How To Get Your Cigar To Burn Evenly

Alex Mcil author
Alex Mcil

Having a cigar burning unevenly is not only annoying, but it ruins the moment of enjoyment. No one wants to battle against an uneven burning cigar and detract them from kicking back in relaxation. This is especially true when you’ve spend a pretty penny on a quality cigar.

Why were you robbed from enjoying that sensual taste and aroma? It’s not fair, this shouldn’t be happening, especially with quality cigars, right?

There are a number of reasons causing an uneven burn, and it is not always the cigars fault… it might actually yours. 

Here are 5 helpful tips to ensure a perfectly even burning cigar!

The Perfect Cut & Lighting It Up

Before we can even know there’s an issue, we have to light up first. But there’s a step before this that’s important, and that’s cutting the cigar (properly).

It’s recommended to moisten the cap area of the cigar with your mouth (do not use the tongue as we want it to get moist as opposed to wet).

Cut just above the cap as no to risk unraveling the cigar. Usually a guillotine cutter provides the cleaner cut. The cleaner the cut, the better chances the cigar will burn evenly throughout.

The next step is lighting your cigar properly. Evenly distributing the flame on the foot (without charring it) is key for an even burn. You want to make sure the whole foot area is evenly lit, so that the burning process throughout the length of the cigar is also even. 

Avoid Chomping & Air Restriction

An even burn is dictated by an even airflow and the airflow depends on your draw. Some cigar enthusiast have a habit of chomping on the end. Not only does this reduce the surface area of the end, it also makes it very damp, both of wish reduces the airflow and makes it uneven.

Allow air to pass evenly through your cigar as you draw on it and you will maintain an even burn.

Handling Of Your Cigar

Few realize, parting with the accumulated ash on your cigar can have a direct affect on an even burn.

A cigar is made up of 3 primary components (each made from tobacco leaves):

  • Filler
  • Binder
  • Wrapper

The filler is essentially the internal tobacco leafs, wrapped around a binder to hold it in place, followed by the wrapper to hold everything in place.

When it’s time to part with your cigar, do not bang it against the ashtray. This can compromise the wrapper and binder’s integrity. Any compromise here will affect the direct airflow of the draw.

The solution? Tap the top of the cigar with your finder!

Store Your Cigar At The Correct Humidity & Temperature

The 70-70 rule is one that’s encouraged to follow. This states the optimum relative humidity of a cigar should be set at 70% at a temperature of 70°F.

The best way of replicating this environment is by using a humidor. So, why is this humidity and temperature important?

Too Much Humidity

Too much humidity (above 70%) means the leaves start to absorb moisture and starts to swell, making it difficult to draw the smoke. Also, the excess damp in the leaves alters the burn rate. As a result, different areas of the cigar will burn at different rates which results in tunnelling.

Too Little Humidity

A cigar stored at a lower humidity (below 70%) can dry out. Stale, dry tobacco leafs burn too hot and unevenly, while leaving a bitter taste (due to the essential oils having been evaporated).

An Even Pace Smoke Is Key

Puffing your cigar at an even pace promotes an even burn. Draw too aggressively and you are at risk of promoting canoeing which is essentially the top end of the cigar burning quicker than the bottom (much like the effect a canoe makes while gliding across water).

This issue can be resolved by touching up the areas that haven’t burned with a lighter.

Draw infrequently, and you can promote tunnelling, when a tunnel is created through the cigar. This happens when the filler burns faster than the binder and wrapper leaf.

The key is to draw at an even pace, which will depend on the type of cigar you smoke. Determining the “correct” pace will come with practice.