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Cigar 101

Dry-Boxing Cigars

Shane K. K's picture

Shane K.

Dry-boxing cigars is a simple and convenient way to remove moisture from cigars that are over-humidified. It’s also a common practice among aficionados who prefer to smoke cigars that are a touch drier than those coming straight out of a humidor. Learn how to dry-box your cigars below and why some cigar lovers swear by it.

What Is Dry-Boxing Cigars?

Premium handmade cigars should be stored at approximately 70% RH (relative humidity) and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s the function of a well-made cigar humidor. However, not all cigar lovers like to smoke their cigars straight out of the humidor, so they’ll dry-box them. To dry-box cigars, you simply place them in an empty wooden cigar box and leave them to rest overnight. An empty wooden cigar box gently absorbs any excess moisture from your cigars without shocking them. Cigars that have been dry-boxed will be a little firmer and they will burn easier.

Safe Way to Fix Over-Humidified Cigars

Maintaining consistent conditions in your humidor requires some monitoring and patience because every time you refill your humidification source, the humidity will temporarily spike. When this occurs – or if you mistakenly overfill your humidification device – you can wind up with over-humidified cigars. Dry-boxing cigars is a safe way to return your cigars to the correct humidity level. When the humidity in your humidor is back in a safe operational range (65-70% RH), you can continue to store your cigars inside after they’ve been dry-boxed. You can dry-box cigars for a couple days if they’ve become especially wet.

Improve the Burn

Some connoisseurs simply like the way cigars burn after they’ve been dry-boxed. There is a lower chance you’ll have to relight your cigars as you smoke them because the humidity has dissipated enough to ensure a consistent burn. Dry-boxing cigars achieves this without completely drying out your cigars. You can re-humidify a premium cigar that’s dried out, but once all its moisture and oils have fully evaporated, it will not taste the way the cigar-maker intended.

Does Dry-Boxing Cigars Make Them Taste Better?

The flavor of a premium cigar is always best when the cigar combusts consistently from beginning to end. If you like a slightly firmer, easier-burning smoke, dry-boxing a cigar for a short time can reveal subtle nuances in its taste that are different than if you smoked the cigar straight out of your humidor. The best way to know if dry-boxing cigars is for you is to smoke two of the same exact cigars – one straight from your humidor, and the other after you’ve dry-boxed it for a day or two. See which one tastes better.

How Long Should You Dry-Box Cigars?

Most folks will dry-box their cigars for one or two days, maybe three. Cigars shouldn’t be kept out of a humidor indefinitely or they will dry out too much and their flavor and construction will be negatively impacted. Some cigar lovers will remove a cigar from the humidor and leave it sit out overnight before they smoke it. However, storing a cigar in an empty cigar box creates a barrier that prevents too much humidity from evaporating.

Save Your Empty Cigar Boxes

When you buy cigars by the box, set a few empty boxes aside. Cedar and wooden boxes work best. You can also dry-box cigars in alternative environments like a non-humidified plastic travel humidor, Tupperware, or Ziploc bag, but a cedar box is best. Cedar naturally preserves the flavor and aroma of a premium cigar, and it gradually absorbs moisture, which is why it’s the best wood for a humidor.

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