Can I Store Cigars In My Refrigerator?

This happens more often than I care to count. Someone asks me if it is ok to store his or her cigars in the refrigerator.

Well, there is a short answer and a long answer.

The Long Answer…

Warning labels are for suckers. I mean we shouldn’t have them.

It is just a way to stop, for the most part, stupid people from shoring up the human gene pool.

We are only as strong as our weakest link.

If we stopped printing warning labels like, “Coffee May be Hot,” or “Don’t Operate Chainsaw Under Influence of Alcohol,” we might be collectively be smarter when those people are gone.

That said, there really is not a warning label on a cigar that says, “Don’t put cigar in the refrigerator.”

There is also not a warning label on the refrigerator that says something like, “Not suitable for storage of automotive oil, platypus urine, tar paper, or cigars.

So, it is understandable how some people could be confused.

Not having a humidor is really the “go to” excuse people use.

If you don’t have a humidor, make a small coolidor and call it good, but don’t get cigars anywhere near your refrigerator unless you are fighting tobacco beetles.

The Short Answer…

NO. It is bad for them. Wrong temperature, wrong humidity.

Hear endeth the lesson. Any questions? 

How to Save Your Cigars From Tobacco Beetles

There are worse things than tobacco beetles you could find in your cigar humidor

The day you open your humidor or go to light your favorite cigar stick and see a small pin-head size hole that is the telltale sign of a tobacco beetle – it will make your heart stop.

All is not lost, just follow these steps.

Step One: Assess the damage

First off, tobacco beetles hardly ever carry a lighter with them – so they have not smoked any of your cigars. Sure, they can be annoying, but if you catch it early enough, the actual damage to you cigar will be minimal.

You have to assume if you have some in your humidor, they are in all the cigars (or could be). It is possible if you catch them soon enough they are only in one drawer or level – but better safe than sorry.

Step Two: Off to the deep-freeze

You are going to want to take the affected cigars (and any you think might be affected) and pack them loosely in Ziploc bags. Pony up for the freezer Ziploc bags if you can find them.

Once you have packed them in the Ziplocs, you are going to want to put them in a deep freezer. I say deep freezer because, if you can, you are going to want a freezer that is below 25 degrees.*

*If you can’t find a deep freezer, it is not the end of the world. Your standard household freezer will work most of the time.

Keep the cigars in the deep freezer for 8-10 days.

Step Three: Move the cigars to the refrigerator.

Yes, I know, some guys will tell you just take them out of the freezer and move on. Frankly, I think it helps the cigar by not going from 25 degrees to 70 degrees in one shot.

Leave them in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Step Four: Return to the humidor

Now, I am going to assume during that time you have cleaned your humidor. It does not do you any good if you return the cigars only to find tobacco beetles waiting for lunch to be delivered.

Clean out drawers and trays. Be sure to remove any trays (tobacco beetles just love to hide at the bottom of the humidor).

Don’t worry; you don’t need a microscope for this venture. Just clean it out (even using a vacuum will work).

Throw the cigars back in the humidor and keep and eye on them. If you don’t see any [new] tobacco beetle evidence in the next 4-6 months you are home free.

How to avoid them in the first place.

Here is the deal about avoiding cigar beetles. At some point you will come across them. It is just a part of nature. You can buy your cigars from the best store around and still end up with one (kind of like winning the lottery in a bad way).

If you bring home cigars that you are concerned with, keep them in a Ziplock in the humidor (think of it as a mini-cigar quarantine).

Some people we know have a whole other cigar humidor for suspect sticks. Although that may be bit overboard, you don’t want to rush to throw in that “It’s a Boy” cigar with your finest rare cigar.

How To Make A Coolidor Cigar Humidor

You have probably heard the term “Coolidor” in cigar smoking circles and wondered what the heck it is…and if you should even have one.

First off, the Coolidor is a great way to come up with a make shift cigar humidor – and don’t let the cigar snobs tell you otherwise.

Sure, a full fledged humidor is the way to go, but some people, either due to space or budget, just don’t want to outlay that kind of cash.

So, here is what you need for a quick humidor that will work great (and it sure beats throwing your cigars in a shoebox).

Here is what you will need.

One Igloo type cooler

4-Pack: Boveda Humidifier

2-3 Cigar Caddy Crystal Gel Humidification Jars

1 XIKAR Digital Round Cigar Hygrometer 832XI

Cedar cigar boxes (or cedar racks)

The concept…

The Igloo type cooler is sealed and works well. These coolers are “food grade” – so you don’t need to worry about some sort of plastic smell getting on your cigars.

The Boveda packs are great for maintaining a specific humidity. I like 72 for the Igloo, but there are other variations available so you can find one to your liking.

I like adding the Gel Containers. Although the Boveda packs work on their own, you will extend the life of them if you add another source for humidity. The gel containers can be refilled as needed (use distilled water). Keep up with those and you won’t need to replace your Boveda packs anytime soon.

The Hygrometer will keep everyone honest. You can adjust the gel containers and Boveda packs as needed.

The cedar boxes…well…it is cedar after all.

Going for a big cooler?

If you are going big (100 quart cooler or more), consider adding a cordless fan. You can get the battery operated ones at your local drug store. They run on batteries and are meant to work as a room air freshener. DO NOT add the air freshener part – just use the fan. They typically come on every 15 minutes or so, run for a few minutes, then turn off.

That is it.

You have a great make shift Cigar Humidor that does not cost you an arm and a leg – and will keep your cigars fresh!*

*and please don’t be that guy that keeps cigars in the refrigerator – you now know better!

What Size Cigar Humidor Should I Buy?

Deciding which size humidor you should buy seems like one of those obvious questions that prompt the response, “well, how many cigars are you going to hold?”

What is the best size cigar humidor? Here are few guidelines to help you along the way.

The Small Fry ($29.00 – $150)

A small humidor holds somewhere between 50-100 sticks. Although we have seen some that hold less than 50, we don’t think you want to go there. 100+/-  is a great starter humidor and can often be picked up online very cheap.

Oftentimes you can find “specials” where the cigar merchant (typically online) throws in a humidor, lighter, and cutter – along with whatever cigars they are pushing that week. The cigars usually suck – buy hey, you can get a decent small humidor out of the deal for a great price.

The green “sponge bricks” that come with these cigar humidors are usually not very good. Grab a Boveda Humidifier Pack and you are in business – with little effort.

Medium Collector ($150 – $500)

The 300-500 count humidor is great for the average cigar smoker. Keep in mind, that you are still in the class where you are mostly buying individual sticks (boxes take up a lot of space).

You may not think you need something big, but you will invariably have about 30% of your stock that sits around for a variety of reasons (the need to age, saving for a special occasion, etc).

The medium size gives you a bit of flexibility over a small one when saving cigars for a later date.

Go Big or Go Home? ($500 – 2,000)

A large humidor is a commitment, but not a lot more hassle. We are talking about the cabinet size (roughly 5’ high, 2½’ wide, 2’ deep).

For starters, you can take advantage of box pricing. That alone can make the humidor pay for itself over time.

Secondly, some people are afraid of the humidification system. Save yourself time and pick up an Cigar Oasis II. Easy to use and will keep your collection safe.

Lastly, you might find a great large cabinet humidor for $600-$700. Keep an eye on Craigslist or eBay. If you are patient, you can practically steal one.

Size Matters

No matter which size you start with, you will most likely “upgrade” sometime in the future. Just seems to be the natural order of things. Make sure you shop around as the pricing on humidors is dramatically different from merchant to merchant – make sure you are getting a good deal.

Be a Cigar Smoking Professional

Even before you know what you’re doing, you can ‘look the part’ of an accomplished cigar smoker.  These are the four essential items you will want to have.


There are just some things a cigar smoker can’t do without. This is one of ‘em.  Sure you can chew off the end of your cigar (like they do in the movies) and just spit it out, but nothing says you’re a true connoisseur better than pulling out your own personal cigar cutter.  (Also see How to Cut a Cigar). [Read more…]

How are Cigars Made?

Let’s start at the beginning…

Fun fact:  Two tablespoons of seed can produce 10 acres of cigar tobacco!

First comes the harvesting of the leaves, in itself a thoughtful and careful process.  Leaves that are harvested from the bottom of plants (Valdo) have the mildest flavor.  Middle level leaves (Seco) which are the largest leaves and some say best tasting, deliver milder flavor, while the top leaves (Corona) have the greatest exposure to the sun, and therefore the most pronounced taste.

Fun Fact: Valdo, Seco, and Corona only apply to Sun Grown tobacco. In Cuba, wrapper tobacco that is grown in the shade (under cloth) is called Ligero (light), Seco (dry), Amarillo (yellow), and Viso (Glossy).

These pre-sorted leaves are re-sorted according to size and texture.  They’re bundled and hung to dry (cure) for 6-8 weeks.  During curing, the tobacco leaves must be able to release moisture and (sweat or ferment) rid themselves of toxins like ammonia and other chemicals that develop during the process.  If proper fermentation has not occurred during curing, the resulting tobacco will not burn steadily and will have a harsh, bitter taste.

In preparing premium cigars, the blender will carefully sort and strip the three components of a smoke – the filler, the binder and the wrapper.  All this must be completed prior to the creation of the unique combination (recipe) of tobacco and wrapper that will result in a perfect smoke.

The blender assembles a special combination of tobacco leaves to make the filler.  Depending on the type of cigar, its size and ring gauge, there may be as few as two and as many of four tobacco leaves in the mix.  Blending is an art unto itself.

The next art is shaping, and the ‘hand’ of the expert is revealed in a consistent shape and texture.  A buncher forms the filler leaves into a neat cylindrical shape.  A binder leaf comes next.  Then, the entire cigar is placed into a mold to gently and slowly ‘massage’ it into a perfect cigar shape.

When the shape has been achieved, a roller applies the outer wrapper leaf of tobacco and voila – cigar perfection…almost.

After the cigar maker has ‘introduced’ the elements of the cigar to one another, the stogies are placed in the “marrying room” for a 3-week (minimum) honeymoon together.  The ‘marrying room’ is actually a tobacco aging room, usually made of cedar, in which temperature and humidity are carefully controlled. During this time, Nature brings the various tobacco components together to synthesize their best qualities into the richly layered taste of a fine cigar.  Lots of things go into how cigars smoke with this being an important step! It is not uncommon for some growers to skip this process – a serious mistake to true cigar connoisseurs.

How to Refresh a Dry Smoke…

It takes only a few weeks for a cigar to become dry in adverse conditions, but it takes a few months to restore them.  And although dry cigars could be brought back to an acceptable smoking condition, they will probably never be as good as they originally were.

So an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Don’t let a good cigar go bad.  Read up on humidors and storage options on this website. [Read more…]

How to Size up a Cigar

Not sure what size is what?

Click on this handy chart!

How to Blow Smoke Rings

The term “blowing a smoke ring” is something of a misnomer and probably the reason many cigar smokers fail when attempting their creation.  Most people think they have to exhale to form a ring when, in fact, just the opposite is true. [Read more…]

How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Cigar?

This is a surprisingly common question I get but it is an almost impossible answer. My friend Tommy laughs when I can make a smoke last as long as the “recommended smoke time.”

In a nutshell, the bigger they are the longer they smoke (like you had to go to a Cigar site to figure that out, huh?). Ok, ok, here are few benchmarks…

Presidente (8” – 10”) – about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Double Corona, Churchill, Lonsdale (7 ½” – 8”) – about 45 minutes to an hour.

Corona Grandes, Corona Extra, Rubusto, Belicoso, Pyramid (5”-7”) – about 30 – 45 minutes.

Petite Corona, Culebra, Ascot – under 30 minutes.