Can you smoke a dried cigar? Should you smoke a dried cigar? As an aficionado, you want your smoke to be a good one, and a dry cigar can definitely impact that experience.
Signs of a Dry Cigar
Since spotting a good cigar is a sensory experience, the same holds true for recognizing a dry cigar. Touch, sight and sound are your allies in telling you whether a cigar is dry. To start, examine the wrapper. The wrapper should be undamaged with no cracks or spillage of tobacco. Next, gently squeeze the cigar. A dry cigar will feel firm to the touch, almost brittle. Finally, if you hear a crackling sound when rolling the cigar between your fingers, it means it’s dry.
Smoking a Dried Cigar
A good cigar should maintain its humidity for a good smoke and an even burn. A cigar can dry out for several reasons such as letting the reservoir in your humidor get low. When a cigar dries out, it will taste bitter and light up too fast.
Rehydrating a Cigar
There is hope for restoring a cigar to its optimal smoking condition. You have to rehydrate it. Since cigars thrive in humidity that mimics the natural environment where their tobacco is sourced, they taste best when kept at a relative humidity of 70 percent and at a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Restoring this condition is doable by following some straightforward steps.
Be aware that dried cigars are somewhat fragile, so you need to slowly rehydrate them.
Steps to Rehydrating a Dried-Out Cigar
Place Dried Cigars in an Airtight Container
Firstly, take your cigars out of your humidor (if you have one) and put them in a plastic container with a tight seal or a plastic bag that zips shut.
Place a humidifier inside the zip bag or plastic container with the cigars. Humidifiers come under certain brands like Boveda with predetermined humidity release levels going from 62 percent to 72 percent. Start with a humidification bag at 62 percent. Leave the cigars for at least 2 to 3 weeks. Replace with a bag having a humidity level of 65 percent for another 2 to 3 weeks. At the end of that time, go up to a bag with humidity at 69 percent. Do not exceed 70 percent humidity to avoid damage.
Note: You can also place the cigars directly in the humification bag, but follow the guidelines above regarding gradually increasing the humidity.
Return Cigars to a Humidor
While you’re rehydrating your cigars, you can preseason your humidor. First, wipe down the interior with some distilled water, but do not soak the humidor. Close it and again set it aside a day or so then repeat. Then refill your humidor’s reservoir with distilled water or a solution of propylene glycol and check the relative humidity until it reaches 70 percent. Finally, after gradually acclimating your dried out cigars, return them to the humidor.
Preventing a Cigar from Drying Out
You can avoid rehydrating your cigars altogether with some proactive maintenance.
If you don’t have a humidor, we highly recommend investing in one as they are the best option for maintaining humidity levels for cigars. You should also invest in a hygrometer, either digital or analog to monitor the humidity within the humidor. Periodically switch around your cigars in your humidor, and don’t over stack them either. Lastly, it’s important to check the humidity within the humidor at least once a week.
Maintaining Your Cigar’s Humidity with Cigar Star
Cigar Star is a one-stop, online source for all the accessories you’ll need to keep your cigars fresh: humidification packs, humidors, hygrometers, lighters, cigar cases and more. Browse our extensive selection of cigar accessories and products to keep your cigars fresh.