If you’re serious enough about cigars to want to amass a collection—even a modest collection—you’re going to want to learn how to store your cigars properly.
Proper storage of cigars is incredibly important. Incorrect storage can result in a bitter or harsh taste, mold, rapid or uneven burn, trouble lighting your cigar or keeping the cigar lit, broken wrappers or even infestation by tobacco beetles.
Thankfully, all these risks are easily mitigated with some equipment and knowledge.
What You Need to Know About How to Store Your Cigars Properly
1. Get A Humidor
Cigars are made from tobacco, which is a tropical plant. To protect the characteristics of the tobacco that make it so enjoyable to smoke, you have to recreate the plant’s natural environment—and not all of us live in our cigars’ countries of origins.
Hence, the humidor—climate control for your cigars. Different air temperatures hold different amounts of moisture.
Humidors come in a range of sizes, from smaller tabletop models that can hold a couple dozen cigars to larger models that can hold hundreds of boxes. At Cigar Chief, we use larger walk-in models with disciplined humidity control to ensure the quality of all our stock.
Humidors work by using the same technology that’s employed in many home humidifiers. By pumping continuous moisture from a self-contained reservoir into the humidor and turning off when the pre-programmed temperature and humidity level are reached, humidors preserve the life and integrity of your cigars.
Check out our range of in-stock humidors.
But Do You Need a Humidor?
The answer to this question depends. If you plan to store a large stock of cigars, then yes, you need one. You also need one if you plan to house a small stock for a longer time.
If, however, you are buying cigars for almost immediate use, then you can get by without a humidor. However, you should opt for Tubos cigars, which are cigars that come with their own tubes. Usually made of glass or aluminum, these tubes protect your cigars from some damage but only preserve your cigar for about 30 days after purchase.
2. Store at the Right Temperature
You’ll hear a lot of discussion about the perfect temperature and humidity for cigars. You can go down the rabbit hole of these debates if you have the time and energy, but if you want a safe, general rule, aim for an ideal storage condition of approximately 70°F (21°C) and 70% humidity.
In humidities above 73%, you not only risk mold, but also the hatching of those tobacco beetle eggs. Also known as lacioderma, these insects lay eggs on tobacco plants and while they are usually completely removed during the cigar manufacturer’s fumigation process, now and then eggs survive. That’s the bad news. The good news is that these eggs are finicky and won’t hatch in humidities below 73%, so you can easily avoid an infestation by keeping the humidity lower than that.
Check out our Humidity Guide for more info.
3. Account For Your Climate
This last point is just for people who are not storing their cigars in humidors. Depending on your climate, cigars outside of a humidor can last anywhere from one to two weeks if they are in a sealed plastic bag. However, if you’re in a dry climate, you’re either going to want to smoke your cigar right away, or refer back to our first point and get a humidor.
NOTE: Do not put your cigars in the fridge or freezer. This will dehydrate your sticks.
These are the basics of how to store your cigars properly. If you have any questions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 1-877-526-2376.