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Beginner's Guide To Shisha Charcoal | How To Use A Coal Burner Effectively?

by Smoke Fun 2 months ago in how to

How to use a coal burner to light them

Hookah or shisha is an excellent choice for relaxation or simply lounging with your friends. But you must know how to properly use the accessories you need to ensure a fantastic session for yourself. One such accessory is using a coal burner for your smoking session. Of course, there are other types of accessories, but today we will talk about the different kinds of charcoal and how to use a coal burner to light them.

So let us hop in! There are two variants of charcoal available in the market today, quick light and natural charcoal. Both have different uses. Each of these charcoal can be burnt with the help of coal burners.

Natural charcoal is used to enjoy a more extended session. This is the cleanest way to smoke shisha. Quick light charcoal is used by beginners. This charcoal is perfect for those just learning how to pack shisha properly or for emergencies when you do not have a way to light the natural coals.

Either of these charcoal does the job. But the question arises what are they exactly and which one is best for you. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both. We will also tell you how you can use a coal burner to light these charcoals effectively. We hope that after reading this, you will then know which works for your hookah sessions.

What Is The Need For A Hookah Charcoal?

Just like a pizza needs an oven, hookahs need coals to cook shisha tobacco. This calls for the need for coal burners that can light the coals within no time. Coals act as the heat source for your tobacco and are one of the essential products of smoking hookah! Without your heat source, your hookah experience will definitely flop!


Quick light charcoal consists of several different bases that help light the coal quickly with minimal effort.

  1. They are typically coated with sulfur that helps the charcoal heat itself quickly.
  2. They usually come in ring or circle-shaped pieces and are not odorless.

The brands vary once again when it comes to quick light charcoal. So making the correct decision helps ensure you have a pleasurable session. You can easily light this charcoal if you hold these on top of your coal burner.


  • More convenient, easy for travel and emergencies
  • They are great for beginners


  • They are not odorless
  • Minimal heat output
  • Give off a strange chemical flavor to your shisha

Various brands offer quick light charcoal. However, if you want to have a good and pleasant hookah session, you should stay away from these coals. Yet, these are great for your coal burner when you are looking for convenience.

Once you spark the charcoal on a coal burner, it will begin to heat itself from the center until its original black color turns into a reddish-orange color when they are ready. This process requires minimal heat and roughly 2-5 minutes. We recommend this for beginners since it is effortless to light these coals, and it is elementary to ash them.

How To Light Quick Light Charcoal?

To speak for its name, quick light coal will give you the fastest lighting time. They typically come foil wrapped and in a circular shape. These coals are mixed with a chemical accelerant that allows you to light them with a coal burner. Though they are quick to the draw, these coals won't burn throughout your gaming or movie session. Instead, these guys are perfect for a brisk, chill hookah hangout. You may find quick light coals will alter the taste of your shisha, which is a common setback with this type of coal. However, if you're new to hookah, this would be a great start to acquainting yourself with the game!

The following points are how you can light these charcoal with the help of a coal burner.

  • Hold a tablet of coal in your tongs above your coal burner for around a minute
  • As your holding the coal, look for sparking and smoking
  • Once your coal begins to spark and smoke, you're ready to go!


The primary use for natural coals is to provide the right amount of heat on the shisha for an extended period with the help of a charcoal burner.

  • They usually come from coconut shells and are very eco-friendly.
  • Natural coals last longer than quick light coals. Thus, these are easier to tend to while smoking shisha.
  • They usually come in cube shapes and require a high consistent heat source to utilize them for smoking.

Usually, an electric coal burner does the job. When the coals are on the coal burner, they are black in color. Once on the burner, they turn orange. When the charcoal is orange, use tongs to flip them to prepare the other side. The process of lighting coals typically takes about 10 minutes. That is sufficient time for you to prepare your shisha setup by packing your bowl and assembling the hookah. An essential part of burning natural coals is to make sure that all sides give off the orange hue so that you immediately know that they are adequately lit.


  • Clean tasting
  • Odorless
  • Higher heat output
  • Lastly, they last longer


  • It requires more time to light
  • They lack the convenience factor. You need a coal burner or a high heat source for an extended period.

How To Light Natural Charcoal?

Since natural coals do not have a heat-quickening agent, you won't be able to light them with a typical lighter or torch. Instead, for the best heating experience, you will want to invest in a coal burner.

Here's how to use a coal burner to light your natural charcoal:

  • Place your natural coal on the burner and set the heat setting to "high."
  • Keep your burner on "high" for around 5 minutes.
  • After that, take your tongs to flip the coals over the burner.
  • Let the other side heat for 3 - 4 minutes.
  • As the coals heat, you'll see them turn red or orange. You'll know they're entirely lit once they turn a dark or white powdery color.
  • Once they're at that consistency, they're ready for use!

Which Hookah Coal is Best?

Though most avid hookah users would reach for natural charcoal over quick light charcoal, we suggest choosing charcoal that matches your experience with hookah.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Natural charcoal is best if you're looking to preserve the flavor of your shisha and are looking to host longer hookah hangs.
  • However, this charcoal can only be lit on a coil-top burner or alternative heat source and will not light with a cigarette lighter. These coals take up to 15 minutes to ignite.
  • Quick light charcoal is best if you're new to hookah and aren't looking to commit to purchasing a coil-top burner since this coal can be lit with a cigarette lighter or torch. These coils will ignite in 1 minute or less.

Ending Note

We recommend these above natural charcoal if you are looking to enjoy a smooth session tasting the full flavor of your shisha. These coals might be a bit scarce for beginners because of their preparation and heat management. Still, like everything else, practice makes perfect!

At the end of it all, there are two types of charcoal available on today's market: quick light and natural charcoal. Whichever one you decide to go with, you will still have a way to enjoy your shisha. So take these tips and choose which is best for your use. For more prolonged use, we recommend natural coals for travel and quick lights for emergencies.

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