Electric humidors offer improved temperature and humidity control and are far more precise than non-electric devices. You can set the thermostat and humidifier exactly as you want and monitor the climate without additional tools.
But how do you get started with an electric humidor and what is the first thing you need to do? Before anything else, seasoning your humidor is essential. As you will see below, this is important for conditioning and giving your cigars an optimum climate for their storage.
In this guide, I explain how to season an electric humidor together, how to maintain the humidity afterward, and common mistakes to avoid.
Why Season an Electric Humidor?
When we talk about seasoning, it makes me chuckle how many people have visions of sprinkling salt, pepper, and herbs into their humidor - please don’t do this! Seasoning is the process of making sure your humidor has the optimum conditions for cigar storage - not for adding flavor to a delicious steak!
So why do we do this? Simply put, when you buy an electric humidor its temperature and humidity levels could be anything! They are not controlled as the humidor has not been used or “calibrated”.
Therefore, if you put your stogies into an unseasoned humidor, you risk damaging them including drying them out and causing them to deteriorate and lose their flavor faster.
The Seasoning Process
There are several seasoning methods such as wiping the wood with distilled water, but I prefer the sponge method as the wiping method has the potential to warp the wood.
Before you do anything, always read the manufacturer’s instructions as they should give advice on seasoning and some important do’s and don’ts. After that, do the following steps:
- Unpack your electric humidor and place it in the desired position.
- Take your sponge and soak it in distilled water or a propylene glycol solution.
- Once the sponge is saturated, wring it out.
- Place the sponge inside your electric humidor on top of a plastic bag.
- Calibrate your humidification device and place it inside the humidor.
- Close the door and leave the humidor for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, open the door and check the humidity levels.
- If not at the desired levels of 65-70%, close the door and wait a further 24 hours.
- Once the desired humidity is reached, remove the sponge and plastic bag.
When looking at how to season an electric humidor it’s crucial to note that the process can take anywhere between 2-7 days so patience is key. Don’t do anything rash or impulsive that you think will speed up the process.
Maintaining Proper Humidity Levels
After the initial seasoning, you can place your fantastic new batch of cigars inside the humidor and they can thrive in the perfect storage conditions. The hard work is done and maintaining proper humidity levels takes less work but you should do the following:
- Regularly check the humidity and temperature levels.
- Refill the humidification device as and when needed.
- Keep the door closed and air-tight unless removing cigars or checking the climate.
The humidification device needs topping up periodically as the propylene glycol solution will run out and you can check the humidity and temperature simply by looking at the digital control panel of your electric humidor.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
You should now have a clear idea of how to season an electric humidor but I want to leave you with some mistakes that people often make:
- Don’t place your sponge directly onto the wooden floor of the humidor.
- Don’t place your cigars inside the humidor without seasoning.
- Refrain from leaving the door open or continually opening it.
- Always check the manufacturer's instructions.
Placing your sponge directly on the cedar wood can cause water to pool which could be detrimental and even cause warping. Similarly, placing your cigars in a humidor that hasn’t been seasoned is the quickest way to lose their flavor! Above all else, read the instructions! Don’t just jump into the seasoning process without checking what the manufacturer says about their device.
Frequently Asked Questions
What temperature should an electric humidor be set at?
The ideal temperature for your cigars is 70 degrees Fahrenheit as this recreates the climate in which the tobacco leaves were grown.
How long does it take to season an electric humidor?
Depending on the size of the electric humidor it should take between 24-48 hours to season properly. After this time the humidity should have risen to the desired 65-70% while the temperature should also have risen to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
What happens if you don’t season an electric humidor?
If you simply plonk your stogies into a humidor without seasoning it first you will essentially rob them of their humidity. This is the exact opposite of what a humidor should achieve! Seasoning improves the humidity and ensures optimum conditions for storing your cigars.