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What's so Great About Natural Hookah Charcoal?

What's so Great About Natural Hookah Charcoal?

By clay / May 28, 2014

This blog was updated on 01/24/2019

Considering making the switch from quick lighting coals over to natural hookah coals, but don't want to take an uneducated risk? Let us tell you why your hunch to switch from quick lights to natural coals is spot on.

Most natural charcoals are made from coconut husk, although there are lesser-known natural wood coals made from bamboo, orangewood, or lemonwood. Natural coals burn longer, have less impact on the flavor of your shisha, and are made with natural ingredients. They typically make for a more pleasant smoking experience, and present many other unforeseen advantages.

We broke down the pros and cons of coconut hookah coals versus quick-lighting charcoal to the best of our abilities, and you might be surprised at the findings.

The Pros and Cons of Natural Coals


- Due to the lack of accelerants, they burn longer (approx. 45-60 minutes per coal).

- They burn at a more steady temperature than quick lighting coals providing an even heat throughout the session.

- Since they burn longer, you will use fewer coals per smoke session, saving you money in the long term.

- They tend to have a less intrusive flavor because they include primarily natural ingredients. These are the best coals if you don't want them to affect the taste of your shisha.

- Since natural coals are more dense, the ash it produces is far less powdery (less mess!).

- Natural coals come in a variety of shapes and sizes which allows you to choose the size and shape that fits your smoking preference.

- Natural coals are recommended for use with heat management devices.


- To heat natural coals, you will need some type of Electric Coil Heater. Your lighter will not do the trick.

- At 5-10 minutes per coal, it takes a bit longer to light natural coals.

The Pros and Cons of Quick-Lighting Coals


- Quick lights can be sparked up in a jiffy with a regular old lighter. A torch lighter is recommended.

- Rotating old coals out for new ones is less tedious due to ease of ignition.

- Most quick lighting coals are available in a 33mm or 40mm size so you can choose the size that works best for your bowl


- They tend to produce a more powdery ash, resulting in messier-than-necessary sessions.

- A distinct charcoal flavor is given off by most quick lights that can impact the flavor of the shisha tobacco.

- Accelerants that are used in quick lighting coals causes them to burn at a higher temperature than natural coals and as a result relatively fast (approx. 20-30 minutes per coal).

- Quick lighting coals are not recommended for use with heat management devices.

ignite quick lite hookah coals

As you can see, the differences between the two types of coals are quite significant. Despite all the negativity surrounding the quick lights, they certainly serve a valid purpose -- in a hookah lounge, where they can quickly and conveniently be rotated out en masse. Quicklites are also great for traveling, or if you don't have a coil burner to heat natural charcoal. For personal use, however, it's really a bit more economical and to follow the path of the natural coal.

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