How to Properly Light a Cigar

Category_Cigarby Juan Panesso
How to Properly Light a Cigar by Cigars Cigars


Lighting a cigar isn't like lighting a birthday candle—there's a little more to it. Cigars are fat, and you want all of the material to burn evenly. If you are new to cigars and want to light up like the pros to impress your buds, here are some tips to get you started.

Your choice of lighter

Typically, you want to avoid things that will make your cigar taste funny, like an oil-fueled Zippo, sulfur matches, scented candles, or charcoal briquettes from your grill held carefully with tongs.  We know it seems cool, but it can mess with the flavor of your smoke! Stick to long cigar matches or lighters. If you're wanting to be ultra-fancy, you can also use a "cedar spill."

Lighting method

Don't pop the cigar right into the flame. Instead, roast it like you would food over a fire. Keep it just out of the flames. Turn it carefully to roast it evenly on the outside, then try to get the heat focused in the center where the filler is. This should give you a nice toasted edge and a red, smoking interior.
Take a few draws to get it going, then relax and kick back with your perfectly lit smoke.

Monitoring the burn

As you enjoy your cigar, occasionally you might want to take a look at the burn. If things are uneven, you can touch it up with a bit more heat where the burn isn't proceeding properly.
Done right, you'll get a full burn on all of the components of the cigar, giving you the full flavor you paid for. 
Some other methods you could try:
  1. A plain ol' Bic lighter. Look, we all sin every once and a while when we forget our cigar lighter. We can turn a blind eye just this once.
  2. Leaning into the range top on your stove. No matches, no lighter? No problem! Just be careful not to burn yourself in the process.
  3. A magnifying glass and the sun. Went camping and forgot your lighter? Desperate times call for desperate measures. Channel your inner MacGyver, we won't stop you. If you want to fire up your cigar this way, and you can pull it off without ruining your smoke, you deserve a round of applause!
No matter which way you choose to light up your cigar this summer, we hope you have a great smoking experience.
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Check out our selection to find the perfect cigar for any occasion.