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Different shapes of hookah charcoal and which one is the best?

04 Feb 2024

Different Shapes of Hookah Charcoal and Which One Is the Best?

When it's time to kick back with your mates for a shisha session, selecting the right hookah charcoal is as crucial as the flavour of your shisha. My quest for the best hookah charcoal has led me to explore various shapes and sizes that promise to elevate your shisha experience. It's not just about getting it lit; longevity, heat distribution, and the overall quality of your smoke all hinge on the type of coal you choose. From the no-fuss classic cubes to the swift igniting quick light rounds, let's suss out the options for that premium shisha coal, ensuring every puff is as smooth as silk.

Key Takeaways

  • Choosing the right hookah charcoal shape can significantly affect your shisha session.
  • Heat distribution and longevity of the charcoal are key to a sustained and enjoyable smoking experience.
  • Cube-shaped charcoal is renowned for its consistent burn and is a favourite amongst hookah enthusiasts.
  • Alternative shapes, such as hexagonal or charcoal logs, provide unique benefits tailored for different preferences.
  • The convenience of quick light rounds is tempting, yet understanding their quality and unforgiving concerns is essential for a top-notch shisha experience.
  • For the ultimate session, matching the best hookah charcoal to your shisha type will make all the difference.
  • Stay tuned as we dig deeper into each charcoal shape, helping you discover the ideal match for that flawless premium shisha coal.

Understanding the Variety of Hookah Charcoal Shapes

Embarking on a shisha session isn't just about choosing the finest flavours; it's also about selecting the right charcoal to provide the perfect heat. Let me guide you through the landscape of hookah charcoals, from cube-shaped to quick light coals, delving into their shapes, benefits, and virtues for your next sesh.

The Classic Cube: Why It's Popular

First off, cube-shaped charcoal is quite the gem for shisha connoisseurs. Its uniform design offers consistent heat, allowing for a smooth and steady smoking experience. The cube's stability on the hookah bowl ensures even burning, so your session goes uninterrupted by pesky heat fluctuations. What's more, these charcoals are often lauded for their longer burn time - a treat for extended nights in with family and friends.

Hexagonal Charcoal: The Pros and Cons

Stepping up the game, hexagonal hookah charcoal brings its unique edge... literally. The hexagon's multiple facets enhance airflow around the coal, which can translate to an even and efficient heat distribution. A bit of a maverick, its shape can be found easier to manage but offers a distinctive aesthetic that sets your shisha session apart.

Charcoal Logs: Old News

When it's about endurance, charcoal logs might not have your back. A predecessor of the hexagon log design, Their substantial size spells an extensive burn time, which can be ideal for hookah joints or parties where the shisha is puffing all night long. However, you may find it hard to keep them rolling into the center of your hookah bowls mid-session due to their

Quick Light Rounds: Convenience vs. Quality

Last on the list, we've got the quick light coals - a beginner's best mate but also your worst nightmare. These are imbued with a fast-igniting substance that gets them glowing in a jiffy. You might think they're perfect for impromptu sessions or when you're out and about without a portable gas stove on hand. While their convenience is unbeatable, it's worth noting that some quick lights might impart an unwanted flavour and ill-like symptoms that impose higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Simply put, It's about striking a balance between ease and enjoyment of your shisha experience, and quick-light coals don't make the list.

Choosing the Right Charcoal for Your Shisha Experience

Remember, it's not just about snagging any ole charcoal; we've got to pair it up properly with them shisha types and manage the heat like a pro. Getting it spot on means you're in for a cracker of a session, with flavours that'll get your taste buds dancing.

Matching Charcoal with Shisha Types

Different shisha blends need different charcoals, right? Let's dive deeper. 

If you've got a delicate shisha tobacco that's packed with subtle flavours, you'll want a charcoal that doesn’t bulldoze over those nuances. 

And for robust blends, you need coals that can deliver a decent wallop of heat without turning the session into a cough-a-thon.

Impact of Charcoal Shape on Heat Management

On the topic of heat management, the shape of your shisha charcoal is crucial. The mighty cube is the go-to for consistent heat, but if you're after quicker heat-up times – say, for shorter sessions – you might flirt with different sizes of hookah cubes, like the 22mm Shaman Coals. However, if you have a deep phunnel bowl packed with a decent amount of tobacco, you might want to steer towards the 28mm Al Duchan Coals, especially if you're using premium flavours and want to make it cloudy, but bare in mind the session may shorten if your coals are not managed correctly.

Here's the thing: the shape influences how the heat is transferred to your shisha, so choosing wisely is a big deal for an epic smoke.

The Role of Electric Burners and Gas Burners

Gearing up your charcoal is a cinch when you've got the right gear, like electric burners or gas burners. They're top picks for lighting up any shisha coals, which are notorious for being a tad stubborn to get glowing, but patience is key. 

Gas burners can fire them up in a flash, although for the ultimate convenience, electric burners are the real MVPs. They offer a more controlled heat, which is fab for lighting up premium shisha coals without scorching 'em.

Hookah Charcoal: Debunking the Myths of Quick Light Coal

First up, let’s talk taste. Some say quick light coals are the best to use for for shisha, but that couldn't have been further than the truth. They taint your shisha with a right nasty flavour, and full or chemicals to light up in a heart beat.

But here's the deal – not all quick light coals are made equal, but they all have the same thing in common, their chemical composition remains if not almost, but identical. Let me compare:

Quick Light Coal Traditional Charcoal
Faster ignition time <5 minutes 5-12 minute ignition time (depending on the burner used)
Convenient Cleaner to use and not far in difference for convenience
Known for flavour contamination Considered to enhance the flavour when well-lit
Often contains accelerants Usually no chemical additives, all-natural composition


Alright, now that we've delved deep into the world of hookah charcoal shapes and scoped out their unique roles in crafting the optimal shisha experience. Throughout our rant, we've unpacked the key differences between the different types and shapes of hookah charcoal. Although it is based on personal preference, we nor anyone can say what coal is best for your hookah sessions and thats something you'll need to figure out with trial.

In the end, my advice is to align the charcoal to your session style. If you're seeking an ace evening with your mates sharing stories and good times, go for the charcoal that won't tap out before the night even begins. So, next time you're gearing up for a smoke, remember to choose the charcoal that'll make your shisha shine.

*Note, this blog is purely for educational purposes only.


What are the different shapes of hookah charcoal and which one is the best?

Hookah charcoal comes in various shapes including cube-shaped charcoal, hexagonal hookah charcoal, charcoal logs, and quick-light rounds. The best one for you depends on your personal shisha experience preference, the longevity you expect from the charcoal, heat distribution, and the quality of smoke you want. Cube-shaped is generally popular for its efficiency and even burn.

Why is the cube shape of hookah charcoal so popular?

Cube-shaped charcoal is popular because it provides a consistent heat distribution, lasts longer during sessions, and is generally made from high-quality materials like coconut shell, which contribute to a pure and uninterrupted shisha experience.

What are the pros and cons of hexagonal charcoal?

Hexagonal hookah charcoal has a unique shape that can offer better airflow and a more even heat distribution due to a larger surface area. However, they may be harder to stack and manage on top of the shisha bowl, which can be considered a con.

Are quick-light hookah coals bad for your shisha experience?

Simply put. Yes, and quick-light coals heighten the risk to your health further with their poor chemical composition for convenience. Ask any novice hookah enthusiast, and they'll tell you to stay away with a 10-foot pole.

How should I match charcoal with shisha types?

Your choice of hookah charcoal should complement the type of shisha tobacco you're smoking. For example, if your shisha tobacco requires a lower temperature, cube-shaped are a great pick, where hexagonal charcoals might be better suited for you with a larger heat dispersement and bigger hookah bowls.

How does the shape of charcoal affect heat management in hookah smoking?

The shape of the charcoal affects heat management by altering how the heat is distributed across the shisha bowl. Cubes or hexagons generally offer a consistent, manageable heat, while quick lights provide an immediate but less controllable heat source. Proper heat management is key to the quality of your shisha smoking session.

Should I use electric or gas burners to light my premium shisha coal?

Both electric burners and gas burners can be used to light premium shisha coal, but your choice might depend on the type of coal you're using. Electric burners are great for lighting natural, but provide an unnatural electric heat, while gas burners can be used for a quicker light but provide a more natural heat to the coals being lit. And yes, it does alter the taste and alters the quality of the session. 

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