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How to Store Honey in 2 Easy Ways

If you happen to have a sweet tooth, then I’m sure you can appreciate the sugary goodness and rich texture of honey!

Whether it’s milkshakes, smoothies, cupcakes, fruit bowls, salads, or delectable glazes for different meat dishes, I love to include a generous amount of honey in them.

There’s just something about the sweet flavor of honey that’s so wholesome and comforting to me. Given my abundant use of and love for honey, I make sure that I don’t ever run out of it. 

If you run out of honey and have to use it in a recipe, then don’t worry. Here are some honey substitutes that you can use instead!

However, if you want to avoid running out of honey altogether, then you can learn how to store honey. It’s a pretty straightforward process that will ensure that you always have it on hand whenever you need to use it.

Furthermore, since honey can last for years to come and you don’t have to worry about it going bad, it’s surely a great idea to store it in your home.

Before we dive into the details of storing honey, let’s explore the difference between fresh and processed honey.

Fresh Honey vs. Processed Honey 

The main difference between raw or fresh honey and processed or pasteurized honey is that raw honey comes directly from the hive or the honeycomb, while processed honey is pasteurized and has added sugars in it. 

Moreover, fresh honey usually has small amounts of debris including beeswax and pollen, which is why it has a slightly opaque or cloudy appearance. Whereas, processed and pasteurized honey is clear and smooth. 

The pasteurization process also helps keep honey fresh by improving its shelf-life and killing the yeast cells that can affect its taste. On the other hand, raw or fresh honey crystalizes pretty quickly and can spoil over time. 

Now, let’s take a look at how you can store honey in 2 different ways. 

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How to Store Honey 

There are two simple ways in which you can store honey – at room temperature and in the freezer. Let’s explore how to store honey using these two methods. 

Storing Honey at Room Temperature

This method works best if you want to store honey for short-term use. Here’s how you can store honey at room temperature:

    1. You can easily store honey in its original container, however, if it’s cracked or has a loose lid, then transfer the honey into a glass or Mason jar or a plastic container.
    2. Make sure that the container you choose has a tight lid on it. Keeping moisture and air at bay is important if you want to keep honey fresh. This is because air can affect its flavor and moisture can cause it to spoil. So, tightly screw the lid on the container so that it becomes airtight. 
    3. Store the honey jar at room temperature in a dark place that’s away from sunlight as it can damage the honey. The best place to store honey is in a dark and cool place in your pantry or kitchen cabinet.  

Storing Honey in the Freezer

If you want to store honey for a long time, then it’s best to freeze it to prevent it from crystallizing, especially if it’s raw honey. So, here’s how you can store honey in your freezer:

    1. Since honey tends to expand when stored in the freezer, make sure to transfer it into a jar or container that has a little extra room. Alternatively, you can use an ice cube tray to freeze honey and then transfer the frozen cubes into a heavy-duty sealable plastic bag. This way, you can simply take out one or multiple cubes at a time whenever you need to use honey.
    2.  Put the honey jar in your freezer.
    3. Whenever you need to use the frozen honey, just thaw it out before using it. Leave it at room temperature to thaw naturally.

Can I Store Honey in the Refrigerator

Storing honey in the fridge is not a good idea because it tends to speed up the crystallization process. It will only create an extra step for you in which you’ll have to warm it up to get it back to its liquid state.

So, if your kitchen’s too hot to store the honey in and you don’t want to freeze it either, then choose a cooler place, such as your pantry, to store the honey in. 

Check out this helpful article on how to decrystallize honey!

How is honey made?

How Long Does Open Honey Last?

Honey that has been opened can last for years on end as long as you store it properly. However, it might crystalize after a while.

When your stored honey crystalizes, just put your jar of honey in a pot of boiling water, turn off the flame, and leave it to cool in the pot. It’ll return to its liquid state on its own.

Does Honey Go Bad?

Due to its high sugar concentration, honey has an incredibly long shelf life. With that said, if you don’t store it properly and let moisture seep into the honey, then it will ferment, go bad, and give off a yeast-like smell.On the other hand, if you store it in a cool, dry area and keep tightly covered at all times, then it can last a lifetime. It might lose some of its flavor and aroma over the years, but it’ll still be safe to consume. Also, commercially packaged honey is safe to use after its expiration date. Always remember that they might carry food date terms such as “Best By,” “Best if Used By,” “Best Before”, or “Best When Used By” on it but this isn’t the safe date. It’s just the estimation of the manufacturers of how long the honey will remain at peak quality. So it’s better to check the honey’s condition from time to time. Another thing to keep in mind is the crystallization of the honey. Though it’s normal for them to crystallize over time but this isn’t harmful especially if your honey has been stored properly. In case it crystallizes, just place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve. Also, avoid refrigerating honey as it fastens its process of crystallization.

  Condition Pantry Fridge
Honey Pure, liquid, commercially bottled, unopened Keeps indefinitely Keeps indefinitely
Honey Pure, liquid, commercially bottled, opened Keeps indefinitely Keeps indefinitely

For more details about the sources used, check this link.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to keep honey fresh during storage:

  1. Keep it in an airtight plastic or glass jar. Avoid using a metal container as it can oxidize the honey.
  2. Make sure to wash and dry the container thoroughly before storing honey in it. This will prevent the honey from fermenting and potential contaminants. It will also prevent the potential transference of other smells onto the honey.
  3. Keep the stored honey away from heat and moisture to extend its shelf life. Make sure to store it away from warmer areas in your kitchen, such as near the stovetop or oven. Instead, store it in a cool and dry area.
  4. Whenever you need to use the honey, make sure to use a dry spoon to take it out of the jar. This is because even a small amount of water can ferment the honey. A dry spoon will ensure that the remaining honey remains free of moisture and doesn’t go bad.  

The Bottom Line

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide on how to store honey. To keep honey fresh for a long time, store it in a lidded jar at room temperature away from direct sunlight or other heat sources and moisture. For prolonged storage, you can keep honey in your freezer. Lastly, make sure that you don’t store honey in your fridge as it will only quicken the crystallization process.

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