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Hookah Tips - Harsh Smoke & Burnt Shisha Flavors

Hookah Tips - Harsh Smoke & Burnt Shisha Flavors

By Amir / April 29, 2024

Harsh Hookah Session – The Enemy of All Hookah Smokers

The main foe, enemy or kryptonite to any good hookah session, is harsh smoke. Characterized by a burn in the back of your throat and a charred taste of shisha tobacco. Nothing brings an enjoyable night of smoking shisha with friends to a quicker halt. One moment you’re enjoying the sweet taste of juicy mango through your pipe and the next, burnt tobacco leaves and coughing. Everyone who has smoked hookah knows the feeling but not all know how to fix it or what causes the harsh smoke in the first place. SouthSmoke has the hookah tips to help solve the conundrum. We outline the main reasons your smoke could be harsh and how to fix them.

Hookah Tips - How to Fix Harsh Smoke & Burnt Shisha Flavors

There is a lot that goes into building a quality hookah session. From how the hookah charcoal is used to how you pack shisha tobacco, prepare hookah foil, and how you fill the vase. Chances are, there could be several reasons your hookah isn’t smoking right. Or, maybe it’s just one. Read each hookah tip one by one and compare it to how you build your hookah session to see what’s going wrong.

Use Less Charcoal – Hookah Coal Placement & Rotation

Too many hookah coals can mean trouble for your session. A good rule of thumb, start your session with three natural charcoal cubes and give the bowl at least 5 minutes to heat up before taking the first puff. Once the clouds are really flowing, take one coal off so the shisha doesn’t overheat. Or, start with 2 coals and let the bowl heat longer before starting to smoke. Two coals make for a quality session. Place your charcoal closer to the edges of the bowl and rotate them around the bowl every 10-15 minutes to avoid hotspots. Too much heat in one spot for too long can burn your shisha. Hookah Tongs placing Hookah Charcoal cube on Heat Management Device

Add Water to the Hookah Base

If your smoke is harsh, it may be because you don’t have enough water in the base. The hookah needs enough water to cool and filter the smoke making it smoother to inhale. Too little water and each puff can be harsh in the back of your throat. Add water until the hookah stem is one (1”) to one and a half (1.5”) inches submerged. This is the ideal water level for an enjoyable hookah session.

Pack Your Hookah Bowl Fluffier – Stir the Shisha Tobacco

If you pack too much hookah shisha too tightly in your bowl, there isn’t enough airflow. Trapped heat means burnt shisha which equals bad taste. Try using less tobacco and sprinkling it in the hookah bowl for a nice fluffy pack method. This method works well for most blonde tobacco brands which are what the majority of hookah smokers, smoke. Dark tobacco leaf shishas do need a more dense pack to perform. Stirring your shisha tobacco is also very important for the best flavor. Make sure you mix the flavoring juices, molasses, and glycerin that could settle at the bottom of the bag. Wet tobacco has less chance of burning and a higher chance of tasting great! Pile of OverDozz Hookah Shisha Tobacco with Overdozz packaging in background

Make Sure the Foil is Drum Tight – Poke More Holes

It takes patience and concentration but preparing the hookah foil right pays dividends. Loose, saggy foil means it’s probably touching the hookah shisha when you place the charcoal on top. With the heat directly against the tobacco, it burns quickly and creates a bad taste and harsh smoke. Pull the hookah foil drum tight so it doesn’t move when you add coals. Hole poking is another art form in itself. Holes don’t just allow coals to heat the shisha, they also allow air to escape which is needed to keep shisha at the right temperature. Evenly poke holes around the entire bowl. When you think it’s enough, try a couple more.

Try a Hookah Heat Management Device

If you are having trouble controlling the heat to your shisha tobacco with just coals and foil, try a hookah heat management device! The latest innovation in hookah makes quality hookah sessions even easier to obtain and cleanup is simple too! HMDs like the Apple On Top Provost provide more control of heat from your charcoal to flavored tobacco with adjustable air vents and removable lids. Prevent burnt shisha and harsh smoke with this one simple tool. But wait, there’s more! Just kidding, that’s it. Woman with hat Blowing Hookah Smoke outside

Get All of Your Hookah Supplies at the Same Place You Get Your Hookah Tips –

Now that your hookah is smoking on point, don’t forget to stock up on all of your favorite shisha flavors and charcoal at The best online hookah store for hookah parts and supplies. If these hookah tips helped you, let us know! Leave a comment and if you have any shisha related questions that still need answering, we just might put it in our next hookah blog!

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