Cigar 101 – Freezing Your Stogies
I’ve noticed that there’s been a lot of talk lately about the process of freezing your cigars to kill the unhatched eggs of tobacco beetles. Some smokers also freeze their cigars to kill mold spores, though speaking from experience, mold is a bit easier to curtail than a full-on bug infestation, especially if you keep your cigars in their cellophane wrappers. Regardless, this process is fairly new to me, so I did a little research and put together a step-by-step guide to freezing your cigars.
1.) Double-bag your cigars and put them in the fridge for 24 hours. According to the Stogie Guys, putting them in the fridge before freezing helps them to get accustomed to the changing temperature and minimizes damage to the cigars.
2.) After 24 hours, place your cigars into the freezer. According to a lengthy post on puff.com, the time needed to kill unhatched eggs varies depending on the temperature of your freezer. Basically, the colder your freezer is, the less time you need to freeze your cigars. Most freezers operate at around zero degrees Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius), so leaving them in there for 3-4 days should do the trick. A detailed list of times and temperatures can be found on that thread—I personally think some of the times are a little overkill (nine days at 32 degrees Fahrenheit, for example), but these make a good general guideline.
3.) Remove your cigars from the freezer after the appropriate amount of time, and place them into the fridge for 24 hours. This helps to gradually bring them back to smokeable temperature, again, to minimize damage.
4.) Remove the cigars from the refrigerator and put them back into your humidor. I couldn’t find anything specific about how long you should leave your cigars in the humidor before smoking them, but to be on the safe side, I would say wait at least a week, maybe two.
Before freezing your cigars, it’s important to keep in mind that even if you follow these steps, you still might end up with some cracked wrappers after you’re done. Also, keep in mind that many manufacturers freeze their cigars before selling them to prevent tobacco beetle infestation, so it might not be necessary to refreeze them, except for peace of mind. Also, if the cigars are kept in an environment that doesn’t go about 75 degrees Fahrenheit (the temperature needed to activate the eggs), I can almost guarantee that you won’t have a problem. Anyway, I hope this helps, and if you feel I’ve left anything out, feel free to leave a comment below.