What are hookah trays? How to use them

What do small plates and pool trays have in common? Oh yeah: You use them to serve your guests! But you have to get used to seeing people in Texas using these for the purpose of smoking hookah.

The hookah trays, more commonly known as water pipe, is the water-filled bowl that is commonly used to smoke tobacco an other aromatic substances like fruit, cream, butter or cannabis. If you’ve ever held up a water pipe at a party and handed it over, you know exactly what we’re talking about.

Hookah’s become more popular in recent years, and specifically at bars and restaurants with mixed results. How do you use your hookah correctly? TODAY Food has the tips and tricks you need to know.

Hookahs can either be stationary or portable. Portable hookahs can easily fit in a party tray, and can be easily carried from place to place.

There are two types of hookah: Combination and simple. The traditional hookah is the simple one, and is made of wood and is lit with a charcoal chimney, commonly known as a burqa or kif. Combination Hookahs have a ceramic chimney that can be controlled to the right temperature. To make them easy to clean, ceramic (often white ceramic) bowls and metal drip tip are commonly used.

Hookahs are different from cigarettes, cigars and pipes because water does not burn or smoke. Instead, you have to hit the water with some sort of substance to heat up the hookah to “cook” it — typically a tobacco.

Before taking a hit, you need to fill up the water in the bottom of the hookah, either by hand, a lot of water or with a water-filled bowl-side water container, or with a small, portable container called a water pipe “salmon” or hookah “salmon”. Fill it about 2/3 of the way to the top, making sure that the pipe is at an even angle with the table.

The water should be just below room temperature so that the water will not scald you. Also make sure that the charcoal you are using for the hookah is charcoal, not charcoal briquettes, which are considered more dangerous.

When you take the first hit, it should be a small puff, say from two feet to 3 feet off the hookah. The reason for this is so that you don’t burn your lungs and throat, making the experience painful or even life-threatening.

While this puff is small, it will give you a good idea of how to properly blow smoke. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to pull in much bigger hits. Just like with smoking, it is recommended that you smoke a single spot.

Hookah water pipe’s can also be made into sculptures to be displayed or even placed in your garden to be enjoyed. So now that you know how to properly use a hookah, let’s talk about how to use a hookah that’s currently in your home.

You can create an adorable tote-style basket to carry your hookah in, just add some fun pockets like these. Buy an adjustable hookah stand to keep the hookah in an upright position. This one is on sale at right now..

If you’ve already invested in a water pipe or portable hookah, this classy, retro holder will make a great addition to your home.


A hookah or water pipe is a lot of fun to use and it’s a great way to entertain guests at your next party. Post in the comments below to let us know how you use your hookahs, what’s your favorite flavor?