How to Properly Toast and Light a Cigar

January 31, 2019 3 min read

How to Properly Toast and Light a Cigar

Step-by-Step Guide to Properly Toast and Light Your Cigar

All cigar aficionado appreciate a cigar that burns correctly from start to finish. The most important step to achieve this is toasting and lighting the cigar properly. Even on the best cigar, a simple error will make all the hard work become wasted. Thus, making your cigar canoe or burn unevenly.

Furthermore, a lot of cigar smokers are quick to blame the roller or brand once their cigar doesn’t burn correctly. Most times, it can be as a result of user error rather than poor construction. The best way to prevent this from happening is by toasting the foot of the cigar and creating an even light.

In case you are looking for how to toast and light a cigar properly, this article is for you. Before we proceed, lets us a take a look at why you should toast your cigars.


Why Should You Toast Your Cigar

Unfortunately, not all cigar smokers toast their cigars before lighting it. However, those who take time to toast the foot of the cigar slowly will get the ash burning well once the smoke starts. Thus, ensuring that your cigar burns evenly, all the way through. 

The primary purpose of toasting your cigar is to set fire to the overall components of the cigar; including the filler, binder, as well as the wrapper. Unknown to many cigar smokers, the majority of the flavor comes from the wrapper. Without proper toasting, you will only ignite the filler. Hence, the result is an uneven burn.


How to Properly Toast and Light a Cigar

Holding, Toasting and Lighting Your Cigar

Hold your cigar at an angle of about 45 to 60 degrees over the flame. Ensure that the cigar’s foot is kept a couple of inches above the flame. It is advisable to toast using a torch lighter. This is because you can easily control and initiate the burn from the torch lighter.

What’s more, try as much as possible not to let the flame touch the tobacco at the foot. Rather, hold the cigar close enough to the torch lighter (or fire source), to get the foot glowing. Ensure that it doesn’t catch fire. Carefully rotate the cigar until the foot starts igniting. 

If you are making use of a torch lighter, you can aim the flame anywhere it needs to be. Although, try not to overheat your cigar.


Checking For an Even Burn

Take a look at the foot of your cigar to check if it is burning evenly. At times, the entire foot of the cigar can appear to be lit. However, this may not be the case. If you do not get an even orange/red glow, do not make the mistake of hitting with your torch lighter to touch up the black spots. Applying more heat to the cigar’s foot will cause tars to form. 

In a situation like this, carefully blow the cigar’s foot until you get an even burn. Blowing the foot of the cigar gently is an excellent way to prevent overheating your favorite cigar. The result is an even glowing red. 


Enjoying Your Cigar

With the cigar completely toasted, let it sit for about one minute. The wrapper, binder, and filler are all lit. You have an even burn. This is the perfect time to take your first puff. You can do a gentle purge before taking your first puff. This will help you remove any smoke from the body of the cigar. 


There you have it! Above is a step-by-step guide to toast and light your cigar properly. Properly toasting and lighting your cigar offers you an incredible opportunity to hold and enjoy a delicious, well-lit and nicely burning cigar. Since your cigar is burning evenly right from the beginning, the cigar will less like canoe or tunnel. Thus, you can enjoy a cigar that has good smoke production and consistent flavor.

Although toasting takes extra time and patience. However, it is well worth the time when you finally get to kick back, relax, and enjoy your favorite cigars. By toasting and lighting your cigars properly, you can achieve the one-of-a-kind smoking experience you always desired. Besides, the toasting romance and formal appeal is part of what makes you a cigar aficionado.

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