How to Store Raw Honey Indefinately
To preserve it’s natural goodness, you need to know how to store raw honey.
Otherwise, you may end up with a gritty, grimy mess that looks very unappealing.
However, that gritty honey may actually be healthier than the beautiful golden bear from the supermarket! (Big Company but good tips.)
The best raw honey will come from small scale beekeepers. Once you find and purchase real honey, you will want to learn the ins and out of proper honey storage.
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Decorative Honey Pots Are Great For the dinner table. But, a tightly sealing container protects your honey.
What is Raw Honey?
Real honey is made by bees. It is perfect. Then, we humans come along and sometimes try to improve it. The practices used to create a beautiful product for the grocery shelf are not necessarily kind to our wonderful honey.
But, you don’t have to be a slave to modern processing. Local beekeepers across the US produce “table honey” each year. Yes, it will cost a bit more – or should. With proper harvest and storage techniques, we can enjoy all the natural goodness of honey.
Honey can only be called “raw” if it has not been processed. Using an extractor to remove honey from the comb is okay – it just slings the honey out. However, the honey should not be exposed to any heat (hotter than it would be inside the hive).
Allowing honey to drip through a sieve or strainer is okay. Commercial honey producers often push honey through a filter under pressure. This is done to provide a beautiful product that will look good on the shelf for a long time.
This creates a problem because ultra filtration removes some of the micro-nutrients and pollen in honey. Thereby, lessening the nutritional value of the product.
Raw honey is unique. The color and flavor will vary from year to year.
In my bee yard, it is not unusual to have one bucket of honey that is very light in color and another very dark. This is because weather affects which plants produce them most nectar.
The Best Way to Store Fresh Honey
Properly stored honey never spoils because bacteria doesn’t grow well in acidic honey. The best way to store raw honey is in a tightly sealed jar kept at room temperature.
Because honey can absorb moisture and odors – please don’t re-use an old pickle jar. Unless of course, if you are wanting to add a bit of pickle aroma to your raw honey, that’s your call.
For long term storage, I like to use glass jars. You can always pour a smaller amount into a honey pot for easy dispensing. Bright light can cause honey to darken. (It’s dark in the hive – right ?)
How do you store raw honey in the dark? The easiest method is to place your jar of honey in a room temperature cabinet. An ideal temperature range of 70° F – 80° F is best. ( I break the rule and store a small jar of honey right on my stove top. – I am a rule breaker that way. ) Any “tight sealing” honey pot or container is okay.
Does Raw Honey Need to Be Refrigerated?
No, no, no. Pure honey will not spoil. It does not require cold temperature or a vacuum sealed jar. Please never put your honey in the refrigerator. It will not make it last longer or keep it fresher. Putting honey in the refrigerator can promote some changes that you do not want.
Raw Honey Crystallizes – It’s Natural!
This is a common cry among consumers who do not understand the nature of raw honey. Honey is a super-saturated sugar. When honey goes to this solid state, we call it crystallization.
People ask how to store raw honey to prevent crystallization. The answer is that sometimes you can not completely stop crystallization. Raw honey contains pollen, tiny bits of wax etc that encourages the change to a solid.
Honey that is stored in the refrigerator will crystallize faster. Crystallized honey is ok and safe to eat. Crystallized honey can be gently warmed to a liquid state. But most people want their honey to stay in the liquid non gritty form.
How to Store Raw Honey Frozen
Did you know that you can freeze honey? I know it sounds crazy. But, freezing is a good storage method for honey that you don’t plan to use for a long while. Honey can be frozen in the comb or place liquid honey is a container with room for expansion. Freezing protects the integrity of your raw honey.
Honey can be frozen for several years. When you are ready to use, thaw honey at room temp in sealed containers. Do not thaw honey in the refrigerator-we want it to come to room temperature quickly.
What if you are not a honey lover but want to keep some on hand? Freeze small amounts of honey in ice cube trays and then seal them in plastic bags. This makes it easy-peasy to take out just a small amount for use.
Even those of you who are not honey-lovers, may enjoy just a bit of honey on occasion. Use these silicone trays to freeze small amounts of honey.
A great way to seek relief for sore throat pains or coughs, just pop out a frozen “honey-cube” and put it in hot tea.
Understanding How to Store Honey
The value of pure honey makes it important to learn how to store raw honey properly. And finding small farmers markets to purchase directly from the farmer increases your chances of getting real honey.