Honey is a delectably sweet treat that can be added to teas, cakes, cereals, and even meaty dishes like chicken wings. On top of being delicious, it is also naturally antibacterial, so it can be used for coating minor wounds on the skin and for helping a scratchy throat feel a bit better. Needless to say, honey is very versatile.
If you love honey as much as Winnie the Pooh, you probably want to make sure you keep it stored properly, so none goes to waste, not even a drop. Thankfully, honey is simple to store properly. If you leave it on the counter or in your cupboard in an airtight container, you should be set to enjoy your honey for years to come.
If you are ready to learn more about how to properly store your honey, make yourself a cup of honey lemon tea, grab a delicious, warm honey bun, and keep reading!
Table of Contents
How to Properly Store Honey
The best way to properly store honey is to keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. This will allow the honey to remain liquid enough so that you can easily dispense it when you need it.
If honey is exposed to high temperatures and moisture, it can lead to your honey becoming fermented. The product of this fermentation is called mead, which is less than ideal for baking cakes or enjoying a cup of tea. Though mead serves its purposes, you probably do not want the honey that you use daily to become mead.
In order to prevent the fermentation from happening, the honey that you use every day can be stored in a honey dispenser (like this one) so that you can easily dispense the amount that you need without having to take a large container out of the pantry.
- NO-DRIP GLASS DISPENSER - Stops those messy honey leaks while making your honey immediately available. Use these honey containers with sugar, maple syrup, or chocolate syrup. No waiting and shaking...
- FULL GLASS CONTAINER - Shaped into a fun, attractive honeycomb design. The material of this glass honey jar is light yet strong and durable. Fill the dispenser with honey or similar liquids, twist on...
- KEEPS HONEY FRESH - Our honey dispenser comes with its very own bottom stopper, keeping your honey server airtight and acting as a beautiful bee decor. Use these honey jars to put honey in tea, syrup...
If you prefer to buy honey in bulk or collect your own honey, you have two options for storing it. You can leave it in the container it comes in or a large airtight container (we like this one from Amazon) in a cool, dark spot in your pantry, or you can freeze it.
- DURABILITY & LONGEVITY: These special quality thick glass bottles are known for their durability and long lifespan, surpassing the durability of typical "disposable glass" options. The thick glass...
- PRESERVATION OF MILK QUALITY: Glass bottles provide excellent protection for maintaining milk quality, with the added advantage of fitting perfectly in fridge doors and shelves. Each bottle has a...
- WITH EXTRA SILICONE POUR SPOUT: Our glass milk container is equipped with an additional silicone pour spout, which offers a controlled and mess-free pouring solution, allowing you to effortlessly...
Though freezing honey is not the best option because it can cause the flavor to be altered, if you are worried about fermentation, you can store it in a large airtight freezer container and just eat it up on the stove when you are ready to use it.
One benefit of freezing honey is that it prevents the formation of both crystals and mead because it essentially pauses the fermentation and crystallization process, making it impossible for them to form.
However, a good airtight container in a cool, dry, dark place in the pantry would likely have the same results with less possibility of altering the flavor of the honey.
How Long Can Honey be Stored?
Honey does not have an expiration date. Though crystals can form in the honey if it is not stored properly or is stored for an extended period of time, those crystals can be easily dissolved.
As mentioned above, honey can become fermented if it is exposed to moisture and heat for an extended time. This is primarily because natural honey contains yeast, and with moisture and a warm environment, yeast grows. If you wish to “kill” the yeast, you can heat the honey to 160 degrees Fahrenheit before you store it to reduce the possibility of your honey becoming fermented.
How to Tell if Honey Has Gone Bad
Since honey does not expire, there are no signs that would indicate it has gone bad. However, over time you may notice some physical changes. Color, consistency, and taste can change over time, and crystals can form, but the honey is still usable and will not harm you.
Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Honey
It is actually difficult to mess up when it comes to storing honey, but there are a few common mistakes that you should avoid:
Though some people believe that honey does not attract insects like ants, this is incorrect. If you leave honey in a jar on the counter that is not airtight, you might find an unpleasant surprise next time you go to use it and find ants in it. To avoid this, just make sure you always return the lid securely after using the honey.
This also helps to ward off unwanted crystals.
If you use maple syrup or other liquid sweeteners, you may feel the need to refrigerate it to keep it fresh, but you should not keep honey in the fridge. The many reasons for this are because it makes the honey thickens and makes it difficult to use, especially if you keep it in a squeeze bottle or something with a small opening.
For best results, keep honey in a place where it can remain at room temperature.
How to Remove Crystals From Honey
Though honey never really expires, the physical properties of honey can become altered with exposure to air and the passing of time. Generally, this means that little sugar crystals form in the honey, and it is no longer a smooth, golden liquid. If you notice you have crystals in your honey, DO NOT throw it away! Don’t waste good honey like that!
Crystallized honey is not spoiled honey, and it can be saved. To rescue your honey and restore it back to its golden liquid goodness, put a pan of water on the stove on medium heat. You do not want the water to be boiling. Then place the jar, preferably glass, in the pan of water. You can periodically stir the honey until the crystals dissolve.
It is important to remember not to heat the honey too much because this can cause caramelization of the sugar in honey, and the color and flavor will change. To avoid this, keep the temperature low, stirring often, and once you notice all of the crystals are melted, remove the jar from the pan and let it cool completely before putting the lid on and returning it to its spot.
Here’s a video with more information: