Nov 08 , 2022
The traditional Egyptian and contemporary vortex bowls have their fair share of fans, but most hookah enthusiasts are likely to have the best shisha experience with a phunnel bowl. However, you should not pack a phunnel bowl the same way you pack an Egyptian or vortex variant.
Here are 10 steps to pack a hookah phunnel bowl that should simplify the process every time:
1. Use a Clean Phunnel Bowl
You should always use a clean phunnel bowl, even if it is new and out of the box. Phunnel bowls can have dust and other impurities as traces from the manufacturing process, which applies to the other hookah components as well.
The only time you can reuse a phunnel bowl without cleaning is if you are immediately reloading it with the same shisha tobacco flavor. Even then, ensure there is no burnt or rigid buildup of the hookah tobacco inside the phunnel bowl. Such stains may be tough to eliminate later.
2. Sort Your Shisha Tobacco
Not all types of shisha tobacco require sorting, but many do if you find any stalks. Some tobacco packs may have large and small chunks, so you have to sort the bits and pieces to ensure your phunnel bowl is uniformly loaded.
You can sort your shisha tobacco inside the can or using the back of the lid. Don’t use tissue or paper towel to sort if you have a juicy mix. Such tobacco might lose some of the moistness if the tissue or paper towel absorbs glycerin and molasses.
3. Fetch the Fork and Poker
Use a fork to sort your shisha tobacco. You can use the same fork to pack your phunnel bowl. A fork won’t dry the tobacco chunks in the process. Get a poker as well that you will use to make the holes in the foil. The same poker is handy to spread the shisha tobacco evenly in the bowl.
4. Sprinkle Shisha Tobacco
Pick up some tobacco at a time and sprinkle it onto the phunnel bowl. You may hold the phunnel bowl atop the shisha tobacco can so that any bits and pieces falling out will drop into the pack. It is always better not to load a lot of tobacco into the bowl straightaway to avoid a dense pack.
Sprinkle some tobacco with the fork, use it or the poker to spread the chunks evenly around the base of the phunnel bowl, and go for another round. Repeat this process, one layer at a time, to load up to just below the edge of the hole in the center of your phunnel bowl.
Don’t pack a phunnel bowl all the way to the outer rim or the edge of the center hole.
5. Ensure an Even Spread
After you load the phunnel bowl with adequate shisha tobacco, by volume, use the fork or poker to ensure the entire spread is even. You should not have some clumps here and there with a bit finer pieces scattered around at another part of the bowl. Also, don’t press down the tobacco.
6. Create Tiny Air Pockets
Take the poker and make tiny holes to create the essential air pockets. A phunnel bowl doesn’t have multiple holes at the bottom. Instead, there is only one hole and that too is raised at the center. Thus, hot air should circulate properly throughout the bowl before getting to the hole.
The only way to ensure efficient and thorough hot air circulation is creating tiny air pockets and avoiding a dense pack. If you pack too much shisha tobacco, hot air won’t circulate down to the bottom layer. The upper layers might burn and the base may remain almost untouched.
7. Clear the Rim and Hole
Use the fork or poker to clear the edge of the hole and the rim of the phunnel bowl. There must be some space there for hot air to do its job. Also, you need circulating hot air to extract all the flavors from the base layers to rise up to the center hole and flow through it to the hookah base.
8. Wrap the Phunnel Bowl
Get one or two pieces of aluminum foil and wrap the phunnel bowl tightly. The top surface of the foil must be absolutely flat. It should be sturdy enough to hold the weight of the charcoal pieces without any sagging. If the foil sags, it may block the center hole of the phunnel bowl.
9. Make Concentric Holes
Don’t make any pores at the center of the foil, which is right above the phunnel bowl’s hole. Go for tiny holes in a concentric pattern, starting from the foil close to the edge of the bowl. You may use other patterns but the holes in the foil should be equidistant for uniform heat distribution.
10. Fit Your Bowl Perfectly
Use the right grommet size to fit your phunnel bowl perfectly atop the stem. You should ensure an airtight seal. If the grommet is wobbly or the bowl isn’t fitting perfectly, use the foil to wrap it with a part of the stem’s tip. You may even wrap the grommet if you suspect any air leakage.