Some of the greatest pleasures in life take some maintenance and work for you to enjoy them as they should be enjoyed. For example, look to the craft beer and wine industry. Aficionados constantly rotate their bottles to store them at certain angles and temperatures to give them a unique flavor or distinct aroma.
It is this attention to detail that makes something perfect, and cigars are no exception. This is also why it is so important to set up your cigar humidor properly and maintain it correctly. Making sure that your cigars are stored in the right humidity and temperature is essential to ensure that they are fresh and to make your smoking experience as pleasurable as possible.
In this article, we’ll be giving you a tutorial on how to season a cigar humidor, as well as how to maintain it properly. So without further ado, let’s get into it.
Finding a Quality Humidor
To start, you’ll want to make sure that you find a humidor that is of high quality. There are several websites that can recommend plenty of good humidors on the market, which can be useful, but you’ll also have to know what you’re looking for.
For your humidor to work correctly, it will need to be kept filled at least halfway, but it is preferred that you keep it three-quarters of the way full. If you own only 25 cigars, you definitely shouldn’t go out and purchase a humidor that holds 300 cigars. You should also have some understanding of the style of humidor that you are after.
If you are someone who travels frequently and wants to be able to take your cigars with you when you’re on the go, you could opt for a travel humidor. If you’re looking for something more stationary, like a desk piece, then you could search for a humidor made from wood that is lined with Spanish cedarwood.
Gently Wiping Your Humidor
After you have decided on a humidor, you will want to begin the process of seasoning it. Before you place your cigars inside of your brand new humidor, you will want to season the wood either using a glycol solution or distilled water. Doing so will ensure that the wood has already soaked up moisture before your cigars are even inside of the humidor.
To do this, you should take either a paper towel or sponge and soak it in either the glycol solution or distilled water. Wring the excess liquid out, and then gently wipe down the wood in your humidor. Ensure that you are spreading the liquid evenly throughout the wood and that it is being saturated with moisture.
Avoid using too much water, as the moisture can drip out of the wood and onto your cigars. Obviously, you don’t want to be smoking moist cigars.
Check Your Humidor’s Humidity
For this next step, you will want to take the humidifier (which can either be bought separately or you can use the one that came with your humidor) and fill it with the same glycol solution or distilled water that you used to soak the wood. During this time, the humidor is going to let out moisture, a process known as ‘seasoning’.
The seasoning process will occur for about two weeks or so, and during this time, you must not place any cigars inside of the humidor. After about a week, you can check your hydrometer, which is the tool that reads humidity. Once it reads between 67% and 72%, you’re good to go.
Placing the Cigars Inside the Humidor
Once you have checked the gauge and have seen that it is within the optimal range, it will be time to place your cigars into your humidor. Be sure to check again and ensure that there isn’t any excess moisture being released by the wood.
After you have made sure, you can start to fill the humidor with cigars. Some people also prefer to rotate their cigars several times a year, but this isn’t necessary. Every five months or so, you can season your humidor again and rotate the cigars inside to ensure that the moisture is being dispersed evenly amongst all of them.
Why Use Spanish Cedarwood for Your Humidor?
You saw us mention Spanish cedarwood earlier in the article. It is essential that the inside of your humidor is lined with Spanish cedar, regardless of what material you decide to have on the outside.
There are a number of reasons for this. Not only is this specific wood able to absorb water and avoid warping, but it is also one of the best materials that will not affect the taste and flavor of your cigars. Spanish cedar also repels tobacco beetles, which are also called cigar beetles.
Where to Store Your Humidor
The location that you store your humidor is also important, and you’ll want to make sure that the area you store it in is cool and dark. Of course, you can put it on display and show it off to the world, but you don’t want it to be in direct sunlight. Even the light from lamps can alter the temperature inside the box and make it higher than you want.
While you don’t want any additional heat on your humidor, you also don’t want severe cold, either, so you shouldn’t put the humidor in an area where there are drafts of cold air, like near a window or a door.
How Long Do Cigars Last?
If your humidor is properly maintained, the cigars you keep in them can last for years. There are certain elements that you should take into consideration, like the fact that premium cigars will generally last longer than cheaper ones, but even they have a limited shelf life.
Newer cigars will develop their own properties over time, but cigars that have aged by the time they are sold might not do well when stored for extended periods inside of your humidor.