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Cigar 101: Where not to store your cigars

We’re constantly amazed at the innovative ways people avoid using a humidor to store their cigars. Some people swear by their weird method, but it just doesn’t bear out scientifically. Cigars are born in high-humidity, tropical locales and need that environment to taste and burn their best. Even in places like Florida and Southern California that are generally favorable to cigars, fluctuations in temperature and humidity can still wreak havoc on your stogies.

You need a humidor outfitted with a hygrometer and humidifier to age your cigars properly. Anything less is uncivilized. Here are some of the strange ways people store their cigars, and why it’s a bad idea:

Out in the Open – Okay, some folks just don’t understand cigars at all even though they claim to be cigar smokers. I guess if you smoke your cigars right away this isn’t that bad, but if you’re letting them sit around for more than a few days, be prepared for some wrapper crackin’. At the very least, you’re not giving your cigars a chance to age and develop their flavor.

In the Box they Came in – There are certainly worse places for a cigar. You’ll be OK keeping sticks in the original box for a little while — the better the box (i.e. cedar lining, secure seal) the longer they’ll last. Soon enough, though, the box will lose its humidity and your cigars will suffer. It’s no place for a cigar to age… more like a coffin that will stave off decomposition, but not indefinitely.

In the Refrigerator – We’re not sure who came up with the bright idea to put your cigars in the fridge, but he must have been on a bender or something. We can’t imagine a worse place to store your cigars. What kind of environment does a cigar want? Hot and humid. What’s it like in the refrigerator? Cold and dry. We think this is just an extension of the urban myth that refrigerators can keep anything fresh. Not so for stogies.

In Tupperware or a Cooler – Well, okay, besides looking kind of trashy you can probably get away with this for awhile if you don’t open it that often. But why bother when you can get a small desktop humidor for less than $40? You get no monitoring of humidity or temperature, no cedar lining to trap in flavor, and all sorts of weird flavors are going to seep into your sticks. We’re mystified by the people who go through the trouble of installing a humidifying unit into a cooler to create a “cooleridor” when a real humidor could be had for an extra few bucks. Not to knock their inventiveness — it’s kind of cool to build your own humidor. We just find it a bit unnecessary when you can buy a real humidor that’ll last you the rest of your life for little more than the cost of a cooler. Plus nobody will accidentally take your cigars to a tailgating party.

In an Unseasoned Humidor – Thank you for realizing that a humidor is by far the best way to store your cigars. But if you haven’t properly seasoned it, maintaining your cigars will be a never-ending challenge. All it takes is a few Boveda seasoning packs or some distilled water and a few days, and your humidor will be insured against environmental fluctuations. Check out our FAQ for more info on seasoning your humidor, and check back soon for a full blog post detailing the process.

What weird ways have you seen cigars stored? Do you have a non-humidor method that you think beats our advice? Let us know in the comments.

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