle changes in taste, natural coals are for you. As mentioned, natural coals have no taste associated with them and give you a great deal of control over the heat.
If you’re new to smoking hookah there is no guarantee that you will continue to smoke, and you also want to be able to experience the joys of hookah without things getting too complicated. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use quick light coals to make the process as simple as possible.
How to Best Use Coals
Once your coals are lit you should follow a few simple guidelines to get the best smoking experience you can, provided you are using a standard bowl.
While there are variables such as the way in which you packed your bowl, the type of bowl you’re using, and the hole pattern you have punctured the tinfoil, which can all take trial and error to get the best experience, the following should suffice.
Using a standard bowl, it is recommended when using quick light coals to leave them unbroken. A piece of coal should be placed directly on the foil. If you find that that there is too much heat, simply hang part of the coal over the side of the bowl (without it dropping onto the floor, of course).
Again, provided you are using a standard bowl, it is best to use two or three pieces of coal instead of one large unbroken piece. The coals are placed directly on the foil. If there is too much heat, you can either remove one or more pieces, or hang one or more pieces to the side.