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Cigar 101

Cigar Cooler vs. Humidor

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

There are so many ways to store cigars, it’s tough to decide which one is best. A quality humidor will keep your cigars fresh at approximately 70% RH (relative humidity) and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though traditional Spanish cedar humidors are still the most popular, you’ve got a lot of cigar storage options to suit your needs.

Many Ways to Store Cigars

If you’re just getting into cigars and you need to keep them fresh without a humidor, you can make a Tupperdor out of Tupperware to store your cigars, or you can humidify a Mason jar to store your cigars. If you’ve already got a reliable cedar humidor, but you’ve run out of space, converting a cooler into a coolidor (or coolerdor) to keep cigars fresh is great way to store a bigger inventory of boxes than you can fit in most desktop humidors. A more advanced alternative is storing your cigars in a wine fridge or converting one into wineador. A cigar cooler is like a wine fridge or wineador, but it’s specifically designed to store cigars.

Cigar Cooler Vs. Cedar Humidor Vs. Wine Fridge

Spanish Cedar Humidor

Traditional Spanish cedar humidors age cigars properly because cedar is the best type of humidor wood. It doesn’t warp or breakdown when exposed to moisture. Most humidors are cedar lined, but the best cigar humidors are made of solid cedar hardwood, and they’re assembled with interlocking joints and durable hinges. The heavier materials absorb and maintain the desired humidity with the greatest consistency because they create a more aggressive seal. The flavor of your cigars will evolve as they age.

Cigar Cooler

A cigar cooler is closer to a wine fridge, but it’s designed specifically for cigar storage. First, a cigar cooler is outfitted with Spanish cedar shelves or draws and a reliable humidification system. Secondly, cigars need to be stored at higher temperatures than wine. A cigar cooler is designed to reach internal temperatures around 74F. Thirdly, you get the benefits of a refrigeration seal around the door, and most models are equipped with a digital hygrometer for measuring humidity as well as temperature.

Converting a Wine Fridge into a Wineador

If you already have a wine fridge at home, it may make sense to simply store your cigars inside with your wine. It’s an easy solution when you need more space or more consistency for storing your cigars, but there are some drawbacks. Wine refrigerators are manufactured with metal racks on the inside – this won’t hurt cigars, but it doesn’t help them age. You can swap the metal racks out for cedar shelves, but it can be costly and time-consuming to retrofit a wine fridge with wooden shelves. Sites like specialize in converting wine cabinets into cigar coolers. But, you’ll also have to install a humidification system. A cabinet-style unit like the Cigar Oasis Plus is a good option for humidifying more cubic feet because it comes with a built-in fan for pushing air and moisture around. The other main concern with storing cigars in a wine fridge is that the temperature likely has a cooler threshold of around 65F. It’s totally acceptable to store cigars at temperatures in the mid-60s – and some aficionados prefer it – but if you like a slightly higher temperature for your cigars, you won’t have the option.

Top 3 Cigar Coolers

Here are three cigar coolers to consider when you want the low-maintenance and the extra capacity a wine fridge offers but in an environment designed specifically for cigars.

  1. Whynter Stainless Steel Cigar Cooler
  • Holds 250 cigars
  • Spanish cedar draws & shelves
  • Vibration-free thermoelectric cooling system
  • Humidity ranges from 62% to 75% at room temperature
  • Equipped with a humidification system
  • Includes a built-in analog hygrometer
  • Elegant and compact
  1. Prestige Import Group Cigar Cooler
  • Holds 250 cigars
  • Thermoelectric cooling system maintains temperatures from 51˚F - 64˚F
  • Includes 3 removable sliding trays
  • Ultra-quiet operation
  • Stainless steel frame with interior lighting
  • Digital hygrometer & thermostat
  • Can display temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit
  1. Whynter Elite Touch Cigar Cooler
  • Temperature ranges from 50˚F - 66˚F
  • Soft interior LED lighting
  • Spanish cedar shelves and drawers
  • Classic analog hygrometer
  • Sleek black exterior with stainless steel door handle

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