Honey aka liquid gold is nothing short of a miracle. It’s sweet, goes with everything, and is actually good for you! Whether you like to smother your pancakes in honey or love the crunch of honey-glazed wings, honey is the best possible food out there.
It is also an alternative to many sweeteners and is a pretty healthy option if you want to omit white sugar from your diet.
Because of this, we tend to store large amounts of honey. But if you can’t use it all in a few weeks, can you freeze honey instead? Does honey freeze? Does raw honey go bad?
This article answers these questions and many more, so keep reading to learn more about storing and using honey.
Freezing Honey 101
First of all, honey does not freeze. Honey freezes below -4F, while most freezers have a temperature of -4C. Instead, the honey appears solid and crystallizes. Honey is very viscous and acts differently. Is honey a liquid? Yes, but it doesn’t always act
Do you need to refrigerate honey? The answer is no. Honey doesn’t spoil, and you may have heard about jars of honey found in the pyramids of Egypt with edible honey. So, does raw honey go bad? As long as it is covered and kept away from light, heat, or moisture, pure raw honey will be fresh and edible.
What is pure honey? Pure honey is 100% honey, with no added ingredients, like coloring, corn syrup, sugar, or water. On the other hand, raw is simply the honey collected from beehives without any chemical processing. The honey is just filtered to remove impurities.
This gives the honey a richer color and improved flavor. But how long does raw honey last? When stored right, raw honey can last up to two years, but you can definitely stretch it longer than that.
Does pure honey crystallize? All kinds of honey will crystallize, but the rate of crystallization depends on the temperature, storage method, and other factors.
How to Freeze Honey:
Do you refrigerate honey after opening? Should honey be refrigerated? You don’t have to refrigerate or freeze your honey, but doing so will help you store your honey for longer periods without the worry of moisture seeping into it.
How long does honey last? How long is raw honey good for? While it can last indefinitely, it is a good idea to store honey in the fridge or freezer for extended periods of time. This will preserve its flavor, color, nutrients, and antimicrobial properties.
All the same, you may have noticed that the honey in your pantry seems stale or off. When does honey spoil? This usually happens when external moisture or bacteria enter the honey and change its flavor or consistency.
Freezing honey will prevent this from happening. And here’s how you can do it:
- Honey is best stored in the glass jar it is purchased in. Make sure the jar lid is screwed on tightly, so no air gets into the bottle.
This will prevent any oxidation or fermentation from happening. You should leave a space of about an inch to give the honey room for expansion.
- Check for spills outside the honey container and clean them off. After cleaning it, make sure to dry the container with a kitchen towel or dry washcloth.
- Put the honey container in a freezer-safe resealable bag. This will prevent the honey from absorbing new smells from other items in the freezer. The freezer bag will also contain any mess if the stored honey leaks out, or if the jar cracks.
- Put your honey in the freezer and set it to the temperature you want. Once the honey is frozen, it keeps indefinitely.
How to Freeze Honeycombs:
You may have seen stores selling honeycombs for consumption. These are the hexagonal waxy structures that make up the inside of a beehive and the chambers of the comb are full of honey.
Is honeycomb good for you? Well, it certainly isn’t bad for you. You can eat the honey, and chew on the waxy honeycomb, with no health issues. Is pure honey good for you? Because you get it straight from the source, this honey is great and has no added sugar.
- Set the freezer temperature to the desired temperature for your honeycomb and frames.
- Place the honeycomb inside plastic sheeting and seal it, and then put it in the freezer.
- Take care to prevent condensation from forming on the frozen honeycombs containing honey. You have to prevent the honeycomb from getting wet as this can cause mold to form in the comb.
Thawing Frozen Honey
As mentioned before, the honey will solidify in the freezer and become thick and solid. Why does honey get hard? The natural sugars in honey bind together and start forming little crystals, which harden the honey.
To thaw the frozen honey, take it out and leave it on the counter to warm up slowly. Do not apply direct heat to the honey, as this will destroy its nutrients and antimicrobial properties. To speed up the process, you can put the jar of honey in a bowl of warm water.
Do not refreeze thawed honey as this can also destroy all the goodness in it. It can also change the color and taste of the honey. How long can you keep honey? Thawed honey also lasts indefinitely, so you may not even need to put it back in the freezer.
Freezing Honey-Based Foods
People often wonder how this applies to foods with lots of honey in them. This can refer to honey-glazed wings, Russian honey cakes, and honey-based solid dressings.
Can you freeze honey-baked ham? And if so, how long can you freeze a honey-baked ham?
These kinds of foods can be frozen, and meats need to be wrapped in cling film or aluminum foil, and then placed in a sealable freezer bag. They will stay fresh and safe to eat for up to 6 weeks. You can learn more about honey and its substitutes here.
Still Got Questions?
Below you will find answers to questions people have about freezing honey.
01. How Long Does It Take for Honey to Crystallize in the Fridge?
Honey crystallizes slowly and the whole process can take anywhere from 12-48 hours. Different blends crystallize at a different rate, so there is no hard and fast rule with it.
02. How to Store Raw Honey?
Honey just needs to be stored in an airtight container and kept away from direct sunlight and moisture.
03. Why Does Honey Turn to Sugar?
The sugars in the honey bond together to form crystals at lower temperatures. This makes them look like sugar crystals.
04. How to Eat Comb Honey?
You can pour the honey into the comb and allow it to drain into a bowl or jar. You can also chew on the honeycomb itself to eat this honey.
05. Does Honey Need to Be Refrigerated after Opening?
As long as you store the honey in a clean and airtight container away from heat, direct sunlight, and moisture, there is no need to refrigerate the honey.
The answer to ‘can you freeze honey’ is a resounding yes, but at the end of the day, there isn’t really a need to do so. However, if you want a long-term storage solution, freezing honey is the way to go. You can buy it in bulk, and freeze it in small jars, giving a lifetime’s supply of sweet liquid gold.