Cigar aficionados know that keeping their prized stogies at the optimal humidity is essential for preserving their flavor and quality. If you are just beginning your journey into the world of cigars, it's likely that you may not already have a humidor. However, fear not, because in this article, we will introduce you to various methods for storing your cigars without a humidor, ensuring your smokes stay fresh and ready to enjoy whenever you desire.
How To Store Cigars Without A Humidor Table of Contents
Why Humidity Matters
Before diving into the different ways to store cigars without a humidor, it's crucial to understand the importance of humidity. Cigars need to be stored in a consistent and controlled environment to prevent them from drying out or becoming too moist. Generally, cigars should be kept at a humidity level between 65% and 72% and a temperature around 70°F (21°C).
Alternative Methods for Storing Cigars
There are several ways to store your cigars if you don't have a humidor at hand. Here are some popular methods for maintaining their quality:
1. Tupperware Containers
Airtight plastic containers, commonly known as Tupperware, can be an excellent alternative to a humidor. Make sure the container is clean and free of any residual odors before placing your cigars inside. To include humidity control, you can add a Boveda humidity pack or a makeshift humidity device like a damp sponge inside a small, perforated plastic bag. Monitor the humidity and replace the packs or dampen the sponge as necessary.
2. Ziplock Bags
Ziplock bags can also be used to store cigars in a pinch. Similar to using a Tupperware container, place a small humidity source (such as a Boveda pack or a damp sponge in a perforated bag) inside the Ziplock bag along with your cigars. Be sure to expel excess air in the bag and seal it tightly. Do not overfill the bag and regularly check the humidity inside.
A coolerdor is simply a cooler that has been repurposed for storing cigars. This method is especially helpful if you have a bulk amount of cigars to store. Add Spanish cedar trays, Boveda packs or other humidity control devices inside the cooler to maintain the optimal humidity levels, checking and adjusting as needed.
4. Humidity Control Bags
Some companies offer commercial humidity control bags designed explicitly for cigar storage. These bags come pre-equipped with a humidity pack to maintain the ideal environment for your cigars. Brands like Boveda sell such bags, which can be a convenient option for short-term or travel storage of your stogies.
Tips for Successful Cigar Storage Without a Humidor
- Always check and regulate the humidity levels according to the requirements of your specific cigars.
- Avoid storing your cigars near heat sources, direct sunlight, or in rooms prone to temperature fluctuations.
- Spanish cedar can be added to most storage methods to help wick away excess moisture and retain the proper humidity levels.
- Rotate your cigars regularly to ensure even exposure to humidity and prevent mold or tobacco beetles from infesting your cigars.
How To Store Cigars Without A Humidor Example
Let's say you've just purchased a box of premium cigars and don't have a humidor to store them. Fear not because you have a large plastic airtight Tupperware container on hand. Clean it thoroughly and remove any odors. Add a Spanish cedar tray or loose cedar sheets on the bottom of the container. Place the cigars on the cedar, keeping them spaced sufficiently to allow for adequate air circulation. Introduce a Boveda pack or a DIY humidity control device like a dampened sponge in a perforated bag. Seal the container, ensuring it's airtight, and store it in a cool and dark location away from direct sunlight. Regularly monitor the humidity and adjust as needed, and remember to rotate your cigars now and then for even humidity exposure.
How To Store Cigars Without A Humidor Frequently Asked Questions
Why is proper cigar storage important?
Storing cigars correctly is crucial for preserving their flavor, aroma, and overall quality. Improper storage can dry out cigars or make them too moist, both of which can adversely affect the smoking experience.
Can I store cigars without a humidor for the long term?
While a humidor is the best long-term storage solution, there are alternative methods suitable for short-term storage. However, for extended periods, non-humidor methods might not be as effective in maintaining optimal cigar conditions.
What are the essential elements to consider for cigar storage?
The primary factors to consider are humidity and temperature. Cigars should be kept at a relative humidity of 65-70% and a temperature range of 65°F to 70°F.
Can I use a regular plastic bag to store cigars?
Yes, for short-term storage. Placing cigars in a zip-lock bag with a dampened (not wet) sponge or paper towel can act as a makeshift humidor for a few days to a week.
What about Tupperware or airtight containers?
Airtight containers like Tupperware can be effective alternatives. Combined with a humidification source, such as Boveda packs, they can maintain stable humidity levels for cigars.
How often should I check on cigars stored without a humidor?
Regularly – at least once a week. Ensure the humidity source isn't overly damp and check the cigars for any signs of mold or drying out.
Are there any household items I can use as a humidification source?
Yes. In addition to damp sponges or paper towels, you can use distilled water with floral foam or even humidification beads available at pet stores (used for reptile enclosures).
How can I monitor humidity levels without a humidor's built-in hygrometer?
You can purchase standalone digital hygrometers. They're relatively inexpensive and can be placed inside your makeshift storage container to monitor humidity.
Can I store different types of cigars together?
While you can store various cigars together in the same container, be mindful that stronger cigars might impart their flavors onto milder ones over time.
How do cedarwood sheets help in cigar storage?
Spanish cedar regulates humidity, repels insects like tobacco beetles, and imparts a pleasant aroma to cigars. Placing cedar sheets or spills in your storage container can help maintain better conditions for your cigars.
Is it advisable to remove the cellophane wrapper from cigars before storage?
It depends on personal preference. Keeping the cellophane on can protect cigars from damage, while removing it might allow cigars to "breathe" and age more effectively.
Can I store cigars in the refrigerator?
Not recommended. Refrigerators have low humidity levels, which can dry out cigars. If trying to kill tobacco beetles, freezing is an option, but cigars should be thawed and re-acclimated to room temperature slowly.
Can a wine cooler be used as a makeshift humidor?
Yes, with modifications. Wine coolers maintain a stable temperature, but you'll need to introduce a humidification source to ensure proper humidity levels for cigars.
How can I prevent mold in my non-humidor storage solution?
Avoid overly damp humidification sources and ensure some air circulation. Regularly inspect cigars and the storage container for any signs of mold.
Is long-term aging possible without a traditional humidor?
While short-term storage without a humidor is feasible, for long-term aging (several months to years), a dedicated humidor is preferable to ensure the optimal evolution of cigar flavors.
How can I tell if my non-humidor storage method is working?
Your cigars should feel supple to the touch, not too dry or too spongy. The aroma should be rich and not display any off-putting, moldy, or stale scents.
What do I do if my cigars have dried out?
While severely dried cigars might be beyond saving, moderately dry cigars can be slowly re-humidified over weeks by introducing them to a controlled humid environment, increasing humidity levels gradually.
Are there commercial products designed for cigar storage without a humidor?
Yes, there are products like travel humidors, humidor bags, and specially designed pouches available that can keep cigars fresh without the need for a traditional humidor.
Can I travel with my non-humidor cigar storage solution?
Depending on the solution, yes. Travel humidors and humidor bags are portable options. If using a makeshift solution, ensure it's secure and can maintain conditions during your journey.
Will cigars stored without a humidor have a different flavor profile over time?
Improperly stored cigars can see a decline in flavor or experience unwanted flavor changes. However, if stored effectively using non-humidor methods, the flavor evolution should be similar to those stored in traditional humidors.
There you have it! Now you know how to store your precious cigars without a humidor. By following these guidelines and tips, you can maintain the quality and flavor of your cigars until you decide to invest in a proper humidor. Feel free to share this article with other cigar enthusiasts and explore more of Swinger Cigars' guides to enhance your cigar experiences. Happy smoking!