Cigars 101

What to Do with Under- or Over-Humidified Cigars

We all dream of the perfect cigar. You know what I mean – the cigar that has a perfect balance of power and flavor, plump with a little bit of give. When you cut it, the blade of your cutter glides through like a hot knife through butter and when you light it, the ember glows with an even orange glow and has a perfect draw. Uh, it’s what we all want every time we pick a cigar. But this isn’t always the case. Sometimes when you cut the cigar, chips of the cap start splitting off or the cap cracks entirely causing the cigar to start unraveling or getting bits of tobacco in your mouth while you smoke. Maybe when you light the cigar it constantly goes out on you or burns unevenly at times, either tunneling or the wrapper burns faster than the filler. This completely throws off the flavor of the cigar and just leaves you frustrated.


This may be a matter of under or over-humidifying your cigars! What a travesty! Well, fear not because both are very easy fixes. Let’s go over under-humidified cigars first. This is usually characterized when your cigar feels hard to the touch and when you cut the cap, it breaks or splits. Under-humidification can also lead to your cigar burning faster than normal leading to a charred taste. This usually happens when you buy new cigars at a B&M with poor humidification or when you have cigars shipped to you and it takes over a week to the cigars to reach you. Anytime you experience this, just let your cigars rest in your humidor! 2 weeks in your humidor can be the difference between frustration and the cigar of your dreams. So next time you order cigars, make sure you have a reserve in your humidor to smoke while you wait for your new ones to come to perfect smoking conditions.


Over-humidified cigars are a different story altogether though. These are more frustrating than under-humidified cigars in my opinion for the unbearable lighting and burn issues. Again, the fix is simple, but it can take a while for your cigars to balance out. You can open your humidor until some of the humidity in the humidor is released, but do this is small, hour long increments as to not expel all of the humidity. By dropping the humidity in your humidor, it forces humidity in the cigars to be released which will re-balance the humidity. You can also add cedar blocks or strips to absorb some of the humidity in your humidor. This is a lot safer than opening your humidor since cedar is known to absorb and release humidity naturally and incrementally.

It will take some playing with to get your humidor and your cigars to the perfect balance, so while you wait to find the happy medium, simply take the cigar you want to smoke that day and let it sit out for a few hours before you smoke out in the open in a dry area so the humidity drops in the cigar. This not only adds more anticipation for the cigar, but it should correct any issues you may experience with an over-humidified cigar. One last tip: Make sure you do not leave a handful of cigars in large humidors. The less cigars that are in your humidor means more humidity is trying to get into those cigars which will over-humidify them. Always keep your humidor stocked close to the maximum threshold to ensure stable humidity.


Over and under-humidified cigars can be a large nuisance to any cigar smoker and can lead to a lot of headaches and frustration. The best thing you can do in order to avoid these problems is to simply take preventative measures. Make sure you always stay near the threshold of what your humidor can hold. This way the humidity is perfectly balanced. Adding too many cigars can lead to dry cigars and having less than 30% maximum capacity can lead to over-humidification. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll have a perfect smoke every time.

Jonathan DeTore

Jonathan DeTore

My job here is pretty simple - I write stuff, I post stuff to Facebook, and I take it to the house consistently at the weekly slam drunk contest. I do it all while sipping on a fine glass of cognac at my desk (don’t tell my boss), and wearing cashmere slippers. Let’s just say "The Hef" has nothing on me.

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