Cigar Tip: Dry Boxing Cigars

There is nothing like a moist, fragrant cigar. The wonderful aroma we sense upon opening our cigar humidors is mouth-watering to a cigar lover. But sometimes that aroma can indicate we are getting too much of a good thing.

Long term cigar storage needs to be in the 68% to 72% RH range (at a temp close to 70 degrees Fahrenheit). But that moist environment can cause some cigars to burn poorly. Additionally, an overly moist cigar can have a bitter taste giving the smoker the wrong impression of its quality. This is where dry boxing comes in.

Dry boxing is the practice of placing cigars in an un-humidified container prior to smoking. By doing so we allow the sticks to shed excess moisture, leading to a better burn and flavor. The duration of time in the dry box will depend on the container being used and finding the right vessel for dry boxing is crucial.

I have found the best dry boxes are those plastic cigar “road cases” sold by most cigar dealers. Chances are you already own one. I recommend putting a few cigars in the case and smoking them over the course of the following week. These road cases work well because they contain some moisture but allow the cigars to stabilize to perfect smoking condition. I discovered this when I noticed how well my cigars were smoking while on vacation.

I do this regularly and find that it makes a huge difference. I recommend everyone give it a try.

15 thoughts on “Cigar Tip: Dry Boxing Cigars

  1. I never know what I’m going to be in the mood to smoke. I use 65% humi-beads and keep around 30 sticks in my ‘ready-to-smoke’ humidor. Transfers from higher humidity long-term storage are usually good to go in about a week.

    Disclaimer: I live in a really low humidity area. Maybe 60% beads would work better in high humidity.

  2. Dry boxing sounds great but I keep my house at 80 deg in the summer.. I suppose it won’t hurt for a few days

  3. Looks like I have been doing this with a small cigar case for a couple of years without realising beneficial effect. Good one!

  4. i also dry box mine, although not that long (12-24h). started it because all the cigars i smoked soon after buying it in shops/bars tasted very sharp even if they had a couple of years on them. i also give the cigars i plan to smoke in the next 2-3 weeks a daily breath of fresh air. all(!) cigars treated that way have been smoking good to great, not a single unpleasent one.

  5. Thanks for this. I’ve only started the dry box method after reading a comment on facebook and found that my Cubans smoke so much better when I do this. Now I will try it with my other cigars. I use a used cigar box and find that works well. I put a stick in there in the morning and enjoy it later a night.

  6. Perhaps the cigars tasted a bit better because you were on vacation?!!

  7. bobthebuilder,
    To dry box you need to do it for two to three days before smoking the cigar. Also the humidity where you are dry boxing the cigars has to be lower than the humidor.

  8. Just getting my feet wet with this cigar thing and loving it,will and get a travel humidifor ,also have a cheap small humidifier that I had trouble keeping at the correct level .It may do as a dry box.
    So 68%- 72% is the correct humidity for long time storage?
    I have a few boxes of various Cubans coming to me direct from Cuba next week and would like to age at least some of them.Any suggestions?
    Cheers Bob
    I have found the cigars right out of the humididor a bit damp and was trying to leave them out for a couple hours before lighting up.

  9. Thanks, RJoe. I will do so!

  10. No, don’t humidify the road case. I recommend removing the small round humidifier that comes inside these cases. It serves no purpose other than to saturate whatever cigar it touches. In the picture you can see where I replaced the thing with foam.

  11. So should I humidify my road box at all? And a week should do, right?

  12. I have also been doing this for last 5-6 yrs by simply replacing a cigar or two in my travel box as I smoke them. It works perfectly and doesnt dry cigars out, it just takes that moist edge off, no crispy part or cracking wrappers. It does however stop aging unless they are put back into a moist ventilated cabniet type of long term storage.

  13. This is a great idea! I like my cigars a bit on the dry side, and this gives me an idea on how to use a travel humidor that I do not use anymore.


  14. I always wondered what dry boxing was – thanks! And now I also know what the benefit is, too.

  15. Odd but true – i have done the same in our awful English weather and unwittingly found the same.
    I hadn’t realised it was “why” the cigars tasted better as I progressed thru the Xikar caddy though. Thats the thing with this hobby I’m too busy enjoying it as part of the >0.1% of Brits who regularily smoke fine cigars


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