How To Use A Hookah Like A Pro In 2023

Using hookah is easy if you know the proper steps.

If you have got your hookah setup and want to know how to use it ideally, you have come to the right place!

You can prepare your hookah with either of these:

  • With aluminum foil or
  • Heat management system (HMS)

You can proceed to hookah smoking with either of these methods, but today we will cover hookah smoking with aluminum foil.

Today, in this guide, we’ll describe the easiest way to use a hookah like a pro.

So, let’s get started:

Check You Have All The Hookah Parts

Before we start with the guide, ensure you have all the hookah parts ready.

Here’s the complete checklist:

If you have any of these items missing, you can buy them from here.

The company has the best quality hookah accessories to ensure you have the perfect hookah session every time.

So, once you have completed your checklist, it is time to begin with, the guide.

7 Steps To Prepare Your Hookah In The BEST Way!

We have tried to keep the steps simple and easy. By the end of step 7, you should have your hookah ready to puff.

Let’s begin:

Step 1: Separate The Stem And Glass Base

The first step is to separate the stem and the glass base.

However, some hookahs have stems that are screwed into the base while some have attached with rubber grommets.

With the latter one, you can separate it by pulling and twisting. Keep the rubber grommet in a safe place; you will need it later for fixing back into the hookah.

Once you are done with that, you can move to further steps.

Step 2: Fill The Glass Hookah Base With Cold Water

Once you have completed the first step, the next step is to get your hookah base ready to fill the water in.

But here, you might be concerned about how much water to put in a hookah.

Well, you need to put only that much water so that after submerging the stem, the bottom should not submerge more than 1 to 1.5 inches.

For a detailed guide on how much water to put in hookah, you can read our detailed step-by-step guide here.

Putting water into hookah is one of the essential steps, as it can make or break your hookah experience.

It is because if you do not put enough water in the hookah, it will not be able to filter the smoke.

On the other hand, if you put too much water, it can be hard to inhale.

However, the good part is that you can master this step with our detailed guide or within a few tries.

Step 3: Join The Stem To The Glass Base

Once you put adequate water into the hookah base, re-attach the stem to the glass base.

Make sure to put the rubber grommet you kept in a safe place.

Ensure the hookah is airtight and attach the hose to the hookah through the hose port.

Further, put the hookah tray on top of the stem. And you are done with three steps.

Step 4: Place Three Coals On Your Electric Burner To Light Them Up

After three steps, you can keep the hookah coals on the electric burner you gathered from the checklist before moving further.

We do not recommend using quick-lighting coals because they give your smoke an unpleasant odor.

Therefore, we recommend using only natural coals.

You can purchase the best quality natural hookah coals from here.

Step 5: With A Fork, Scoop Some Hookah Tobacco Into The Bowl

It is time to pack the hookah.

You can read in detail here How To Pack Hookah?

However, this step mainly includes making shisha tobacco ready for hookah.

Depending upon the size of your hookah bowl, you must take out tobacco shisha accordingly.

Removing leaf veins from the shisha tobacco is a good practice as it might produce an unpleasant odor when burnt.

There are multiple ways to pack a hookah; however, if you are a beginner or pro, packing hookah two or three millimeters under the bowl’s edge is always a good option.

Make sure not to keep the tobacco too close to the foil.

Packing fluffy gives air space to flow through it, making inhalation of smoke easy.

We have mentioned in detail in our How To Pack Hookah guide where you can learn how to pack your hookah for the best smoke perfectly.

Step 6: Prepare The Foil

Once you have packed the hookah perfectly, you can prepare the foil.

Tear a piece of foil and fold it twice.

Now, wrap the foil around the bowl’s top. You can also use the rubber band to make a foil stick to the bowl.

Next, you have to make small holes in a cylindrical fashion, which you can even do with just a pencil or the poker you bought.

Once you have prepared the bowl completely, attach it to the stem. Make it sit airtight to the stem, which you can ensure by checking the rubber grommet.

Step 7: Check Your Coals

You have now almost prepared your hookah.

Check the hookah coals you placed on the electric burner in the fourth step.

Till now, the hookah coals must be hot red.

On the other side, your hookah should be completely ready. Before moving to the next step, you can again check the attachments just to be safe.

Further, use the hookah tongs and place colas on the aluminum foil (top of the bowl).

Arrange the coals evenly around to distribute your coal’s heat equally.

Giving your coals time to warm the bowl is good practice before smoking.

Voila! Your hookah is now ready, and puff it and enjoy the session!

You can keep adding the hookah coals as the session goes on.

So, with these seven easy steps, you can prepare your hookah for a perfect smoke session.

So How Does A Hookah Work?

Hookah is a type of waterpipe smoking, and it consists of multiple parts that work together to take out the perfect tobacco smoke which a person inhales.

To make you understand how a hookah works, here is the detailed anatomy of a hookah:


It is one of the main parts of hookah, located on the top, and it holds the tobacco.

There are several ways to fill a hookah bowl with shisha tobacco.

Bowl Stem

It is the next central part of hookah from the topmost, after the hookah bowl, and is part of the stem that further attaches to the bowl.

Coal Tray

It is the resting place for lit coals and fallen ash and is made slightly wider to catch any ashes after burnt coal.


Stem is also one of the main components of a hookah, connecting the hookah bowl (located at the top), hookah base (where you fill the water), and hose (the inhaling tube).

In short, it is the component that holds all other main parts of hookah.

Stem Heart

As the name suggests, it is an essential component of hookah. It is slightly bulkier than the stem and has a hose port and release valve.

Hose Port

The hose port or hose adaptor is part of the hookah where you insert the hose.

Release Valve

As the name suggests, it releases smoke from the base when you blow into the hose.

Ball Bearing

It is an essential component that prevents air from being drawn through the valve when inhaling.


The downstem is that part of the hookah which is submerged in water. You must submerge the bottom of it only about 1 to 1.5 inches.


The diffuser is the attached part of the downstem that breaks up the bubbles for a quieter smoking experience.


The Hookah base, or simply base, is the bottommost section where you pour the water.

Hose Connector

The hose connector is that part of the hookah that connects the hose to the hose port from where you inhale the smoke from the hookah.


The longest part of the hookah is quite flexible.

Hose Handle

The last part of a hookah, also known as the mouthpiece, is the part that goes into your mouth from where you inhale the smoke.

So, finally, you are aware of all the hookah parts. Now, let’s know the complete working of these parts in steps.

Once the hookah is assembled, place the heated charcoal on the aluminum foil or HMD (Heat Management Device), which covers the tobacco in a bowl.

Now, you inhale through the hookah’s hose, which implies the suction force past the coal.

It heats the tobacco, which further produces smoke.

This smoke is too hot to inhale directly, so it travels down the stem and passes through the water.

Water is kept in the hookah base to cool down the tobacco smoke before inhalation.

Now, as the tobacco smoke cools down, coming in contact with cold water, it fills the base.

From there, it is drawn through the hookah hose and inhaled.

Voila! It is how you are smoking hookah.

Tips For Better Hookah Sessions

Now you know how to use a hookah, but here are some tips to enhance your hookah experience.

Mark The Correct Water Height

It is one of the essential factors when pouring water into the hookah base. Marking the correct water height so you can inhale hookah smoke is essential.

If you put too much or too low water levels, it may hamper your smoking experience.

Assemble And Connect Hose Assembly Properly

If there are any loose connections, your smoke may leak, ruining the whole smoking experience.

Therefore, using a rubber grommet and rubber stopper instead of a paper towel for airtight hookah is always recommended.

Check That The Hookah Pipe Is Set Up In an Airtight

Like the above tip, check if you have an airtight hookah pipe, otherwise, you may have difficulty drawing air from the hookah pipe.

Avoid any leakages and ensure the connections and attachments are correct and airtight.


How do you smoke hookah for beginners?

Whether beginner or pro, assembling hookah has the exact steps to follow.

However, depending on your hookah type, you might need to change a few steps, such as depending on a fixed or removable base.

To smoke hookah from a bowl, draw air through the hose. As you draw the air from the hookah hose, the hookah smoke collected from the top of the hookah gets through the hose pipe and into your mouthpiece.

From there, you inhale the hookah smoke.

How do you use a hookah step by step?

Here is how you can use hookah step by step:
1.     Pack the hookah bowl with shisha tobacco
2.     Cover the bowl with a sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil
3.     Poke holes in the foil
4.     Light hookah coal on an electric burner
5.     Once the coal is red hot, place them on the top of the hookah bowl over aluminum foil
6.     Let the bowl warm a bit
7.     Draw air through the hose and smoke gently

What is a hookah, and how do you use it?

Hookah is a type of water pipe used to smoke specially-made tobacco mixtures in various flavors.
A typical hookah works by passing charcoal-heated air through the mixture and then passing the smoke through a water-filled chamber.
A user then inhales the smoke through a hookah hose and mouthpiece.

How long does a hookah take to kick in?

Smoking shisha and its kick depend on the tobacco type and nicotine content.
So, depending upon that, you can experience hookah kicks from around 10 to 15 minutes to even 30 minutes.

Do you fully inhale hookah?

Ideally, the secret to smoking hookah is to inhale slowly, gradually, and deeply. The ultimate goal is to enjoy it and have a great experience with the hookah flavor and tobacco.
So, with that goal in mind, you can smoke accordingly.


Congratulations! Now, you are a knowledgeable pro hookah user.

As said earlier, assembling hookah parts and using a hookah is easier if you know the proper steps.

A tobacco smoking session can be fantastic if you prepare your hookah properly.

Therefore, through this guide, we hope you learned something valuable. If you want to add something to our guide, you are welcome in the comments.

Further, you can read our following guide on the Best Shisha Flavors Of 2023.

Our author
Peter Russell

I smoke hookah every day. Like daily with my gang. This is what I love the most when the thick smoke comes out of my mouth, giving me the best feeling in the world. I have been smoking hookah since 2010, and one day, my friend suggested I share my experience with the newbies. So here I am sharing my whole lot of experience of smoking. Use my tips to smoke better and enjoy every day of your life.

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