It's time for another edition of Hookah Myth Busters. This week, we tackled a really hot myth: can you re-light and reuse your hookah coals? Some hookah smokers say that it's possible – that by dousing your coals in water (before they get too small, of course), you can save them for another session. Being the hookah detectives that we are, we decided to try it out for ourselves.
We started out by taking two groups of Coconara Natural Charcoal, a charcoal heater, and a bowl of room-temperature water. The first batch of coal was fully lit, then immediately dunked in the water. Some of the pieces broke in half from the stress, but most of them stayed intact.
The second batch was lit and placed on a hookah bowl, then actually smoked for about 30-40 minutes before being dunked. These pieces didn't break apart, but were already pretty small from being used.
We have to admit, dunking extremely hot coals under water is pretty cool – there was a lot of bubbling and whistling involved. Once the coals were dunked, they were immediately removed from the water and placed out in the sun to dry for about 24 hours.
When the coals were dry, they were all placed back on the stove and – surprise! They were easily re-lit and actually worked fantastically. No one could tell any difference between our reused coals and the fresh coals that are normally used. The reused coals were still able to deliver plenty of heat to our tasty bowl of shisha.
So, once again our myth is confirmed. You can indeed reuse hookah charcoal if you dunk it in water and let it dry. But is it worth it?
Considering the fact that most hookah coal is relatively cheap, it almost seems like more trouble than it's worth to take your coal, douse it, let it dry overnight, then re-light the much smaller pieces later. It may be useful in a situation where you start your hookah session, but then immediately and unexpectedly have to stop, but other than that, most hookah enthusiasts will probably not think it's worth the time.
Like most things, your own mileage may vary and your opinions may differ. Although you certainly can reuse your hookah coals with no issues, whether or not you do is up to the individual hookah lover.
Check out our video of the experiment below: