Not everyone knows how to smoke a cigar and, unless you’ve had a bit of practice and know what you’re doing, smoking one can be daunting. At first it can seem like a pretty straightforward task and it is easy to assume that it’s simply a case of lighting one end and using the other end to inhale – but, that isn’t necessarily true.
There are a few things that a lot of cigar smokers do when they smoke and though they aren’t necessarily must-do things, they’ll help you to fit in amongst the seasoned pros!
How to Cut a Cigar with a Punch Cutter
The first thing to consider when finding out how to smoke a cigar is to know how to cut a cigar. A punch cutter, or a bullet cutter as it is often referred to, is ideal for anyone who is new to smoking and for those that need a practical and accessible cigar cutter. Punch cutters can be attached to a key ring and work well to punch a hole in the cigar, rather than slicing the end off.
Begin by removing the end of the punch cutter; this can be done by exposing the blade by twisting the main body of the cutter or by using the plunger. This will depend on the type of cigar punch cutter you have, but both methods lead to the same result. Next, hold the cigar and punch cutter in two separate hands, and insert the sharp blade of the cigar punch into the cigar; it is best to aim for the centre. Slowly twist the cigar in a rotating motion as the punch cutter is inserted. The goal is to take around 1.5 millimetres off the end of the cigar.
Remember, the end of the cigar that you have removed will stay in the cigar punch cutter unless you remove it. To remove, take off the cap by twisting the main part of the cutter or by returning the plunger. The end of the cigar can be thrown away. Again, the method will depend on the type of cigar punch cutter you are using. Some cigar punch cutters have a specific eject feature to remove the end of the cigar, but not all.
Lighting and Smoking the Cigar
There are different tools that can be used to light a cigar such as a wooden match, a cedar spill or a butane lighter; whichever tool you choose the process is the same. It’s recommended to steer clear of lighters that use lighter fluid as they can affect the taste of the tobacco.
Start off by holding the cigar at a 45-degree angle and directing the end of the flame directly underneath the foot end of the cigar without touching the tobacco or burning the wrapper. This is done to dry out the end of the filler leaves as they will have been humidified before being packaged. This process helps the tobacco to burn when you eventually decide to light the cigar.
Preparing the Foot
You’ll want the cigar to burn a little before you begin to smoke it. So, hold your lighting tool to the foot on the cigar and rotate. As the cigar rotates the edges will begin to toast evenly.
Toasting the Foot Evenly
After the cigar foot has been toasted the wrapper will turn white in colour and will become ashy, this shows it has been done properly.
Lighting the Cigar
When lighting the cigar it is important to light the entire foot evenly. To do this bring the cigar to your mouth and hold in place between your lips. Grab your lighting tool and hold the flame about half an inch from the end of the cigar. As the foot of the cigar has been prepared beforehand the flame will be drawn towards the cigar, so rotate the cigar as you draw in air to light it evenly.
Releasing the Draw
When you draw in air from the cigar a flame should travel from the foot, which will cause a puff of smoke to be released from your mouth.
The cigar is now lit and ready to use. Cigars burn well on their own and you do not need to puff on them constantly to keep it going. In fact, one or two drags on the cigar each minute is usually sufficient. Cigars are designed to be enjoyed so take time to embrace the flavour and feel. Smoking time varies for a cigar and depending on the size they can burn anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours.