When you buy honey, how should you store it? The most convenient way to store honey is at room temperature. You should not store it in the refrigerator unless you want granulated honey (also called crystallized honey).
Honey will not go bad when honey is stored in an air-tight container (like a jar). Honey likes water – it’s hygroscopic, it will attract the water from the air. So, leaving honey exposed to the air for long periods of time will cause the top layer to ferment over time.
With granulated honey, excess water will rise to the surface and may cause the honey to ferment on the top layer. All you need to do in this case is remove the top layer, and you are good to go.
Otherwise, if the honey is not exposed to the air – honey can last thousands of years.
When your honey starts to crystalize, is it not going bad, but rather that is a natural process for honey to undergo. Leaving it in the refrigerator will speed up the crystallization process.
Honey bought from the store (highly filtered honey) – may not crystallize for a very long time. Natural honey does crystalize, and it’s ok to eat.
If you want to remove the crystallization, you can warm up the honey slowly to reliquify it (keeping the temperature above 80 degrees). If you overheat it, it will cause it to be brown and alter its health benefits. You can place the honey jar in a pot of warm water (not boiling). And this will reliquify the honey.
If you are keeping your honey at room temperature in an air-tight container, your honey will last a very, very long time. If you are ever in doubt, you can remove the top layer of the honey with a spoon, and the rest of the honey is good to go.
- Beekeeping For Dummies 5th Edition Pages 317 – 318
- Honey Bee Biology Pages 256 – 257