What Cigars Should You Smoke At A BBQ?
Unlike some pairings, the cigars that you choose for a barbecue isn’t quite as complicated. In fact, it’s often relatively simple to find the right one for you and your friends! Nevertheless, there are just a few considerations to bear in mind when choosing the cigars that you will all enjoy.
Make Sure Your Cigars Are Well-Stored
First and foremost, it’s essential that the cigars are properly stored beforehand. Given that barbecues will take place in warm weather, there’s a chance that they could dry out in the heat. Meanwhile, some places can be particularly humid when it’s warm.
A cigar that’s too dry will burn hot and fast, which will likely ruin the experience by not providing you with any flavours. As for a moist cigar, it may often go out and experience a variety of burning issues.
Therefore, if you don’t own a quality humidor, make sure that you anticipate the cigars’ storage in advance. One of the quickest and cheapest ways to store cigars is simply by making a DIY tupperdor. A tupperdor is an excellent solution if you just have a couple of cigars that you want to store for a few days or weeks.
However, you decide to store your cigars, we recommend that you use Boveda humidification packs to ensure that your cigars remain healthy.
They’re easy to use and require no maintenance. As they offer two-way humidification through reverse osmosis, they diffuse moisture when levels are too dry and absorb it when there’s too much humidity. This way, you needn’t worry about your cigars before you enjoy them.
When Will You Smoke The Cigars?
A BBQ usually takes place in warm weather and either around lunchtime or occasionally for dinner. Everybody has their own preference or personal barbecue tradition. Therefore, when the barbecue takes places tends to be either the afternoon or evening.
On rare occasions, you may start preparing your barbecue in the morning. However, you’ll unlikely want to smoke the cigar until everybody has arrived and is comfortable.
In our guide to the best afternoon cigars as well as our overview of the ideal evening cigars, we discuss the flavour profiles best suited to those times of the day. You can learn more about the characteristics in those guides.
However, when having a BBQ with friends, there are different times that you may prefer to smoke a cigar:
- Before the meal around the grill.
- During the meal.
- After the meal as a digestif.
If you’re with non-smokers, they may not appreciate cigar smoke around their barbecue. However, there is a lot to be said for pairing food and cigars! We enjoy a short cigar while preparing a barbecue as the aromas of cooked food and smoke go well with its flavours. It’s a great opportunity for friends to chat around the grill while preparing the food.
Yet, some people may find a cigar while cooking somewhat distracting. Similarly, a cigar that’s too large may cause you to rush or not be able to properly finish it.
Therefore, you may prefer to wait until afterwards so you can relax with your cigar and a drink to digest.
If you smoke the cigar afterwards, it’s a great opportunity to chat without any distractions and really relax. After all, some barbecues can get quite intense! At this stage, it may now be the evening or early night. We would, therefore, recommend a cigar with a somewhat full-body to compensate for all the stimuli and smoke that your body has been exposed to.
Pairing The Flavours
Take a moment to think about when you plan on smoking the cigar as we described above. Afterwards, consider what you’ll be eating or drinking while smoking the cigar. Once you’ve figured that out, try to choose a cigar that will match the pairing in body and character.
For instance, if you’re having the cigar while digesting after a meal, consider something with some character. However, if you’re drinking lager beer or rosé wine, be careful that it remains a relatively medium-bodied experience overall.
Alternatively, you may have your cigar in the evening and you and your friends enjoy drinking whisky or other spirits. Therefore, a full-bodied cigar with a relatively spicy flavour profile would be your best bet.
Finally, the earlier you have the cigar, and the more nuanced the accompanying flavours, the milder your cigar should be.
With all that being said, don’t worry too much about the cigar you choose. A BBQ is a fun and relaxing occasion for friends to get together. As a result, we suggest finding something laid back and easy to smoke that everyone can appreciate without taking it too seriously.
How Did We Rank These Cigars?
We have at least formally tested or fully-reviewed every cigar that has been listed in this guide. As a result, we haven’t included anything that hasn’t been sampled in a professional setting.
Similarly, each cigar has been tested using the Bespoke Unit Cigar Formula, a quantifiable review matrix that we developed for ensuring that our reviews are balanced and standardised.
We have incorporated it into all of our cigar reviews since we covered the Avo Nicaragua in August 2019. Nevertheless, we regularly revisit it to improve and optimise its structure.
Consequently, you can be confident that the cigars listed here were carefully and thoughtfully curated rather than assembled by random.
Firstly, did we miss anything out? Feel free to let us know in the comments below! Otherwise, now that you’ve seen the best cigars for a barbecue, why don’t you also check out our related guides below?