Every cigar smoker’s nightmare is realized when he opens a humidor fully stocked with the finest selection of cigars only to discover a bunch of hard, stale sticks with brittle, flaking wrappers crumbling to the touch. Sound like you? Hopefully not, but if it does, then you must learn how to properly care for and store your precious imports.
Cigars are a work of art so you need to treat them better than you treat your wife. For me, that’s not hard because my wife tells me every day that I neglect her and treat my cigars better than I treat her. That’s probably true. Anyway, stop neglecting your wives, I mean cigars and follow these simple steps.
Ideal Temperatures and Humidity
The ideal room temperature is 70 degrees Fahrenheit and the ideal humidity inside the humidor should also be 70 degrees Fahrenheit; however, an acceptable level of humidity is anywhere between 66 – 72 degrees.
How to Reach Ideal Humidity?
This is the million dollar question that I am asked nearly every day.
A Cigar should have 14% moisture in it if you want it to taste, burn and smell like you just plucked it off the shelf of your favorite tobacconist.
The first mistake most novice smokers make is a crucial step necessary for the success of your humidor. You must wipe down the entire interior of your humidor with distilled water or propylene glycol before you attempt to store cigars. This is essential because the interior of most humidors (quality humidors) is made from either Brazilian, Spanish or Lebanese cedar and this wood is extremely porous. So, if you don’t wipe it down, your box will not effectively hold moisture.
You are not ready to put cigars in it just yet. Next fill your humidification device with distilled water and let it sit in the empty humidor until it reaches 70-74 degrees Fahrenheit (about a day or two).
What not to do:
- Never store your humidor in direct sunlight – it will raise the temperature in your humidor and can bleach wrapper leaves.
- Never let the humidity inside the humidor rise above 75 degrees Fahrenheit because it can cause tobacco beetles to start hatching.
- Never over stuff your humidor. If you have a 50 cigar humidor, I recommend only fitting about 40 in there. You want the air to circulate around the cigars to keep them fresh.
Now you are ready to store your precious works of art.