How to Store Raw Honey

Raw honey is as close to the hive as you can get. That is because raw honey has not been pasteurized, heated to high temperatures or filtered, which means that the pollens in it are intact. These pollens are what give raw honey its uniquely floral flavor and benefits — and are also the reason that raw honey crystallizes more easily, since crystals can begin to form on the pollen grains.

Because of this higher pollen count, it is very important to properly store your raw honey in order to preserve the liquid texture as long as possible. In this blog, we explain how to store raw honey to help prevent crystallization, and what to do if your honey does crystallize.

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How to Store Raw Honey

When properly stored, honey has the ability to safely last for decades in your pantry — yes, that is right, decades! There is a reason raw honey was used as a preservative by ancient societies: its antimicrobial properties help protect it against contamination as long as water and air are not allowed into the container. (Learn more about “What Is Raw Honey?”)

Before opening a jar of raw honey, you should store it in a cool, dry place away from heat, light and moisture. As long as the original packaging is airtight and not leaking, you can leave it in that until you are ready to open the jar.

Once you open the jar of raw honey, inspect the current jar for cracks. You should also make sure that the lid threads back on correctly and creates a tight seal. You do not want any extra air or moisture getting into the honey. If the jar is compromised at any time, then transfer the honey into an airtight container.

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Ideally, honey should be stored at room temperature, so keep it away from stoves and other kitchen appliances that generate heat. You should also refrain from putting it in the fridge, as this can cause it to thicken and change its texture. Keep it away from sunlight, which causes the particles in raw honey to degrade, negatively impacting the nutritional benefits.

Try to remember to wipe down the honey jar each time before replacing the lid. Any excess honey on the threads of the jar will compromise the seal, not to mention make the jar really messy. It is better to wipe it down regularly than to wait for the lid of the jar to become stuck. 

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What to Do If Honey Crystallizes

Honey crystallization occurs when the sugar (glucose) molecules in the honey link up to form crystals. While this does not impact the taste or nutritional benefits of the honey, it does result in a lumpy, semi-solid texture that some people dislike. Crystallized honey also can be more difficult to mix into other foods and drinks, especially if they are cold.

If your raw honey has already crystallized, there is no need to worry: crystallization is simply a change in texture and does not impact the safety of the honey at all. Furthermore, this process can be easily reversed. First, take the glass jar the honey came in and place it in a larger, heat-safe bowl. If the honey came in a plastic container, then transfer it to a sealable glass jar before placing it in the bowl.

Heat enough water to fill the bowl to a temperature of 95-110 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the water into the bowl until it covers the honey. Do not let the water level rise to the lid, as you do not want to get water in your honey. Let the honey rest in the hot water until the crystallization process has reversed and the honey is liquid again.

Once honey has crystallized, it tends to revert back to this state, so you will need to repeat this process whenever you want to liquify your honey. You can also stir the crystallized honey directly into hot beverages if you are tired of heating it up every time you want to use it. Remember that proper storage can help reduce the chances of your honey crystallizing in the first place.

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We have been so excited to expand our collection of pantry staples with our raw honey set, The Couplet. These two delicious honeys feature different yet complementary flavors that go perfectly in everything — from your morning oatmeal to an evening cup of tea. They are created on small, family farms in the United States for the highest quality control, just like our olive oils and vinegars. Order them today for a taste of this sweet, raw honey goodness.