If you like cigars (or think you might like cigars), you’ll need to invest in a humidor, or a wood-lined container designed to capture moisture and keep cigars tasting perfect and burning optimally. The process of investing in your first humidor can be intimidating, but the alternative—seeing all your favorite smokes dry out—is the worst.
That’s why I’ve taken the time to create this guide. If you’ve ever wondered about which type of humidor is best for you or what you’ll need to get your humidor up and running, the following information will help.
And once the process is finished, you’ll be able to relax with fresh cigars for quite a while to come.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about buying your first humidor!
What You’ll Need
In the next section, I’ll explain what makes each of these items so important. But just in case you’d like a brief overview of everything you’ll need to get your first humidor going, here’s a quick checklist:
- Distilled Water
- 50/50 Solution
- Moisture Pad
- Digital Hygrometer
While the humidor itself is obviously a must-have item, you’ll need the other listed products to help the humidor provide a suitable moisture level for your cigars.
Step One: Buy the Humidor
For new cigar smokers, a desktop humidor is probably the way to go. These bad boys may not hold a ton of cigars, but you’ll find that they contain moisture pretty well. Medium-sized chest units are good if you plan to buy more than 20 or 30 cigars, and standalone units are ideal if you plan to be a cigar aficionado and have 100 or more smokes on-hand at any given time.
It’s hard to go wrong with a humidor; most online stores are reputable, and physical cigar shops, though they might charge you a bit more, sell top-shelf humidors. Also, you choose from the best-rated humidors this year.
Step Two: Buy the Other Products
You’ll need distilled water to moisten your humidor. Distilled water costs the same as other water types and is available to buy in nearly every grocery store. It doesn’t contain vitamins or nutrients, which will help prevent bacteria from growing in your humidor.
50/50 solution will help to keep your humidor’s relative humidity level in-check. Relative humidity is the measure of how moist an area is, and for humidors, 67-72% is optimal. 50/50 is usually added to moisture pads.
Speaking of your moisture pad, this is basically a sponge that helps to maintain a humidor’s humidity. Most humidors come with one, but if yours doesn’t, you can buy one online or in any cigar store.
Also, buy a digital hygrometer online. Digital hygrometers are cheap, and they measure the humidity of humidors very accurately. This will make your life a whole lot easier, as analog dials can be unreliable.
Step Three: Season the Humidor
Once you’ve bought your humidor and all the required products, you’ll need to season it, or moisten its wood so your cigars can be safely stored.
This takes about two days to do. You should use a clean cloth to gently wipe your distilled water into the humidor’s wood; make sure you don’t leave any small puddles, however, as this can damage wood. You should also place a couple small bowls of distilled water in your humidor so that it absorbs more moisture.
Wipe the water in once every twelve hours for two days. Then, once this is done, put some 50/50 on your moisture pad, place it in your humidor, and read the hygrometer, or the dial on the front of the humidor (or your own electronic unit), and make sure that it stays at around 70%.
Don’t worry if it’s a little bit more than this, as your cigars will absorb some moisture once they’re put inside. You just want to make sure that your humidor isn’t dry.
Step Four: Store Your Cigars
The final step is to store your cigars. Unless your humidity level drops significantly, add a couple drops of 50/50 or distilled water to the moisture pad a couple times per week to keep things running smoothly.
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide as much as I enjoyed writing it. Remember that for as incredible as cigars are, they can become stale if they’re not kept inside a humidor; you can keep your cigars tasting as awesome as possible by storing them in your humidor.
Don’t hesitate to leave a comment and let me know what you think of my writing. And if you like what you’ve seen, consider sharing with your friends!