Cigar Lighting 101: How NOT to Light Your Prized Stogie

How to light a cigar properly

How to light a cigar properly

Common Mistakes with Cigar Lighting

How to light a cigar properly? Cigar smoking is an experience that goes beyond merely puffing on a rolled leaf. It's a ritual - a delicate art where every step is essential in crafting the perfect experience. One such fundamental step in this ritual is lighting the cigar. Incorrectly doing so can dramatically alter the taste and pleasure derived from the smoke. Let’s delve into the most common mistakes made during this crucial phase and how to avoid them. 

How to light a cigar properly

Not Toasting the Foot Properly

The Mistake: Many novice smokers directly apply flame to the foot (the end you light) without toasting it first.

The Fix: Before lighting the cigar, gently toast the foot with a lighter or match. Hold the flame about half an inch away, rotating the cigar. Toasting dries the foot and preps it for an even burn.

Using the Wrong Flame

The Mistake: Using a gasoline lighter, scented candle, or paper match can infuse the tobacco with unwanted flavors.

The Fix: Always opt for a butane torch lighter, unscented candle, or a long wooden match. These provide a pure flame without any added scents or flavors.

Puffing Too Hard and Fast

The Mistake: Frantically puffing while lighting can cause the cigar to burn too hot, which may lead to a bitter taste.

The Fix: Once the foot is toasted, gently draw on the cigar with calm, even puffs while holding the flame to the foot. This will ensure a cooler, more flavorful smoke.

Not Achieving an Even Light

The Mistake: Lighting only the center or the edge of the cigar. An uneven burn can cause the cigar to become too harsh or too mild.

The Fix: Ensure that the entire circumference of the cigar's foot glows evenly. If there's a part that isn't lit, calmly touch it up with the lighter. 

Relighting a Cold Cigar

The Mistake: If a cigar goes out and is left unattended for a long time, relighting it might bring out stale flavors.

The Fix: If you must relight, gently blow through the cigar first to expel any old smoke. Then, use your lighter to burn off any ash at the foot, or remove it with small screwdriver before reigniting. (our cigar scissors multi tool would be handy)

Overusing Your Lighter

The Mistake: Keeping the flame on the cigar for too long, thinking it will help maintain the burn.

The Fix: Once the cigar is lit, let it rest. If it’s well-made and you puff on it periodically, it should stay lit on its own.

Ignoring the Ash

The Mistake: Ashing too often or not often enough can affect the burn temperature and the cigar’s flavor.

The Fix: Let the ash form a nice layer—about an inch or so—before tapping it off. This insulating layer of ash helps regulate the burn.

Lighting Cigar Procedure

Check out our full tutorial on HOW TO LIGHT A CIGAR PROPERLY with videos and steps to light your stogie. Keep in mind it is a nuanced procedure, one that can heighten or mar your smoking experience. By avoiding these common pitfalls, you'll be on your way to enjoying your stogies as the aficionados do. So, the next time you pick up a stogie, remember: it’s not just about lighting up the cigar, but lighting up right.

Use Torch Lighters for the Perfect Light

There's a reason seasoned aficionados and reputable brands, including Xikar, strongly recommend use a torch lighter for cigar lighting. Torch lighters, unlike traditional soft flame lighters, produce a hotter, more intense flame, ensuring a quick and even ignition. This intensity allows for precision lighting, letting you effectively toast and light the cigar without overheating or causing it to burn unevenly.

Moreover, torch lighters are typically wind-resistant, making them perfect for outdoor settings where a soft flame might easily be blown out. Xikar, known for its dedication to enhancing the cigar experience, champions the use of torch lighters because they understand that the right tool can significantly improve the ritual of lighting up. So, when you invest in a quality stogie, it's only fitting to light it with a tool designed to uphold its integrity and flavor. I hope this guide helped explain how to light a cigar properly.