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How to Store Your Honey

Storing Your Honey

As a result of the complex processing of nectar by bees, which changes its chemical properties, honey can be stored for long periods of time.  There are historical examples of honey being preserved for decades, and even centuries. 

Although glass is the preferred storage material, honey can also be stored in Jar of honeystainless steel or food grade plastic containers and at room temperature -- not in the refrigerator.  Honey will absorb particles from many metals and some plastics. 
Honey should not be stored in metal containers, because the acids in the honey may promote oxidation of the container. This results in additional content of heavy metals in the honey, decreases the nutritional value, and may lead to stomach sickness or poisoning.

Honey has a strong tendency to absorb outside smells and moisture.  Consequently, you should store honey in a clean, sealed glass jar.  If you are planning on storing your honey for extended periods of time, then it is better to store it in a dark location such as a cupboard or pantry.  Honey tends to deteriorate when exposed to light for extended periods of time.  Additionally, honey absorbs moisture (which is a desirable characteristic for lip balms and other cosmetic products) and should be stored in a dry location.  Optimal storage temperature is 39 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

What to do if Your Honey Crystallizes

If your honey turns cloudy or crystallizes (a natural process), the generally accepted practice is to place the honey jar in warm water and stir until the crystals dissolve.

You can also place the honey in a microwave-safe container with the lid off and stir about every 20-30 seconds until the crystals dissolve. This varies on the amount of honey. It is better to user shorter durations as you want to make sure you do not boil the honey.  Use CAUTION with this approach. Honey can heat quickly and you don't want to get burned.


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