Fewer things in life are worse than reaching into your cigar collection only to find the cigars inside are completely dried out, especially if you’ve been storing them for several weeks. After all, a dry cigar won’t have nearly as much flavor as a fresh one.
Fortunately, rehydrating cigars is a thing, and it’s not as tricky as you may think. At Cigar Amigo, we’ve taken the time to research and dissect the cigar rehydration process to give you a complete guide on how to restore your dry cigars.
You can use the information in this article for virtually any type of cigar, just as long as you have enough patience to follow all the steps thoroughly.
Continue reading below to learn everything you need to know on how to rehydrate cigars so that they taste as good and fresh as they should.
Can Dry Cigars Be Rehydrated?
Cigar lovers dread the thought of their cigars drying out and losing all their natural oils. That’s because dry cigars don’t smoke smoothly and have a worse flavor than fresh stogies. Luckily, dried out cigars can be rehydrated with the right method.
Whether you left your favorite cigars in your car or didn’t set up your humidification device properly, you can gradually restore the freshness of your cigar tobacco so they can be smoked and enjoyed once again.
Can You Rehydrate Cigars?
In short, you can rehydrate your cigars using a few techniques. Depending on the size and dryness of your cigar, it can take anywhere from one to several weeks to get them back to a more desirable condition.
You must note that not every cigar can be saved. For example, if your stogie is crumbling into pieces, chances are you’ll have to say your goodbyes and move on. However, you’d be surprised that even an extremely dry cigar can be restored to an enjoyable moisture level in a matter of weeks.
Can You Rehumidify Cigars?
Moisture and humidity have a significant effect on a cigar’s flavor and overall enjoyability. As a result, cigar storage is an integral part of being a cigar lover.
When cigar makers ship their stogies out from the factory, they have a moisture content of around 12-15%. They should be consumed at around the same moisture content for optimal tobacco flavor and feel.
Without the right humidity levels, your cigar will burn either too quickly or unevenly. If the tobacco wrapper doesn’t burn properly, it can affect your cigar’s aromas and piquancy. Luckily, you can rehumidify cigars using a tried and tested rehumidification process.
Dry Cigars Fix
The best way to fix a dry cigar is to prevent it from drying out in the first place. This includes proper cigar storage using a humidor or other humidification device.
Humidors are sealed boxes typically made from Spanish cedar wood that are used for storing cigars in optimal temperature and humidity conditions.
The cedar wood does an excellent job of absorbing excess water, which balances the humidity levels and makes a suitable environment to store your cigars. That said, humidor maintenance is something you need to know about (see below).
If your cigars are already dried out, there are a few things you can do to revive them.
How to Revive Dry Cigars
If you’ve found yourself not able to smoke your favorite cigars due to them drying out, don’t panic. There’s no need to throw away a perfectly good stogie if there’s a chance of saving it. That said, keep in mind that reviving a dry cigar is a timely process.
Here are a few methods you can try to gradually increase the humidity of your cigars.
How to Rehydrate a Cigar
The Ziplock Bag Technique
For this method, all you need is a cigar box, two Ziplock bags, and a damp sponge. First, poke small holes into your smaller Ziplock bag and place your open cigar box inside. Next, close it and insert it into a larger Ziplock bag.
Then you’ll want to place your damp sponge into the larger bag. make sure you rotate your cigars every couple days to ensure even humidity distribution.
This method is one of the easiest since it doesn’t require many items. However, it’s not as reliable as other techniques.
The Quarter Turn Technique
Place all your dry cigars in an open cigar box and leave them in a naturally damp area of your home. Basements work best, you can put them anywhere with higher than normal levels of humidity.
After about a week, place the cigars into a humidor with the humidity level set at 70%. Make sure to rotate your cigars at a quarter turn every couple of days to ensure they get an even level of humidity exposure. By the time you’re done, your cigars should have fully turned twice.
If done properly, your cigars should be moist enough in about two weeks.
The Hot Shower Technique
This technique is easy since all you need is a shower and cigar box. Next time you take a hot shower, keep your open cigar container inside the bathroom. After you’re done in the shower, close the cigar box. Make sure to occasionally rotate your cigars every couple of days.
You can place the cigars in your humidor after fourteen days. You may need to keep them in the humidor for several days before they’re smokable, but at least you won’t have to throw them out.
How To Rehydrate a Cigar Fast
Unfortunately, there aren’t any shortcuts when it comes to the rehumidification process. No matter what technique you use, you’ll probably need to wait at least fourteen days until your cigars are ready to smoke.
Be careful not to smoke your stogies too early, because the cigars may not be moist enough to burn evenly. Moreover, don’t get them too wet or soak them in water. That will make the wrapper too wet to light.
Can You Smoke a Dried Out Cigar?
If you’ve ever been to a cigar lounge, you’ve probably seen novice enthusiasts lighting up an extremely dry cigar. You can tell it’s dried out by the embers and smoke flying everywhere and sometimes by an unsettling crackling noise.
That’s because the wrapper is so dry that there aren’t even any natural oils left to burn properly. That said, there’s nothing stopping you from smoking a dried out cigar.
However, dry cigars are bitter and will burn uncontrollably when lit by a heat source. That’s why experienced cigar smokers take the time to rehydrate their cigars instead of settling for a dry stogie.
How To Prevent a Cigar From Drying Out in the First Place
Like diseases, prevention is the best cure when it comes to dried out cigars. With that, you’ll need to know about proper cigar storage using a humidor or other type of humidification device.
A humidor is always the best option if you want to prevent a cigar from drying out. However, managing your cigar humidor is a job on its own. To make your life easier, here’s a quick crash course on how to maintain your humidor to protect your cigar stockpile.
Setting Up Your Humidor the Right Way
Above, we mention that a humidor is a container specifically designed to create a favorable environment for your cigar stock. They typically contain shelves, a hygrometer, and some type of humidification device.
However, using a humidor requires more effort than buying it and placing your cigars inside. You need to season your humidor so it’s ready to provide the conditions your stogies require.
Here are the steps to set up your humidor correctly:
- Calibrate your hygrometer so that it reads between 95-97% humidity (some hygrometers come pre-calibrated, so you can skip this step if yours already has a reading of 95-97%)
- Clean your humidor with a soft cloth to ensure there aren’t any tobacco shavings or other compounds inside
- Place your humidifier inside a bowl of distilled water for three minutes (only use distilled water as tap water contains minerals that could damage your device or cause mold to grow)
- Insert a plastic bag on the bottom of your humidor and then place a damp sponge on top of the bag (dampen the sponge with distilled water)
- Put the humidifier and hygrometer on the lid of your humidor
- Close the humidor and let it sit for at least 24 hours
- Repeat this process until your hygrometer gives a 70% humidity reading
Furthermore, taking care of your humidor will ensure that it functions properly for as long as you need it. Make sure to store it out of direct sunlight and in a place where it won’t be knocked over or damaged.
What if You Don’t Have a Humidor?
If you don’t own a humidor, it’s strongly advised that you get one. It’s without a doubt the best and easiest way to keep your cigars from drying out. However, there are a few things you can do if you don’t own one yet.
One easy method is placing your stogies in a sealed Ziplock bag along with a humidification pack. After all, this is how most cigar retailers keep their stock moist before they’re sold. That said, this should only be used as a short term solution until you get a humidor.
Boveda packs are an excellent humidifier since they fit easily in a plastic bag. They provide an adequate amount of dampness to protect your cigars for several days. Moreover, they don’t require much maintenance and will work whether you have cheap stogies or premium Cuban cigars.
Discovering that your favorite cigars have dried out can be incredibly frustrating, especially if you spent a good chunk of change on them. Luckily, it’s not the end of the world. In most cases, you can revive your dried out cigars using one of the methods above.
If everything goes well and you follow all the steps, you should be able to enjoy your stogies again after about a fortnight.
Be sure to invest in a good humidor if you want to prevent your stogies from drying out in the first place.