I first got into cigars 9 years ago — in 2012. Since then I’ve tried different ways of storing the cigars, here is what I’ve learned so far.

Table of contents

Humidor

One of the first things I got was a humidor — a Adorini Chianti Deluxe Medium. It had a capacity of 100 cigars, a moisturizing sponge and a hygrometer in front.

I had some trouble keeping it at the right humidity, it simply dried out. And I later find out that the hygrometer it had was way off 😕

Adorini Chianti Deluxe, in my previous house
Adorini Chianti Deluxe, in my previous house

About a year later I started outgrowing the humidor and explored other ways of storing my cigars.

Zipper bags

Zipper bags is a useful way to temporary store cigars, for transportation or when seasoning the humidor.

Cigars in zipper bags
Cigars in zipper bags

You can even get bags with cigar “fingers” — 5 finger cigar bags. This prevents the cigars from touching each other, which might be beneficial during transport.

Cigars in 5 finger bags
Cigars in 5 finger bags

Glass jars

I also used glass jars for a while, with a gasket they can be air-tight. Just pop a Boveda pack in there and you are good to go. It’s worth noting that the lack of oxygen will halt the cigar aging. So it’s a good idea to open it every once in a while to let some air in.

Another benefit of glass is that there is no smell to it, when opening a newly purchased glass jar there seldom is any smell. The same can not be said about plastic containers.

Empty glass jars
Empty glass jars

What I don’t like about the glass jars, at least the once I had, was the shape… The cigars had to be stored upright, and was a bit awkward to get to.

Cigars and Boveda pack in glass jar
Cigars and Boveda pack in glass jar

Plastic storage containers

Plastic storage containers has become my preferred way of storing my cigars, so much so that I have sold my humidor. The ones I use measure 26x19×11 cm, and have a volume of 4 liters (about one gallon). They have a gasket in the lid, making them air tight.

Cigars, Boveda pack and hygrometer in plastic container
Cigars, Boveda pack and hygrometer in plastic container

I use Boveda packs to control the humidity, and pack some left over Spanish Cedar sheets from cigar boxes in — they help maintain the humidity and provide some aroma.

I try to keep all my containers about 2/3 full. I want to have some air in there, but not too much. I don’t have a routine of opening the boxes to let fresh air in, I recon this happens naturally as I look for cigars to smoke.

My cigar collection in 2014
My cigar collection in 2014

Getting the smell out

One drawback of these plastic containers is that they have an awful smell when they are new. I’ve tried multiple ways of getting rid of it:

  • Cleaning them with alcohol
  • Rubbing them with baking soda
  • Placing a bowl of Sodium inside

It did help, but didn’t remove all the nasty plastic smell.

Bowl of sodium in plastic container
Bowl of sodium in plastic container

I eventually found that just washing them in the dish washer, and leaving them open for a couple of months work well 😃

Where to store them?

Cigars likes it best at 21°C, you can go lover but it will slow the aging process. You should keep the temperature below 23°C, because that is apparently when the tobacco beetles like to hatch. I’ve never experienced this myself, but I’ve seen some horrible pictures.

An added bonus of using multiple small containers is that any beetle outbreak would be contained to one box.

Our old house

Initially, in our old house, I kept the cigars in my home office. This turned out to be way to hot! 🥵

Shelves with whisky and cigars, in my old home office
Shelves with whisky and cigars, in my old home office

So instead I placed all the cigars inside a large wine cooler that we had. The maximum temperature on that was 18°C, so a bit too cold, but better than the alternative…

Storing cigars in a large whine cooler
Storing cigars in a large whine cooler

Where I store them now

Now I store the plastic containers in the basement, on the bottom shelf in the room adjacent to my home office. The temperature down here is pretty stable, I have a heat-pump to heat or cool if necessary.

Shelf with cigars in plastic containers
Shelf with cigars in plastic containers

Closing thoughts

I usually overthink things when I first get into something new, and cigars was no different. I worried about the “ideal” storing conditions for my cigars. Over the years I’ve developed a more relaxed attitude towards it, and nothing bad has happened (yet) 😃

I still think humidors are cool — but, for me at least, plastic containers is a more convenient way of storing my cigars.

As I have now discovered pipe smoking I will probably only smoke cigars occasionally. So my remaining stash should last a while 👍