Does This Humidor Need Seasoning?

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Country Bladesmith

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May 2, 2020
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Louisiana
Dumb question, but this is my first go ‘round with a humidor. Hygrometer says the inside of the humidor is about 72% RH. Should I bother seasoning it? Or maybe just keep an eye on it? It came with one of those humidifiers, but I’ll probably just go buy some Bovedas at the B&M tomorrow instead.
 
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cosmicfolklore

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Aug 9, 2013
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Dumb question, but this is my first go ‘round with a humidor. Hygrometer says the inside of the humidor is about 72% RH. Should I bother seasoning it? Or maybe just keep an eye on it? It came with one of those humidifiers, but I’ll probably just go buy some Bovedas at the B&M tomorrow instead.
Are you shooting for a higher humidity? I would calibrate the Hygrometer if it came with the humidor. But, I’m happy with 65% and they set in a room that stays 70-72F year round. It is also the best temp for making wines.
 

Country Bladesmith

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May 2, 2020
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Are you shooting for a higher humidity? I would calibrate the Hygrometer if it came with the humidor. But, I’m happy with 65% and they set in a room that stays 70-72F year round. It is also the best temp for making wines.
No, I’m happy with a lower RH, honestly. I pulled the hygrometer and will leave it with damp salt in a ziplock overnight, and double check it in the morning.
 

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danimalia

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The big concern with new wood humidor is that it can take some time for the wood to absorb a basic level of moisture. So if it's consistently holding an rH then
you shouldn't need to season it further.

If you're going to go with Bovedas, I suggest leaving your calibrated hydrometer in with your packs for a few days to ensure it's holding steady and go from there. Don't worry if it's off a few percent either way as hygrometers tend to suck and a number of factors can effect a rH reading including the humidor itself and the cigars you add. Like, if I was using 65% packs with a hygrometer I thought was close to accurate, I'd be fine with readings between, say, 61-69. Good luck.
 

musicman

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Nov 12, 2019
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I’ve never had good luck with seasoning humidors. I’ve tried salt, pepper, Tony Chachere’s, Frank’s hot sauce, Tabasco, Sriracha sauce, you name it. Nothing seems to make my humidors taste any better, not to mention they’re terribly hard on my teeth.
I've had pretty good luck with Herbes de Provence, and then a slow braise to loosen up the wood fibers. :LOL:

Seriously though, as others have said, if it's holding a consistent humidity, it doesn't need seasoning. I've used distilled water, sponged 2-3 times with good results.
 

tbradsim1

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Jan 14, 2012
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Southwest Louisiana
If you’re useing the meter that came with the box, it probably isn’t near right. Seasoning is easy, get distilled water, wet a paper towel spareling and wipe it down. I calibrated my digital meter with a bottle cap of salt in it and putting drops of distilled water on salt till it was a mild slurry, don’t go overboard on this. Put meter and salt in a zip lock bag , close and wait 12 to 24 hrs and meter should be at 75%, if not calibrate your meter. The meters that are sold some can be calibrated, some not. I’m not an expert, not been doing this long, but it worked for me, I like my smokes in the 65 to 60 Range.
 

hoosierpipeguy

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Jan 28, 2018
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If you’re useing the meter that came with the box, it probably isn’t near right. Seasoning is easy, get distilled water, wet a paper towel spareling and wipe it down. I calibrated my digital meter with a bottle cap of salt in it and putting drops of distilled water on salt till it was a mild slurry, don’t go overboard on this. Put meter and salt in a zip lock bag , close and wait 12 to 24 hrs and meter should be at 75%, if not calibrate your meter. The meters that are sold some can be calibrated, some not. I’m not an expert, not been doing this long, but it worked for me, I like my smokes in the 65 to 60 Range.
I never "calibrated" a meter mechanically after the salt process. Why? If it is 5% off, just write + or - 5 on it and do the math. Most of the analog meters shipped with humidors are junk anyway. As long as I keep the cigars between 58 to 65%, the cigars smoke fine.
 
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cosmicfolklore

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When I read that about "seasoning" when I first got my first humidor, I thought, "heck, wiping some water on it isn't going to do anything." So, I ended up holding my $200 humidor under water for a few minutes, ha ha. It was just fine. I'm not even sure that wiping water across the surface of a really gummy wood like cedar does anything anyways. Maybe it just wipes off any dust that may have accumulated.
 
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pantsBoots

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Jul 21, 2020
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You will not be. Moisten a clean towel, wipe the inside surface. Let dry. Repeat twice. You don't need or want to swab it on. Short of submerging the humidor in water, you're not going to get it too wet.
Sidenote: use distilled water always and not tap water.

As to the OP, humidors should always be seasoned unless you are getting one from someone who was using it up until they gave it to you.

Humidors take months to become properly seasoned. You can start using them after a few days or a week, but the wood will not swell and hold moisture for some time.

Finally, unless you went all out on a hygrometer that cost hundreds of dollars, the salt water test is not very reliable. It is said to test to 75%RH, but if you keep your cigars at 75%RH, you will have mold in short order. My approach has been to get heartfelt beads and try to get the hygrometer to read around 65%RH or a little less. Over the course of a couple months, you'll be able to tell whether the moisture is good or not based upon how the cigars are smoking.

It's a journey and not an exact science, despite what the hygrometer ad copy tells you.
 

pantsBoots

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Jul 21, 2020
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Ain't no place I'd rather be
I ended up wiping it down with distilled water and it’s holding around 62-63% with a couple of Boveda72s, measured with a Govee. The analog hygrometer that came with it was way off. I have a larger humidor on the way, and I’ll give it the same treatment I guess.
Once it does become seasoned, you may find that the 72RH Bovedas will make it too moist. Different cigars smoke better at different RH, though I like mine a little on the dry side (58-65RH) for better flavor and better burn characteristics.
 
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Country Bladesmith

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May 2, 2020
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Once it does become seasoned, you may find that the 72RH Bovedas will make it too moist. Different cigars smoke better at different RH, though I like mine a little on the dry side (58-65RH) for better flavor and better burn characteristics.
I guess if I see it start moving higher than 65% I’ll get some lower RH packs.
 

pantsBoots

Senior Member
Jul 21, 2020
399
850
Ain't no place I'd rather be
I guess if I see it start moving higher than 65% I’ll get some lower RH packs.
Some folks do prefer it a little higher - the old 70RH at 70*F. If it gets much higher than 70RH, you risk mold and at higher than 70*F, you risk tobacco beetle eggs hatching (if present). Some cigars smoke better at higher RH, though, like Connecticut-wrapped Dominicans for example. I mostly smoke Havanas, so 65RH and lower is ideal.

The main thing to remember is you have to take care of the cigars you're not going to smoke immediately, but they are way more forgiving of environment that we give them credit for.
 
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