Cigars can be fragile, and unfortunately if not properly cared for their wrappers can crack. In order to keep a cigar in-tact, you have to ensure its humidified and protected. Ideally, cigars should be stored at 70 degrees Fahrenheit, with about 65-74 percent humidity.
How to store cigars without a humidor
If you’re not ready to buy a humidor and need a place to keep your cigars, you have an option to help them maintain their integrity for a few days. Note: This only works for cigars that are still in cellophane.
- Dampen, a paper towel.
- Place the moist paper towel and the cigar in a zip-lock bag in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. The paper towel will lock in moisture for a short time.
The best way to store cigars
Buying a humidor is the best option for cigar storage. Humidors are designed to maintain humidity. In the case of a cigar, they replicate the humid climates where cigars are made.
Choosing a humidor
As the adage goes, you get what you pay for. The same can be said for humidors. Inexpensive humidors will not keep cigars as fresh as some that may cost a bit more. However, any humidor is better than no humidor.
Bottom line: buy the best humidor you can afford.
It’s important to do your research, read reviews and ask fellow cigar smokers. Also keep in mind, a humidor with a hygrometer (which measures the amount of moisture in the air) and temperature gauge are best.
Bigger is better
The more cigar storage the better.
Test the humidor seal
"Humidors should have a nearly air-tight seal - otherwise you’re buying a fancy box. "
Use a dollar bill to check the seal. Place a dollar in the front of the box, if the dollar can be easily pulled out, you should find a new humidor. If the dollar is difficult to get out, you’ve got yourself a decent humidor. Make sure to check the sides of the box as well.
How to set up your humidor
You need to decide whether you will use the humidifier that comes with your humidor (usually a round or rectangular black foam filled cartridge) or humidity packs. While more expensive, humidity packs come in a variety of humidity levels and offer more convenience.
If you use the humidifier that came with your humidor, follow these steps to keep your cigars fresh:
- Utilize either distilled water or a 50/50 mixture of distilled water and polyglycol.
- Pour the water or solution into the vented top of the humidifier until it’s filled. Let it sit for 15 minutes and top it off for good measure.
3. Put the humidifier in a central place inside the humidor.
4. Use distilled water to refill your humidifier. How frequently you have to refill your humidifier depends on the number of cigars you're storing. Watch your hygrometer so the humidity level doesn't fluctuate.
How to Season a Humidor
No matter how you humidify your humidor, you must first “season” it. This process saturates the cedar interior to maintain your cigars.
- Using a sponge and bowl of distilled water, dampen the sponge and wipe down the interior of your humidor.
2. Then saturate the sponge with distilled water to the point that it’s heavy, but not dripping.
3. Lay a piece of plastic, like a sandwich bag, in the middle of the humidor and put the sponge on top.
- Close the humidor and let it rest in a dark place for at least three days, which allows the moisture from the sponge to soak into the interior of your humidor.
- After this period of seasoning is finished, and the hygrometer is showing a stable humidity level around 70 percent, you’re ready to stock your humidor!
Other cigar humidor tips
- Always used distilled water to prevent mold.
- Keep your humidor away from sunlight or direct heat.
- Occasionally rotate your cigars, inside the humidor, to make sure they are evenly humidified.
- If you plan to smoke the cigars in a month or two, you can leave the cellophane on.
- If you want to keep your cigars for more than a couple months remove the cellophane so it doesn’t impact the cigar’s flavor.
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