Cigar Humidification

Storing Cigars in Their Factory Boxes

Reading Time: 2 minutes

As we already know, the best place to store your cigars is in a properly maintained humidor. However, there are some cigar humidors, like cabinet style humidors, et. al. that are big enough to accommodate entire boxes of cigars. One of the most often asked questions about this type of storage is whether the humidity from the humidor will reach the cigars in their factory boxes.

If the conditions are right, cigar box storage is easy. Cigars that are kept in their factory boxes will stay fresh up to a month on average, even after opening. By placing the entire box in your humidor the cigars will remain fresh indefinitely, just as they would if you removed the cigars, but it depends on how you plan to store the boxes, too. For the purposes of this article, we’ll assume you are storing your cigars for the long haul and that your humidor keeps pretty stable “ideal” conditions.

cigar box layout
Cigar box storage is easy and helps keep large amounts of cigars on hand and fresh for smoking

By keeping the cigar boxes sealed with their outer cello on them, this is not much different from cigar box storage in a humidified warehouse or a cigar store humidor; the cigars should be fine. However, it’s better to remove the outer cello from the box, which will allow more humidified air to seep into the box. Moreover, cracking the lid – in other words, lifting it an inch or so – will allow even more humidified air in, and it is recommended that you do this every so often. You can use any number of small objects to prop the lid open. Anything from an extra cigar cutter to a cedar spacer block, even a rolled up business card will do. You can keep the lid propped up for as long as you deem necessary. 24 hours is usually plenty of time.

Of course, removing the lid entirely permits the most air flow, and this practice is also quite popular with many cigar smokers who have cabinet type humidors.

Finally, cardboard boxes are packed tighter than wooden “cabinet” style boxes in which the cigars themselves are also not protected by cello. Wooden boxes are also preferred because they’re made from Spanish cedar, thereby augmenting the positive effect Spanish cedar has on aging cigars.

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Brad
11 years ago

Good article. I always remove the lid but usually lay it on top crossways to both stack and protect.

Brad
11 years ago

Good article. I always remove the lid but usually lay it on top crossways to both stack and protect.

2d Barcode
11 years ago

Sometimes in air conditioners and heaters or seasonal change can affect the level of humidity inside the humidor.

lorenzo gallina
11 years ago

Good day to all, I leave all my cigars under a bathroom sink w/ a bowl of water, all cigars are in plastic containers and humidors, and metal cookie tins, inside the containers are a open baggie w/wet paper towel, and no cleaning supplies not one thing just cigars, do not want to contaminate cigars, is this a good idea. Lorenzo.

2d Barcode
11 years ago

Sometimes in air conditioners and heaters or seasonal change can affect the level of humidity inside the humidor.

2d Barcode
11 years ago

Sometimes in air conditioners and heaters or seasonal change can affect the level of humidity inside the humidor.

Carlos C
11 years ago

I use a toothpick to keep the boxes propped open. If the lid comes off, I’ll do what Brad does. But I usually don’t like to destroy the box.

Carlos C
11 years ago

I use a toothpick to keep the boxes propped open. If the lid comes off, I’ll do what Brad does. But I usually don’t like to destroy the box.

Carlos C
11 years ago

I use a toothpick to keep the boxes propped open. If the lid comes off, I’ll do what Brad does. But I usually don’t like to destroy the box.

Craig A Cassen
10 years ago

It’s not that I have a comment about this article, it’s that I would like to hear comments about the methods that I use to store my own cigars.

My humidor, which holds 50-75 cigars, is kept on the main floor of our house, out of harm’s way, in the dining room.

Since I normally have 3 to 5 brands and types available, I take approximately 10 to 15 of their boxes and put them in the humidor – on the bottom – with the cello still on. I find that my cigars are just better that way. The moisture content is better and they cut better plus I find that the taste and draw are more consistent.

But this is what I do with the cigar box and the remaining cigars in them; they all go downstairs into the cellar and I put them in the bottom of our old refrigerator. Currently, there are some 6-7 partially filled cigar boxes there. We redid the kitchen some 5-6 years ago and, like so many other people, put the old frig in the cellar to keep the beer cold!

So when the time comes to replenish the humidor, I just go downstairs and do some “shopping” to see what I have available and what I need to bring upstairs. (And also to see what needs to be ordered.)

Quite frankly, what I’d like to know is what other people think of this arrangement?

Georgio
10 years ago

Craig, if your saying that you store your spare cigars in a RUNNING fridge, then that is a VERY bad idea as moisture is drawn away from your sticks in a modern fridges environment. They are made to keep moisture low. Far to low for cigar storage. IF the fridge is NOT running, than that’s a different story. Depending on where you live, the natural moisture in your basement can be an asset to storage of your precious sticks.

Georgio
10 years ago

Craig, if your saying that you store your spare cigars in a RUNNING fridge, then that is a VERY bad idea as moisture is drawn away from your sticks in a modern fridges environment. They are made to keep moisture low. Far to low for cigar storage. IF the fridge is NOT running, than that’s a different story. Depending on where you live, the natural moisture in your basement can be an asset to storage of your precious sticks.

Georgio
10 years ago

Craig, if your saying that you store your spare cigars in a RUNNING fridge, then that is a VERY bad idea as moisture is drawn away from your sticks in a modern fridges environment. They are made to keep moisture low. Far to low for cigar storage. IF the fridge is NOT running, than that’s a different story. Depending on where you live, the natural moisture in your basement can be an asset to storage of your precious sticks.

Chris Boczkus
9 years ago

Question: Do I keep my cigars in my humidor with the cellophane wrapper ON or OFF each individual cigar ???? I’m brand new to humidors,seasoning, etc. so I have a million questions !

Gary Korb
9 years ago

Hey Chris: This is the most often asked question I get, so here it is. Traditionally-speaking, remove the cells, especially if you plan on home aging your cigars for months. However, they will age just as well in their cellos, but I have found through experience that they taste and age better w/o the cellos. That said, I have some very expensive cigars that I have left in their cellos because I don’t want to risk damaging them when looking through my humidor for something to smoke.

My advice has always been to do a test. Take eight cigars from the same box. Remove the cellos from four of them and leave the others on. After one month, smoke one of the cigars without the cello and compare it to one of the celloed cigars. Do this over a period of four months and you be the judge.

June
9 years ago

I thought it was a great idea to bring back to Canada some expensive Cuban cigars, but cannot find any cigar smokers. How do I get rid of them?

Gary Korb
9 years ago

Hi June. I find your question somewhat puzzling. No cigar smokers in Canada? Really? In that case, I’d be happy to take them off your hands. :-))

Tom
9 years ago

I use a push pin to hold the lids open enough for humidification. The pin wont slip, and it provides just the right size opening

Punch
9 years ago

LOL, all this “cracking the lid open” business is hilarious. Here’s what I do:
1.Buy a box of cigars to put away and not in the humidor.
(The box arrives, it is covered in cellophane and is unopened. The cigars inside are in cellophane as well. That’s double protection from the elements already).
2.Get some Saran wrap and cover the entire unopened box making sure there is total coverage. Cover it tightly about 4 different ways.
3. Store the box in a cool dry place. It doesn’t matter if it’s dry or not those cigars are protected and will be fine for years that way.
Done deal.

Gary Korb
9 years ago

@Punch: Hey, whatever works is what I always say. ;-)

Punch
9 years ago

I’ve had great results with this for years. I like the plastic wrap method better because nothing escapes from the box. The good that was in that box at the rolling rooms stays in there for years. After I unwrap a box I open the box and slide the cigars from the celos. Then it’s into a 65% humidfied Humidor.
My method allows me to really stock up on boxes of cigars and enjoy them later with some age on them. Saves me money and I have a large depot (closet) stocked with boxes of cigars just waiting their turn. Enjoy : )

Gary Korb
9 years ago

Re “Mr. Punch’s” comments. I suppose, based on your experience, I’ll have to take your word for it, but I am a little skeptical with regard to the cigars staying “fine for years” in the manner you described. Sounds like a lot of unnecessary work just to keep them fresh. My “overstock” boxes are kept unwrapped in a Rubbermaid storage container. Sometimes I think they keep better in there than in my humidors. And so it goes… ;-)

George Stapleton
2 years ago
Reply to  Gary Korb

Hi Gary. I also think the cigars stay fresher in my overstock containers. I use a lot of plastic aroma seal Folgers coffee containers and they work great. The lids snap on tight. I also get good fresh cigars from Famous Smoke Shops.

Richard Pimental
5 years ago

How should a cigar be smoked?

Ronald L. Brandon
5 years ago

Can a new unopened box of cigars stay fresh outside of a humidor?

Tom Par
2 years ago

I have the exact same question. I bought a box of good cigars and am not storing them in the microwave in the wooden box they came in, I also added a clean damp sponge for moisture. Does this seem like a good idea?

Michael Plumb
4 years ago

Very helpful.

Joseph Gadberry
4 years ago

I’ve wonder this very thing with so many cigar stores online selling mostly boxes. I would love to buy a few boxes, but have nowhere to put them. I guess I can fix that.

George Stapleton
2 years ago

Joseph you can buy a good 60qt. Cooler at Wal-Mart and add 320 gram Boveda packs for humidfication, or buy a Cigar Oasis 3.0 humidifier to get the RH% 70%RH 70 degree temp. Is ideal. This is called a Coolidor. This would give you room for several boxes and bundles. Good luck with it. Happy Cigar Smoking!

Andre Havard
2 years ago

Awesome article because I like the boxes of my favorite cigars and collecting them and planning to purchase a larger cigar electric humidor cabinet soon for my basement Mancave.

kate lauren
1 year ago

Great article and information! Thanks for sharing the useful post. I have purchased cigar boxes. Also, a humidor is essentially a wooden box with a lid or door that seals and locks enough moisture in the interior to keep your cigars humidified.

Steve
1 year ago

I tend to buy most of my cigars in the early winter. Storage can be an issue. I found an article about cooladors (large coolers converted to humidors). Made some sense to me so I started with about a 60 can unit but it ended up like most garages. At the same time I learned more about humidity and temperature and realized that I was to long in need and short in management. Went to a 160 can Igloo. I lined it with cedar (no glue) and invested in 4 flat (1 inch) speed control fans 2 on top and 2 toward the bottom of the long sides. All 4 fans point the flow toward the wall or top of the lid. To those I added a 24 hr multi timer. I am able to monitor the unit from my desk with a remote temp/humidity in cooler. I covered to bottom with small sheet tile. There are no good things for cigars in Nebraska…it either too cold and dry or the hot and humid. In Florida you can keep them in your mail box. My next problem was temperature control…the small fans generated enough heat that in an enclosed environment they effected the temp. Experimented and found that running the fans at slowest speed 15 minutes each hour solved the warm weather heat issue. I was aiming @ 69-71 degrees. For humidity I have been using the beads in nylon bag. Tried the the store t/h units but never got much satisfaction from them. Next problem was winter temps…..have to keep the cooler in the basement. This year I invested in a seed heating mat 10 in. x 24 in. and a temperature control that appears to be keeping things @ 69-70. I tried a smaller pad but I believe that it over worked to maintain the temp. so then the larger. You might run the mat outside of the cooler for a few hours before installing ( thought that I experienced some fumes at first. There are 12 plastic pipe hangers and cross members that support 9 cedar trays (3 trays x 4 hangers). Several 1 in. holes are drilled in each tray. There is room for several boxes on the sides and bottom. I am looking at 70 x 70 right now.

John Albano
1 year ago

@Gary, can you use wood cigar boxes with lids removed, holes drilled in the bottom and sides in a tupperdore, to store sticks, even if the wood is not cedar? Many boxes I see just don’t look or smell like cedar to me.

Kevin
1 year ago

My AUDEW 300 count is on point. But did notice that the room humidity at times has affected the humidity inside. Try to keep them at 70%, times had gone higher, simply remove the hygrometer for a bit and leave open the door! A question is would u also lower the temp on the outside of the humidor slightly to say 67/68 or just leave it? Still learning

Mike Preiss
5 months ago

Any time I look at my empty cigar box’s/crate’s I hate to throw them out or recycle them as some are truly artistic. Any ideas what to do with them? I’d gladly give back to the company that sent them but I doubt they want them. Also what’s your opinion on having my different cigars in my humidor lay/stacked next to different brands(out of boxes) thanks

Gary Korb

Gary Korb

Executive Editor

Gary Korb has been writing and editing content for CigarAdvisor.com since its debut in 2008. An avid cigar smoker for over 30 years, during the past 12 years he has worked on the marketing side of the premium cigar business as a Sr. Copywriter, blogger, and cigar reviewer. A graduate of the Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University, prior to his career in the cigar business, Gary worked in the music and video industry as a marketer and a publicist.

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