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Cigar Tip: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Humidity and Just Focus on Enjoying Cigars

28 Aug 2019

cigar-humidity-tip

There was a time when I stressed over keeping my cigars at a perfect humidity. These days, I’m not so fussy about monitoring my humidors, as I’ve learned to keep all my cigars smoking well without worrying on a daily basis about the readings of my hygrometers.

When you first get into cigars, you read that 70/70 (humidity/temperature) is the ideal way to store your cigars. Soon, though, you probably realize that a slightly lower humidity (62-65%) is often better.

We’ve covered the fundamentals of proper humidity before, but as the outside temperature gets hotter it’s a good time to recap. Anywhere from 62-70% is generally fine. (You can even go all-out and build your own temperature-controlled humidor, or just buy one.)

It’s often a matter of personal preference if you like your cigars a little drier. On the low end of that range, your cigars are certain to burn easily, but possibly a bit quick and hot.

Of course, the first step in proper humidity is making sure your hygrometer is properly calibrated, especially for the inexpensive spring-loaded hygrometers that come with most humidors. For those you can use the salt calibration test.

Eventually, though, you might get to the stage where you don’t even need a hygrometer. I now keep most of my cigars in humidors without one (or I have one but rarely consult it).

I’ve gotten to the point where I’m really only concerned about keeping a select few cigars at their ideal humidity. Over time, I’ve found certain cigars smoke better at slightly higher or lower humidity levels. Thick Broadleaf wrappers, in particular, tend to benefit from a slightly higher humidity.

Other cigars I may pull out of the humidor a few hours before smoking to let the humidity drop a bit before lighting it up. Cigars with a closed foot, which is becoming more common, tend to hold moisture more easily than traditional cigars, so they may benefit from this. The same goes for cigars with a particularly firm draw.

In the end, it’s a case of trial and error, and you may want to experiment a bit. Of course, you’ll want to keep an eye on humidity, and when it comes time to add humidity you shouldn’t hesitate to do so. My favorite way to do this is adding the extra large 320-gram Boveda packs, which do an excellent job maintaining humidity for months at a time, even for the largest humidor.

Ultimately, it’s about checking on your cigars enough to start to know when it is time to add humidity. Once you know how a cigar smoked properly, smoking them (or, at the very least, checking on them regularly) is the best way to keep your cigars smoking ideally.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

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