Hello everyone! Steven here. Glad to see you’re all back for another article from my site. You know that I’m a big fan of cigars. I love cigars. There is nothing quite like that morning cup of coffee with a good cigar, or in the afternoon lighting up a nice cigar and getting a nice glass of bourbon. Nothing like it. It’s awesome!
Cigars are a very enjoyable and relaxing hobby, except for when it comes to storing them. That can be downright aggravating. Cigars are fickle, little buggers. They like a certain humidity. They like a certain temperature. If the humidity’s too high, they get kind of soggy and they don’t burn well. You can get mold issues. They want to go out on you when you’re smoking them. If your humidity is too low, they dry out, they crack, they lose flavor. They again burn. They don’t burn right. If it’s too hot, you can get the dreaded cigar beetles, which yikes. If I was ever smoking a cigar and a beetle crawled out of it. Gross.
So what is a wineador some of you might ask, I would assume if you’re into cigars. You haven’t. Maybe not. They’re basically little mini fridges that have been converted to storing cigars. So then, why in the hell can’t I just use any mini fridge for storing my cigars? Valid question, and there is a good answer to that.
Why You Should Use Humidors?
The most important reason is the cooling system. A normal refrigerator uses like a compressor system that actively cools and removes humidity from the air in a refrigerator. With cigar storage that is no good because you want to keep it in that 65 to 70 degree relative humidity. If you have something that’s cooling and actively drawing humidity out of the air, you’re going to be constantly fighting that to try to keep your humidity up and that’s a no-no.
These however use a system called thermal electric cooling, which is basically like a big heat sink and a fan that’s used to cool the system. The upside of this is
- a) it’s really quiet in comparison to a normal refrigerator, is not near as loud, and
- b), it does not affect the relative humidity whatsoever.
The other thing is you want to keep your cigars generally in the 60 to 70 degree range. That doesn’t bother me if they get a little colder than that, but generally 60 to 70 degrees, and most refrigerators don’t go that warm. Another positive side effect is you’ve got a fan in there so it’s circulating air. So many times it kicks on to cool unit down a little bit, it’s circulating your air in your humidor, which is good because it keeps that kind of musty smell that you can get down and also helps keep you from having those fluctuations from top and bottom in humidity because your air is being exchanged and circulated, which is good.
CC-300H vs CC-100H
Let’s hit the hard statistics, the details on these before I go into my opinions on why I love them so much. They both have stainless steel and glass doors, push button controls with digital displays, a really nice magnetic and rubber seal, a little blue interior light. They have a temperature range of 54 to 74 degrees adjustable in one degree increments. They have a little lock on the bottom to help keep the kiddos out. They have nice Spanish cedar drawers and shelves.
With the 300H you’re going to get four shelves and two drawers. Size-wise the 300H is 29.25 inches tall, 18.13 inches wide, 20.88 deep, weighs in at about 45 pounds. Has a listed capacity of 400 cigars.
The little brother, the 100H is 18.5 inches tall, 14 inches wide, 19.5 inches deep, weighs in at 23 pounds, and has a listed capacity of 250 cigars. With the 100H you’re going to get two shelves and one drawer.
Old Versions Without “H”
Now, one of the most notable and cool features of the newer models, the CC-100H in comparison to just the CC-100, and the CC-300H in comparison just to CC-300, the ones with the H on the ends of the model number is the H stands for heating I think. So when you set that temperature, it is going to either heat or cool that humidor to maintain that exact precise temperature, which is nice because before it would only cool if they got too warm. If it got colder, it didn’t do anything to heat. So nice new feature.
Okay, so now that we went over like the hard facts, the numbers of these things, let me tell you why I think they’re awesome and they’re the best ways to store your cigars. First and maybe the most obvious thing, and this is kind of a personal preference, but in my opinion, they look awesome. I think the stainless steel and glass doors look great. It’s a really nice way to display your collection and be able to keep your eye on them with the glass door. And added benefit, some folks may not think of with the glass door, it actually helps maintain humidity.
What I mean by that is the glass doesn’t have any magical properties that may help maintain humidity, but a normal humidor that’s wood that you can’t see in, like a chest humidor or whatever, you’re going to open it to check your inventory. You’re going to open it to kind of peruse your selection, to pick your cigar when you’re going out to have your cigar in the afternoon or whenever. You’re going to be open it to check your humidity. You’re going to be opening that thing for a lot of stuff.
With the whole glass front, without ever even opening it, you can look through it, you can see your hygrometer settings. Just check your humidity. I can look through and see what cigars I’m low on, have what maybe I have to reorder without opening it. I can even look and peruse and figure out what I want to smoke instead of standing there with the door open, losing all my humidity. The less opening and closing you’re doing, the more stable your humidity is going to be. So bonus on the glass door. Not only does it look dope, but it’s functional. Also, the little digital display right above the glass, super easy to read, easy to use. Win on the digital display.
Let’s take a quick second to talk about humidity and keeping your precious cigar collection in that happy zone of 65 to 70. And let’s be honest, the struggle can be real with that. Now I say 65 to 70. The kind of rule of thumb is 70. I personally am more of a 65% to 68% relative humidity guy. But I mean, the argument about what percentages you should store cigars at could be a whole nother video. So just for argument’s sake, let’s just say 70. If you live in a really dry area or you run your AC a ton so it’s really drying the air out in your house, or you’ve got a leaky humidor that isn’t sealed really well, it can be a right pain in the ass to keep your humidity at 70%.
Well, no worry about that with these guys. You could live in the fricking Sahara Desert and these guys would hold your humidity at whatever you needed at. The seal that these guys have on them, like most refrigerators, that rubber magnetic seal, gets a great seal and you will have no issues holding humidity in these guys.
Now, while we are on the subject of humidity, there is a side note that is important to mention with these guys. They do not come with any form of a humidification device. You will need to add your own personal favorite form of humidification to these guys.
Personally, for me, in the small guy I have found just throwing some Boveda Packs in there works absolutely perfect. For the bigger model, I went with a Cigar Oasis. I love Boveda Packs. I think they’re great. And for, like I said, for the smaller one, they work fantastic. For the bigger one, for the amount they recommend for the amount of cigars they hold, I was going to have to put a ton of Boveda Packs in there, and that’s why I just went with Cigar Oasis. That one unit can support up to I think a thousand cigars or something, which is more than I’ll ever have in there. But honestly as well as these things hold humidity, I barely ever hear that Cigar Oasis kick on. These things are rock stars at holding humidity.
Now I’ve heard some people complain about the fact that these don’t come with any kind of humidification device or actually even get mad. I’ve seen reviews where people are complaining about. They feel misled and all this stuff. NewAir is pretty clear on their site that these do not have any form of humidification. So don’t get mad at me or NewAir if you think these things humidify your cigars because they don’t. You have to add your own form of humidification. I don’t know why people are complaining because honestly, I would prefer they didn’t.
The humidification device that most humidors give with their humidors, most people toss out because they’re hunks of crap. It’s those little plastic and green florist foam things. They’re horrible. I always chuck those things. I always got Boveda Packs or Cigar Oasis, or some beads, something that’s a little better at maintaining humidity then that little crappy thing of florist foam. That would have just been an extra expense to the unit. That would’ve increased the price of it and I would just rather they didn’t because I would’ve thrown that thing in the garbage anyway.
Hygrometer of NewAir CC-300H and CC-100H
Now as for reading your humidity or the hygrometer situation, two different things on these two different units. The small one does come with an analog hygrometer. But if you’ve been into cigars for a while, you know those things are basically just for looks. Analog hydrometers are kind of garbage. They’re not the most reliable things. They’re not very accurate. Kind of the same as the florist foam that comes in most humidors. They provide these little florist foams and these hygrometers, and most people that are really into cigars and kind of know their way around the cigar hobby, they chuck all that crap in the garbage and they buy, like I said, a good humidification device and they buy a digital calibratable hygrometer. That way you can make sure that your cigars are at the right relative humidity.
If you trust a bad hygrometer in one of these analog things and it’s off, you could think your cigars are at like 68% right in that money zone and they could really be at like 78, and all of a sudden you’ve got mold everywhere. So personally I would just rather they keep the cost down by not including anything that’s going to add cost that I don’t need, which is what they did on the new 300H model. They actually took the hygrometer out in this one, which I was actually happy to see.
Another great thing about these is the cedar shelves they put in here. The cedar shelves they put in here are really good quality. They are vented really well and you get a good mix of shelves and drawers so that way you have good storage options. Rather you’re storing loose sticks or boxes, you’ve got some flexibility there.
They are somewhat adjustable and they do easily slot out so you can easily access stuff in the back. If you notice, in my smaller unit, I bought some little cedar trays, little cedar cigar trays. Normally what you’ve got in that smaller unit is you’ve got two shelves and then a drawer. Well, in that smaller one, I tend to hold a lot of loose sticks.
On Amazon I bought these little cedar trays that actually helped me kind of organize my loose cigars a little better in there. I’ll link those below where you can find them. They’re pretty cheap but I didn’t want you guys to get confused if you saw those and think those come with the unit. The small one has the drawer at the top and then just two standard shelves. The little trays in there are something I added.
Now, it should be noted. I had no plastic or weird off smell, new plastic kind of smell to mine when I received them. All I smelled was like I said, those sweet, awesome cedar shelves. But they do include some instructions to where if you get yours and because the inside is made of molded plastic, if you do have any kind of weird plastic smell that you don’t want getting into your cigars, they do include instructions on how to clean the inside of that out and get rid of that smell. But me personally, I didn’t have that on either unit. All I smelled was awesome cedar.
Now let’s talk about one of the main reasons though that most people go with these over a normal humidor, and that is the temperature control. These guys are heated and cooled, which allows you to keep your cigars at their optimum storage temp. The standard recommendation again is that whole 70% relative humidity, 70 degrees. I keep mine at 65 degrees. That’s just how I roll. Again, there could be a whole nother video on the optimal storage temperatures for cigars and whatnot. But point is whatever you set this dude at, it’s going to maintain that. I set mine at 65 and that’s where it stays. It holds that temperature rock solid. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than a degree of fluctuation on the temperature going one way or the other before it clicked something on and corrected it.
I live here in Florida and in the summer here it is humid and hot as the pits of hell. It is miserable sometimes. Our house is generally in the summer somewhere in the 73 to 75 degree range. If I tried to keep it 70 degrees or cooler in my house, my AC would probably explode and I would have a $600 a month electric bill. So with my house being 75 degrees, that is firmly in the dreaded cigar beetle territory. That is definitely in the temperature range where you could run into cigar beetle issues. But not me. I’m as calm as a Hindu cow because these little dudes, set it at 65, I’m at 65 degrees rock solid. No worries.
Now, it should be noted. There are some limits to how hot the ambient temperature can be for this unit to maintain a lower temp. I wouldn’t put this thing outside here in Florida in the summer when it’s 95 degrees outside. If it’s that hot, it’s probably going to have a hard time keeping the temperature down. Not to mention these things aren’t even rated for outside use. Any normal indoor temperature range though, these guys are going to keep you squared away.
Same goes with the cold. In the fall and spring here in Florida you can have huge temperature fluctuations. It can be almost 80 degrees during the day and like 45 at night. So what you end up with is a situation where you’re running your AC because it gets hot in your house during the day and then you go to sleep. The temperature drops way down. So when you wake up, it’s like 60 in your house. It’s freezing. You get up and you’re freezing your butt off. Well, at least for us people here in Florida. Some of you guys are probably thinking, “60, you sissies, 60s feels great.” Well, in Florida we get … Anyway. You wake up and it’s like 60 in your house.
Now, not that the temperature dropping down to 60 is necessarily hazardous to cigars. They’re still perfectly happy at 60 degrees. It’s just that temperature fluctuation. The more stable humidity and the more stable temperature you can keep those cigars at, the happier they’re going to be. The fact that these units cool and heat, you’re going to set that temperature and regardless whether it gets too hot, whether it gets too cold, these things are going to keep your little puppies snug as a bug in a rug.
And that’s what this humidor is really best at, keeping your pricey cigar collection at its optimal storage condition. Now as for these cigars listed capacity, the 300H is rated at 400 sticks. It can absolutely hold that, maybe even a few more. But it should be noted, and I think this is general with all humidors, not just these. If you buy a lot of big old fat 60×6 kind of cigars, anytime they quote the capacity of a cigar humidor, in general they’re not talking about huge forearm size cigars. So the bigger cigars you put in here, you’re going to probably reduce your capacity a little bit. Your collection is mostly moderate size, maybe robusto or smaller cigars, then yeah, you could absolutely cram 400, 500 in here probably.
Also, at 400 or 500 cigars, this thing is going to be stuffed to the brim. I would say comfortably you’re probably looking 325, 350, and you would have plenty of circulation room around everything with no issues, even if you got some bigger sticks in there. I think I’ve got about, I don’t know, 150 cigars in there right now, maybe. Maybe 200. 100, 150, something like that. I don’t remember exactly. Point is the damn thing looks empty. But the drawers are almost completely empty. The bottom two shelves are empty. Plenty of room in the big 300H.
The 100H is rated at 250. Same story though. You can definitely get 250 in there, probably more comfortably you’re looking at the 150 to 200 range to keep things from being cramped. It just depends on how tight you pack your cigars in and what size ring gauge cigars you smoke. Me personally, I keep most of the bulk stuff in the bottom of the 300H and I’ll move a few of each cigar up into the 100H. And that’s the one that I get in and out of to get my cigars out all the time and I keep kind of back stock in the bigger one.
So What Are The Negatives to These Guys?
Not much really. I kind of wish there was a handle on the door. That would be nice. Because it’s stainless steel and you open it by the kind of doorframe, my greasy fingers do tend to leave little fingerprints and I have to wipe it off a lot. It’s easy enough to open, don’t get me wrong, but a handle might be nice.
The little blue LED light in there is nice, but honestly kind of useless. It’s in the very top of the ceiling of both of them. Once you load that top shelf right below the light, it blocks the light off from going down through the rest of the humidor. In the future maybe it’d be cool if they put some kind of LED lighting around the inside of the door, so kind of lit up the whole thing a little better. So that’s a little something.
They aren’t the cheapest things in the world. You’re looking at for the, see, 100H is going to run you about 300 bucks and the 300H is almost 600. I don’t know if I can call it a negative though because in my opinion they’re worth every single penny. Most people that are holding as many cigars as like say for instance that 300H holds, if that thing’s fully stocked, you could be looking at thousands of dollars in a cigar collection.
They also have some older models that aren’t the heated ones. Now, since this heated model comes out, they have reduced the prices of them. So if the heating portion of it isn’t extremely important to you and you want to save a couple bucks, they do have the normal 100 and 300 models that don’t heat. Then you can save a few dollars that way.
And that’s about it. Overall, I freaking love these things. I have had no issues with either unit. I think they are good looking, high quality, well thought out units, and most importantly, they do a great job of keeping your cigar collection in its optimal condition for storage. So you can concentrate on enjoying your cigars and not be worrying and stressed out about keeping them stored properly.