Refrigeration is a must when it comes to storing honey. Leaving your jar at room temperature, especially during hot summers, can result in fermentation and other changes that alter the taste and smell of the honey. Refrigerating honey also preserves its beneficial properties longer. Honey is a superfood with many health benefits, but like any food, it needs to be stored in appropriate conditions to prevent degradation, fermentation, or mold growth. This common question has a simple answer; yes— unless it’s raw honey. Raw honey does not need to be refrigerated because it’s made from natural fructose and glucose sugars that don’t support bacteria growth like processed honey-do.
Does Honey Need To Be Refrigerated?
Honey is a naturally occurring food that is produced by bees using nectar from flowers. Its shelf life can vary due to its composition, but it is generally safe to eat after 12 months of storage at room temperature. Refrigeration will prolong the shelf life of honey, but it won’t affect its quality or safety. Since honey has pH levels that are high enough to prevent the growth of bacteria, there is no need for it to be refrigerated.
How To Store Honey With Refrigeration?
Store in the fridge immediately after purchase
Many people don’t even consider the idea of refrigerating honey until it’s already opened. But, when you buy honey in a jar, it’s difficult to know how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. The best thing you can do is buy it fresh and keep it in the fridge as soon as you get home. You don’t even have to open the jar. You can leave the seal intact, but make sure it’s clean and dry before putting it back in the fridge. Many experts recommend storing honey at temperatures between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you’re not keeping other products near the honey, though, or they might end up too cold. Honey’s open jars are a breeding ground for bacteria and will spoil much quicker at room temperature. If you find yourself with an open jar that must stay in the fridge, make sure you’re using a clean and dry spoon when you take some out.
Keep it in an airtight container
Pre-packaged honey is sometimes sealed in containers with plastic lids. While convenient, these containers are very porous and don’t protect the honey inside from moisture. If you want to keep this kind of honey at room temperature, you’ll need to store it in an airtight container. Airtight containers come in all shapes and sizes, from fancy jars to plastic bags. The best containers for storing honey are those with tightly-fitting lids – like Ziploc bags. You can also buy special containers with a rubber seal. These containers work best for long-term storage. If you’re only keeping your honey at room temperature for a few weeks, you don’t need a high-end container.
If you want to buy honey and keep it at room temperature, freezing is your best option. Honey can be frozen for at least a year and still maintain its flavor and consistency. Just make sure you leave enough room in your freezer for it to expand as it freezes. Most people freeze honey in ice cube trays and keep the frozen cubes in a freezer bag. You can thaw frozen honey whenever you need it and it will be just as good as fresh. Keep in mind that frozen honey is much harder than honey kept at room temperature. You might need to warm it up a bit before using it in recipes. Freezing honey is a good option for long-term storage. If you want to keep a large supply of honey on hand, freeze it as soon as you buy it. You’ll never have to worry about it spoiling or going bad. Frozen honey can also be used as a substitute for liquid sweeteners like maple syrup or molasses.
Store it in a dry and cool place
If you can’t refrigerate your honey, you need to keep it away from moisture. A dry and cool place is the best environment for long-term honey storage. Humid environments – like humid closets or cabinets – are particularly bad for storing honey. It will start to ferment and grow mold if you don’t keep it in an environment with low moisture levels. If you have no choice but to keep your honey in a humid place, make sure you regularly check for signs of spoilage. You should also consider repackaging your honey into a drier container if it’s in a container that holds moisture in. Many experts recommend storing honey in dark places, such as wooden cabinets. While light can also be a source of moisture, it can also cause honey to darken. Dark cabinets are a happy medium. If your cabinets are completely dark, you might consider installing a light-blocking curtain to prevent light from coming in.
When Should You Refrigerate Your Honey?
- Since all kinds of honey need to be kept in a cool and dry environment, there is no need to refrigerate all types of honey.
- Raw honey and honey that have been filtered and heated don’t need to be refrigerated because of their high pH level (about 3.9-4.5) and low water activity level. Honey that has been processed, like honey from bees that have been fed high fructose corn syrup, needs to be refrigerated to prevent fermentation, and crystallization.
- Honey’s water activity level, a measure of its ability to support microorganisms and mold growth, is very low, which is why it lasts such a long time. However, refrigerating honey makes it last even longer.
- Some people store honey in their pantries for long-term use. Honey has a long shelf life and can last for years, but refrigerating it will help extend its shelf life even further.
How To Store Honey Without Refrigeration?
- If you’ve recently purchased a new jar of honey or found one in storage from earlier this year, you might be wondering about refrigerating honey and whether or not it needs to be refrigerated
- This common question has a simple answer; yes— unless it’s raw honey. Raw honey does not need to be refrigerated because it’s made from natural fructose and glucose sugars that don’t support bacteria growth as processed honey do.
- Among the various types of honey available in the market, only the following varieties need to be refrigerated: Unpasteurized honey that’s been bottled and sold commercially
- This includes all varieties of honey, including raw honey. Raw honey is a living substance that contains beneficial microorganisms that can be harmed by improper storage. Therefore, it’s best to refrigerate all types of commercial honey, whether or not it’s raw. Raw honey that’s been bottled and sold commercially
- Just like processed honey, this type of honey should be kept refrigerated at all times. Commercial liquid honey
- Honey packaged in bottles, jars, and other commercial containers should be kept refrigerated at all times. Commercial honey in granulated or powder form – Granulated and powdered honey should be kept in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
Tips For Keeping Honey From Going Bad
- Store honey in a dry, dark place. Honey is best kept in an airtight jar away from direct sunlight, which can break down the nutrients and flavor of the honey. UV light can also discolor the honey and cause it to lose its potency.
- Don’t store honey in the fridge. While refrigerating honey extends its shelf life, it also lowers the quality of the honey. Honey becomes thicker and loses its flavor when refrigerated, so it may not be as tasty once it’s removed from the fridge.
- Don’t re-heat honey after it’s been refrigerated. Re-heating honey that has been in the fridge can damage its flavor and cause it to lose some of its health benefits.
- Buy honey in smaller containers. Honey never lasts as long as its “best by” date, so you are better off buying smaller quantities for immediate use. You can always keep the remainder in your fridge to extend its shelf life even further.
Honey is a sweet and nutritious food that has been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. Although honey has many health benefits, it also contains lots of sugars, which means it can spoil if not stored in proper conditions. Keeping your jar of honey in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight will extend its shelf life and keep it tasting great for much longer. If you do decide to refrigerate your honey, make sure it’s in a glass jar so the honey isn’t in direct contact with the metal, which can cause the honey to ferment.