A smokebox has become one of the most popular attachments for hookah heads. But what distinguishes the Smokebox from other head attachments? In this article we explain what a smokebox is and what makes it so special. In addition, we show how to smoke with it and of course also the subsequent cleaning is explained.
What is a smokebox?
That the Smokebox is placed on the Shisha head, should be aware of everyone. But what is a smokebox at all and what makes it so special? How is it different from a chimney or aluminum foil?? The smokebox consists of a thick layer of aluminum (about as thick as 10 to 15 layers of armored aluminum foil). This aluminum plate ensures an even distribution of heat on the tobacco. Moving the hookah charcoal to heat the tobacco evenly in all places is therefore no longer necessary. The typical routing of the coals is known, for example, from smoking with aluminum foil. The base plate is usually grooved, so that there is always enough oxygen to the coal and it does not go out. Nevertheless, depending on the model, this can sometimes happen and the coals must be turned over.
A ring, also made of aluminum, is attached to the base plate. This forms a container in which the coal is later placed. The rim acts as a windbreak and ensures that the charcoal does not burn so quickly and does not get too hot. The rim acts not only as a windbreak, but also to store the heat. The coals do not give off their heat completely to the ambient air, but the aluminum absorbs it as well. Another reason why you can smoke longer with a smokebox.
Some smokeboxes are additionally supplied with a lid. Sometimes this also has adjustable vents to regulate the air supply to the charcoal. However, most shisha smokers do not use this lid, because it can easily happen that the coal becomes too hot and thus burns the tobacco.
Difference smokebox and HMD
Smokeboxes belong to the category of Heat Management Devices (HMD). In German this means something like heat regulation tools. So actually the name HMD is an upper handle and the Smokebox is just a possible variant of the HMD. So the chimney top is exactly also a HMD. Yes, even the aluminum foil would be called a Heat Management Device classify. In the shisha scene, however, it has become common practice that HMD is mainly used as a synonym for the smokebox. That’s why we will not use a heat management device in this article Difference between smokebox and HMD but use both terms in the same sense.
Why use a smokebox?
Heat management is essential when smoking hookah. In addition to the right head construction, heat management is a decisive factor for perfect smoking enjoyment. A smokebox greatly simplifies heat management by delivering heat evenly and directly to the tobacco. It simplifies the heat regulation considerably and is therefore, in our view, clearly superior to the aluminum foil and also to the chimney attachment. A HMD gets along with two to three pieces of natural charcoal. At the beginning, three coals are often used to bring the smokebox to operating temperature. Afterwards it can be reduced again to two coals. Towards the end of the smoking session, the third coal can be put back into the smokebox.
The best smokebox
Who decides to change the setup, of course wants to use the best Smokebox for it. Meanwhile, there are many manufacturers who have brought their own smokeboxes on the market. Gladly the Kaloud Lotus I+ is called the best smokebox. Often the "Kaloud" is even used as another synonym for any HMDs.
Since there are fortunately many manufacturers who produce smokeboxes, you can also find cheaper HMDs online. These follow of course the same principle and are similarly constructed again Kaloud Lotus I+. However, neither the HMD from M. ROSENFELD still the AO HMD nubs on the underside. So with them you can also not build on nub contact. However, these are also significantly cheaper than the Kaloud Lotus I+. Both Kaloud alternatives come with a lid, unlike the Lotus. Whether you also want to use this, you should decide for yourself individually, because it can often come to a heat buildup here.
OneSmoke – smoke with only one coal
So-called "OneSmokes" are a special form of the smokebox. Only one coal fits in these HMDs. Of course, this is very economical, but the smoking time is thereby also clearly limited. Optimal results in terms of smoke density and taste can be achieved here with only very difficult. Who would like to look at a OneSmoke nevertheless times, can do this here.
Heads for smokebox
The perfect head for a smokebox is without discussion the phunnel. The HMD fits perfectly on the single-hole heads. Meanwhile even extra Phunnels are developed, which correspond to the dimensions of the HMDs. This guarantees optimal heat distribution and draught. The Oblako M is a very popular head for the smokebox. But also the Hookain Litlip is smoked extremely gladly in combination with a HMD. Both are quite economical phunnels, so you can also smoke them rather alone, in a one-hour session. Theoretically, it is also possible to smoke the smokebox with a multi-hole head. However, this really happens very rarely in practice.
Head designs for HMDs
You have bought your smokebox and want to start now? Butw hen you build a head with a smokebox? Here there are different possibilities one has. Depending on the head construction, the taste and smoke development will be particularly intense. In the following we have presented three different head designs for smokeboxes. However, we recommend smoking with nub or full contact. With a distance setup you miss a little the point of a smokebox.
With the distance setup, the top layer of tobacco does not touch the HMD. Here, however, one gives away the potential of the Smokebox. If you still want to smoke with distance, you should use a multi-hole head for this purpose. However, our recommendation is the nub or full contact setup.
With the nub contact the upper tobacco layer (as the name already suggests) touches the nubs of the Smokebox. Here you actually build the tobacco to slightly below the edge of the head. Whether the nub contact setup was built correctly, you can tell by the fact that when you put the smokebox on, turn it a little and take it off. Then you just check if some tobacco or molasses sticks to the nubs. If this is the case, a successful nub contact setup has been built. The nub contact is easy to build and significantly increases the taste and smoke development when smoking. It is suitable for most smoking sessions, as it is easy to build and very good results can be achieved with it.
When using full contact, the tab via the edge of the shisha head. The HMD no longer touches the head directly, but rests on the tobacco. With this head construction there can be a more significant increase in smoke and taste. However, the full contact setup is a lot more strenuous to smoke and more suitable for advanced shisha smokers.