Make Your Own Hookah Coal Alternatives

how to make your own hookah charcoall

How many times have you run into this problem? You’re getting ready to smoke, maybe you have some friends over or got some kind of kickback going on. But before you can get your hookah set up, it hits you.. You don’t have any coals. Some people think that just because someone has a hookah that they have an unlimited supply of coals. Seriously, how often has someone asked you for a lighter though so they can smoke their cigarette, a little too often I’d say.. However, what if I told you that there was a way you could  learn how to make your own hookah coal substitute. Calm down before you get ahead of yourself, I know what you’re thinking. That this is going to be some crazy hard stuff to do. Although this might sound intimidating, it’s actually easier to do than you might think..

reason to make replacement for hookah coal substitute

For one, it’ll save you a whole lot of cash if you find that you’re constantly going out to pick these things up. It can also be a hassle to just always be picking coals up every time you want to smoke. Sure, you can stock up on them and buy a ton. However, if you know how to make hookah coals then you’ll be able to get the same amount. And who knows, you might even save a few bucks in the process and buy something you need.

Are you looking to add more flavor to your smoke sessions? By knowing how to make hookah coal alternatives, you’ll find out how to create unique smoking experiences by adding more taste to your puffs. What am I talking about? Basically, the flavor of your smoke may change depending on what your hookah coal substitute is made of. Although, you shouldn’t worry too much. These changes can be a pleasant and interesting addition to any session.

Replace Hookah Coals
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What you need to make your own hookah coals

So, how do you start making your own coals? Well first, you’re going to need a couple things. Those things include a paint can and wood. However, before you rush off to make your own charcoal it’s important you understand how to do this process and what to use. The type of wood that you use is extremely important, however before we get into that we’ll talk about the paint can.

paint can

When getting yourself a used paint can, it is important for you to take time to clean out any leftover residue or paint that might be left over. Trust me, while it might be time consuming, it’s definitely safer for your health. If you’re serious about finding hookah coal alternatives, then always consider if what you’re using is unsafe for your health. Try to clean this until there is absolutely nothing left over inside of the can. And even after you think it looks totally clean, give it another good scrub just to be sure! 


Choosing the right kind of wood is extremely important. You don’t want to be turning just any kind of wood into charcoal for your hookah. Smoking with the wrong kind of charcoal will only lead to problems with your health. For example, some wood is made with toxic chemicals and go through treatments that make the wood itself give off toxic smoke when it’s burned. You should also try to stay away from soft woods, like redwood. If anything, you’re going to want to look for some natural hardwood that doesn’t have any added chemicals. Some really popular types of wood include wood from fruit trees. This includes wood from apple, lemon, pear, orange, and cherry trees. Olive, Hickory, and Oak trees are also a great option if those are available! 

I already touched upon how making your own coals can add a unique twist to your smoke session. However, I should probably explain myself in more detail. When using different types of fruit woods or other alternatives, you may find subtle changes in the flavor of your smoke. This change isn’t at all a bad one. In fact, you may even want to keep a bunch as your replacement for hookah coals. When using some of these types of wood, you may also find that some don’t produce as much of a flavor. This is good for anyone looking for coals that aren’t going to mess with their favorite flavoring. Wood from an Olive or Lemon tree is great for these kind of hookah smokers.


START MAKING YOUR OWN HOOKAH COAL alternatives to smoke with

Now to begin, start by cutting your wood into chunks. Try to cut these into the shape of a coal if possible. Also try to make these pieces roughly twice the size of the charcoals you want. Why should you do this? Well, when you’re making your own hookah charcoals you’ll notice that the wood is going to shrink during the process. If your charcoal comes out a little bigger than you’d like, or comes out a little weird looking, then you can always cut these pieces down after they are done and you’ve completed the process. Make sure you’ve got enough of these wood chunks. You’re going to want to fill you’re paint can as much as possible. Your goal is to leave very little room for air.

Once, you have your pieces ready and made, it’s time to move on to the next step. You’re going to pack as much of the wood you’ve cut up as possible into your paint can. Again, make sure your paint can is completely free of any residue or paint or anything else of that nature. You DO NOT want this stuff inside you’re paint can. In fact, if you can, you ought to look around and see if you can find an unused paint can. Once you’re paint can is packed, all you need to do from there is seal that sh*t up. Do this by taking a hammer to the thing and gently tapping the top if you need to. Just make sure the lid is on nice and tight, but take care to not damage the lid in the process!

You’re almost done..

Alright so now you should basically have a clean paint can filled with wood. Now what? With your paint can still sealed up, use a nail and hammer in about three or four air holes in the lid. Okay, I know it may sound weird but trust me. This is important to the process, it creates air holes that allow any gases inside the can the ability to escape. The wood inside your can is going to have all the moisture sucked out of it and turned into steam. Meaning you need to be able to let the steam out.  You don’t want to create too many though. Although you want air to be able to get out, you don’t want more getting in.

Now all you need to do is throw your can into a fire. I know this is kind of obvious, but make sure you’re outside. This is NOT some project for you to try in your kitchen. Once you have a fire going nice and hot though, just place your paint can in the middle of it. Leave it placed in the fire for a good hour or two, don’t get too impatient either. This takes a little bit of time, but trust me it’s worth it in the end.

You should notice that steam will start to shoot out of the holes you’ve made in your paint can when inside the fire. Don’t worry, that just means it’s working. This can should also watched though. The steam will eventually turn into smoke. This smoke can eventually ignite and produce tiny flames. This is normal.  You’ll know it’s done once grey smoke starts to comes out and the wood starts actually burning inside the can.

The cooling process..

Now that your hookah coal alternative is ready, it’s time to take it out of the fire! Grab some fire resistant tools, such as a long pair of pliers, and pull that beautiful coal away from the flames. Next, find a nice place to set your can of charcoal. Once you’ve found the perfect spot, grab a damp or wet wash cloth and use it to cover the holes on top of the can. Now, I can’t stress this enough. Make sure you’re outside during this part of the process too. While the paint can is cooling, it can still possibly be dangerous. Especially if it’s opened before it manages to get completely cool.  Do NOT open the can until it’s completely cooled, just wait until it is no longer warm so as to not cause a disaster or mess up your coal substitute. Once the can has had time to cool completely, you can go ahead and open it up to see how your substitute hookah charcoal came out!

Hookah coal alternative

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