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How to Pack a Hookah Bowl?

How to Pack a Hookah Bowl?

Packing a hookah bowl may seem like a daunting task, but it’s actually not too difficult.

Reasons to pack a hookah bowl properly:

  • To get the best flavor from your tobacco;
  • To avoid wasting tobacco and shisha;
  • To avoid a harsh smoking experience;
  • To avoid a sore throat;
  • To avoid a headache;

In this blog post, we will walk you through the steps of packing a hookah bowl correctly so that you can enjoy your smoking experience to the fullest!

Types Of Hookah Bowls

There are three types of bowls used in a standard hookah setup: the phunnel, vortex, and Egyptian bowl. The type of bowl you use will affect how your shisha smokes and tastes [1]:

Types Of Hookah Bowls

  1. The phunnel bowl is the most popular type of bowl. It has a deep well and narrow spout, which prevents tobacco from being drawn into the stem. This results in a cooler, smoother smoke. Also, the juices and flavors of the tobacco are kept in the bowl, which enhances the flavor of the shisha;
  2. The vortex bowl features a series of holes around the edge of the bowl. This design causes the air to spin around the tobacco, creating a more intense flavor experience. However, it can also lead to hotter smoke temperatures. Also, tobacco is more likely to fall into the stem with this type of bowl;
  3. The Egyptian bowl is the oldest type of hookah bowl. It has a wide spout and shallow well, which causes the tobacco to burn quickly. This results in hotter smoke that can be harsh on your throat. Additionally, the juices and flavors of the tobacco are drawn up into the stem, resulting in a less flavorful smoking experience. This bowl is best for smoking smaller quantities of tobacco and produces a hotter, more intense flavor;

Now that you know about the different types of bowls, it’s time to learn how to pack them!

How Should You Pack a Hookah Bowl:

1) Chop the shisha leaves to a uniform size

Shisha tobacco is available in a variety of forms and sizes in the packet, so if you want to keep smoking for a long period of time, you should begin with the same combination; this implies that you must do some initial trimming before beginning your session.

Begin by laying down a handful of shisha leaves on your chopping board. Chop the leaves with a sharp knife into small pieces, making sure they’re all similar in length. A finer cut exposes a larger surface area of tobacco/tea to the hot air, making it easier to fill a bowl.

Using scissors or a coffee grinder to shorten the length of the leaves will result in an uneven and/or fine cut that will make smoking difficult [2].

Chop the shisha leaves to a uniform size

2) Dry the shisha mix before packing:

  • Leaves that are too wet will create a lot of steam and juice when smoked, which can be unpleasant and overwhelming. Drying the tobacco mix before packing the bowl will help prevent this from happening. One way to do this is by spreading the chopped leaves out on a tray and leaving them in an area with good air circulation for several hours. You can also use a food dehydrator if you have one;
  • Another option is to microwave the tobacco leaves for about 20 seconds. Be careful not to over-dry them, as they will burn easily at this point. If you see any black spots or smell burning shisha, it means you’ve dried it too much;
  • You want your shisha mix to be damp, but not wet. If it’s too dry, you can rehydrate it by adding a little bit of fruit juice or molasses to the mix;

3) Prepare the shisha mix in a bowl:

  • Once the shisha mix is chopped and dried, it’s time to prepare it in a bowl. Add about an inch of water to the bottom of your chosen bowl. Pour the tobacco/tea mix on top of the water and let it soak for a few minutes. Be careful not to add too much water, as this will make smoking difficult;
  • The ideal consistency should be like thick mud – if you can make a ball out of the mix and drop it into the water without it dissolving, then you’ve got it just right! If your mixture is too wet or dry, add more shisha leaves or moisture until you reach the desired consistency;

Prepare the shisha mix in a bowl

Now that your shisha is ready, it’s time to pack the bowl!

4) Pack the hookah bowl

There are three main ways to pack a hookah bowl – the standard, vortex, and Egyptian methods. Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks:

  • The standard method is the most common way of packing a bowl. You simply fill it with tobacco until it’s overflowing, then press it down with your fingers. This creates a dense packing that will last for several clouds of smoke. However, this method can be difficult to light and can create hot spots in the tobacco which can cause it to burn quickly;
  • The vortex method features a series of holes around the edge of the bowl. This design causes the air to spin around the tobacco, creating a vortex that keeps the tobacco mixture lit. To pack a bowl using this method, fill it about halfway and gently press down on the tobacco until it’s packed tightly. The holes around the edge should be filled with shisha mix to create a good seal;
  • The Egyptian method is similar to the vortex method but features a raised center in the bowl instead of holes around the edge. This allows for more airflow and creates an even heat distribution. Pack your bowl by filling it almost to the top and pressing it down gently. Leave the center area empty so there’s room for air to circulate;

Different Ways To Prepare Shisha Bowl:

Light Pack

Light Pack

The light pack is one of the most frequently used techniques, and it’s designed to provide for greater airflow access to the tobacco. You can use this technique to fill brands such as Social Smoke, Al-Fakher, Fumari, and Starbuzz. To achieve this, simply sprinkle the tobacco into the bowl and don’t try to pack it too firmly. You must ensure that there is a lot of air circulation throughout the majority of the tobacco and remember not to squeeze it.

The height you’ll pack it will be determined by the sort of tobacco you’re using, although most perform best when packed just shy of the lip of the bowl [3].

Semi-Dense Pack

The semi-dense pack is a technique that will give you a more flavorful smoke, while also minimizing the amount of waste. For this method, fill the bowl until it’s slightly heaping, and then use your thumb to press down on the tobacco. You want to make sure that there are no air pockets, so use your fingers to gently tamp it in place. If done correctly, you’ll have a nice firm pack that won’t fall apart when you try to lift it.

Semi-Dense Pack

Dense Pack

The dense pack is perfect for those who want a longer-lasting smoke session. To do this, fill the bowl until it’s heaping, and then use your fingers to press the tobacco down so that it’s tight. You’ll want to make sure there are no air pockets and tamp it in place using short, even strokes. This technique will create a very firm pack, so be careful when you’re lifting it.


Overpacking is a style of packing and also a mistake that must be avoided when pressing. The difference lies in an uncommon circumstance. For example, if I say “you’ll need to complete a little overpack with this tobacco,” it implies you should pack the tobacco somewhat incompletely around the edge of the bowl. In any case, if I used the words “that tobacco looks overpacked,” it means you’ve packed it too high and should lower it.

Overpacking is also known as the “Fletcher Pack” after Fletcher Knoxville, who is renowned for performing insane overpacks with this bowl.


An underpack is when you do not fill the bowl to capacity. This can be done by sprinkling tobacco over the top of a light pack or even just filling it halfway. You’ll want to make sure there are no air pockets and tamp it in place using short, even strokes. This technique will create a very firm pack, so be careful when you’re lifting it.



1. How do you pack a glass hookah bowl?

There are a few ways to pack a glass hookah bowl. The most popular way is the three-chamber method. This involves packing tobacco in the bottom chamber, then adding fruit or molasses in the middle chamber, and finally topping it off with more tobacco in the top chamber.

Another way to pack a glass hookah bowl is by using just one flavor of tobacco. You can either mix the tobacco with some honey or glycerin, or you can place it directly on top of the coals.

Finally, you can also use a foil packet to pack your hookah bowl. This method is very easy and only requires two steps: tearing off a piece of foil that’s big enough to cover the entire bowl and then shaping the foil into a bowl shape. Make sure to poke small holes in the bottom of the foil packet so that the smoke can escape.

Also, be careful not to pack too much tobacco, or else your hookah will taste harsh. A good rule of thumb is to fill your bowl up with no more than two-thirds of its capacity.

Once your bowl is packed, it’s time to add some water. Pour enough water into the base so that it reaches the top of the tobacco chamber, but don’t add so much water that it spills over into the hookah stem.

Now it’s time to light your coals and start smoking! Place the coals on top of the tobacco in your bowl, and wait a few minutes for them to heat up. Once they’re ready, you’ll see white ash forming on top. Blow into the hose to create some airflow, and then begin sucking on it. You should start feeling the smoke entering your mouth within seconds.

2. How do you pack a hookah bowl with clay?

There are a few different ways to pack a hookah bowl with clay. The most common way is to use the three-ball method. To do this, you will need three balls of clay that are about the size of golf balls. Take one ball and press it into the center of your bowl until it is flat. Then, take the other two balls and press them into each side of the first ball. Make sure that the edges of the balls are touching so that your bowl is packed tightly.

Another way to pack a hookah bowl with clay is by using the spiral method. This involves coiling up a layer of clay around the edge of your bowl until it is tight against the sides. Once you have packed in a layer of clay, add another layer on top and continue doing this until your bowl is full.

Finally, you can also pack a hookah bowl with foil. This is the simplest way to do it, but it is not as strong as packing your bowl with clay. To do this, just crumple up some aluminum foil into a ball and press it into the center of your bowl. Then, spread out the foil so that it covers the entire surface of your bowl. Make sure that there are no holes in the foil or else your tobacco will fall through.

3. How do you get thick smoke out of a hookah bowl?

Some people believe that the key to getting thick smoke out of a hookah bowl is by packing it tightly. Others think that using more tobacco will create thicker smoke. However, smoking experts say that the secret to getting thick smoke from your hookah is all in the packing technique.

The best way to pack a hookah bowl is by filling it up to two-thirds of the way with tobacco. Then, take a small handful of tobacco and press it into the center of the bowl. This will create a well in the center of the tobacco and help ensure an even burn. Finally, add any remaining tobacco on top and give it a gentle tap to pack it down.

4. How do I make my hookah smoke thicker?

If you want to make your hookah smoke thicker, there are a few things that you can do. First, try using more tobacco in your bowl. Second, pack the tobacco tightly. Finally, use a shisha with high nicotine content. This will help produce thicker smoke and give you a stronger buzz.

Smoking experts say that these techniques will help you get the thickest smoke possible from your hookah!

5. How much water do you put in a hookah bowl?

Most people fill their hookah bowl to the top with water. This is not necessary, and can actually make it harder to get a good draw on the tobacco. A little less than halfway up usually does the trick. Too much water will create more drag on the smoke, making it harder to pull through the hose [4].

6. Can you use a hookah without tin foil?

No, you can’t use a hookah without tin foil. The tobacco will not heat up properly and you will not get a good smoking experience. Foil is an essential part of the smoking process. It helps to evenly distribute the heat and produce smoke. Without it, your session will be frustrating and disappointing. Make sure to pack your bowl tightly with foil so that none of the tobacco falls through the holes.

You should also poke small air vents in the top of the foil so that the smoke can escape. In general, there are three ways to pack a hookah bowl: layered, tornado, and stacked. Each method has its own benefits and drawbacks. Experiment until you find one that works best for you!

7. Can you put juice in your hookah?

In general, any non-carbonated drink may be added to the water in a hookah base or replaced entirely with water. Whatever you put into the base will affect the flavor of your hookah smoke, whether it has a flavor or not [5].

The juices will cause the tobacco to spoil and it will create a bad taste. Only use water when smoking from your hookah. You can either use cold or hot water, depending on your preference. Some people also like to add ice cubes to their water for extra cooling effects.

Make sure that the bowl is full of water before lighting it so that the smoke has something to travel through. If there isn’t enough water in the bowl, you may end up sucking in hot air which won’t be very pleasant!

8. Does a bigger hookah make more smoke?

No, a bigger hookah does not make more smoke. In fact, it might make less smoke because the heat has to travel further to reach the tobacco.

9. What happens if you put milk in a hookah?

Adding milk to the base, according to experts, might cause the pipe’s water to bubble up into the hose. Additionally, the milk could coat the inside of the bowl and make it difficult to clean.

Some people say that putting milk in a hookah will help to cool down the smoke; however, this has not been proven. It is generally recommended that you do not put anything in the water but ice because it can change the flavor of the tobacco and also cause bacteria to grow.

10. How many coals do you need for a hookah?

For a more powerful and robust session, fill the container halfway with water and then place two or three additional coals in it. The ash acts as an insulator, maintaining the charcoal burning for up to an hour without ashing or flipping [6].

11. How much tobacco do you put in a hookah?

Fill the bowl with tobacco. The amount of tobacco you use will determine how long your hookah session lasts, and how strong the flavor is. For a short, light session, fill the bowl about one-third full. If you want a longer, more intense smoking experience, fill it closer to two-thirds or three-quarters full.

Tips for users: try different levels of tobacco to find what you like best!

Useful Video: How to Make Hookah | Proper Way to Pack a Phunnel Bowl | Perfect Smoking Shisha | Tutorial


  1. https://www.shishaworld.com.au/how-to-pack-a-hookah-bowl/
  2. https://www.shishaworld.com.au/how-to-pack-a-hookah-bowl/
  3. https://www.icedsmokingpro.com/how-to-pack-hookah-bowl/
  4. https://www.hookah-shisha.com/hookahlovenew/post/2014/02/19/how-much-water-should-i-add-to-my-hookah-base
  5. https://www.hookah-shisha.com/hookahlovenew/post/2008/05/25/what-liquids-can-i-put-in-the-hookah-base-instead-of-water
  6. https://www.fumari.com/blog/hookah-smoking-tips/