Hookahs Hookahs

Hookah Worst Case Scenario: No bowl or Grommets

Hookah? Check. Shisha Tobacco - got it. Coals? Right here. Hoses? 2 of 'em. Grommets and bowl...grommets and bowl......uh oh.

So you're almost ready to smoke, but you're missing a couple of integral parts. This is your chance to prove to the world that your youth spent watching MacGyver was time well spent. Do some deep breathing and summon your powers of ninjanuity, we've come too far just to quit now.

I shook my head clear of distracting questions ("How the heck could I forget the Hookah Bowl? Grommets I can understand but a BOWL?") - now was the time to focus. Fortunately, a friend and co-ninja had my back in the face of smokeless adversity as we fanned through the apartment, accumulating everything bowl-esque. Bowlular. In the manner of, and resembling, a bowl. The criteria were deceptively simple:

  • Tobacco holding
  • Heat withstanding
  • Holes in bottom

My first idea was to cut the bottom 1/4 off of an empty aluminum can and add holes using a reliable hammer and nail. It didn't escape our notice that we had over 90 ft. of aluminum foil at our creative disposal. Miscellaneous items were pulled from drawers and tossed aside. Finally, a beam of sun penetrated the looming, leaden, metaphorical clouds to ignite hope in our shisha-hungry hearts. Co-ninja Jason sounded a barbaric yawp and held it aloft. We'd found it:

Yes friends, don't let its awkward appearance and culinary context fool you. A lime squeezer may just be one of the best near-bowls any hookah has ever seen. The juicer would need a little reinforcement to sit in its proper place atop the hookah shaft, and what's better for "a little reinforcement" than several rubber bands and multiple arm lengths of electrical tape?

Not much:

This is the initial placement of the rubber bands, before the bowl saw any use. It turns out that they were too near the heat source, and both melted half way through the bowl - one dropping piteously on the floor, the other launching itself towards my co-ninja (who narrowly dodged it).

No Hookah Grommets? No problem. With enough searching you can find several rubber bands around almost anyone's place. With enough rubber bands, you can make grommet.


Now, a generous sheet of foil and a couple of Golden Coals up top and we're in business.

How did it smoke? Quoth the eloquent Kool-Aid man: "Oh Yeah!!!" A hefty bowl of Romman Mint lent a fresh chill to the evening, and eased the sting of the backgammon match I lost terribly. Note in the picture that we ultimately used two large rubber bands to stabilize the squeezer against the shaft, as the handles offset the equilibrium.

Have your own "hookah worst case scenario" to share? Send them in! Include pictures, and you just may find yourself here on our blog.

Comments (10) -

  • I had this happen to me as well. My solution was to upend the heat shield, put a perforated sheet of aluminum foil along the bottom, then another layer on top of the shisha, a coal, and I was set! Even set it down about an inch from the top so it still worked as a wind shield!
  • In my 6 years of smoking hookah with my dad and his wife (she was the one to bring it over from russia) i have never seen anything like this happen!!! I must give you guys big big big kudos for actually using the lime juicer!! but i thought i should add a few more ideas to this blog!! ok so here goes

    I went over to a friends house cause he just got his new hookah and he wanted to smoke it right away so i said i would bring over my stockpile of shisha and we would sit back and enjoy his new purchase. well when i got out to his place way out in the bookdocks, i discovered he had no aluminum foil to cover the bowl or any wire mesh or anything. well after a few beers it hit me!!! cut the bottom out of an empty beer can and punch some holes in it and put it on top!! ureka!!! it worked and just as good as it did with aluminum foil.

    Second story:
    My dad had just bought me my first hookah and gave it to me as an early birthday/freshman in college present. well after taking it out of the box i was a bit disapointed in it! the hose had a few leaks in it and i had no idea what to do about it! so i went and talked with my ra to see if there where any head shops around that sold hookah supplies and he actually told me that there was a hookah lounge no more than a 1/4 mile from my dorm. so i treked on down there and bought myself a brand new cobra hose!! omg i was so anxious to get it goin, but when i got back the hose didn't fit my small hookah!! so i wittled away a tad bit of the wood stem that connects to the actual hooka and then took three paper clips and jerry rigged a little brace for it!! well then it was smooth sailing from there, literally one of the best hookahs i had ever smoke out of!!
  • hahahahahaha. lime juicer. priceless. I laughed so hard when I saw the pic of it all taped up. its totally something I would have done.
    Ive probably used more electrical tape in hookah related scenarios than an electrician does in his entire career... ok well maybe not THAT much. but still, kudos on being a part of the ninja fraternity.
  • Me and a few friends actually had a similar experiance, we had just packed a fresh bowl and were excited to smoke it when we realized we were missing our bowl. Another friend had accidently taken it earlier that day.  I jumped heroically to the rescue and crafted a bowl out of tin foil that turned out much better than I could have ever expected. I keep the thing on a shelf in my room to show off my handywork, its only flaw is that it gets a little bit hot, a bowl doesn't last quite as long in it as our ceramic bowl.

    email me, ill be happy to send pics. [email protected]
  • I always use fruit when I'm sans bowl and grommet...

    try looking it up on youtube or google it. Fruit bowls for a hookah...

    I've used peaches, apples, and pears so far. They work quite well.
  • A good thing to do when you have no grommets or to replace them all together is do what the old school hookah lounges do. Use a paper towel!
  • I always thought I had great ideas improvising but using a lemon squezer. Tu` Che my friend. I've use tons of erectrical tape for gourmets, sealing and anything else on my hookahs. I once had everything ready to smoke then found out that someone broke my vase. I tryed two things a large Gatorade bottle and a large ketchup bottle. They both worked great. Also once had no bowl so I cut holes on the bottom of a soda can squeezed the middle of the can then put the can opening on the hookah stem with playdough to fill in the air gaps.
  • You wanna talk about MacGyver? I made a hookah out of a spare pressure vessel from my school's chemistry department. Drilled a hole in the side for the hose, stuck a tube down the middle from the hole in the top for the stem, and put a bowl on top of that. There's even a carb for clearing it if you want to. Its still here even though I've got a new hookah. Still remember the nights using it when we had nothing else. I've got pictures if anyone would like to see my Richard Dean Anderson-esque contraption.