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Have you ever wondered if you can freeze honey or not? Curious about freezing honey frames or honeycombs? If so, you’re in the right place.
In this article, I’ll cover how to freeze and thaw honey as well as answer a few honey-related questions for you such as freezing honeycombs and honey frames. Let’s get started, shall we?
Can You Freeze Honey?
Yes, you can put honey in the freezer. It may become extremely thick and even look “glassy” but raw, pure honey will most likely never fully freeze. This is because most freezers available to consumers don’t get cold enough. However, putting honey in the freezer will not affect its quality or flavor but freezing honey will help it maintain its nutritional values and antimicrobial properties.
What Is The Freezing Point Of Honey?
When honey reaches -4°F, it becomes extremely thick and may appear frozen but will actually “flow” very slowly. At temperatures between -43.6°F and -59.8°F, honey becomes a glassy, amorphous solid.
How To Freeze Honey
To maintain quality honey, you need to keep it frozen at a constant temperature. Wide fluctuations in temperature can degrade the quality of your honey.
It’s best to store your honey in a freezer that isn’t opened often. If you have only one freezer, store it in the coldest part of the freezer, away from the doors and front of your freezer.
It’s best to freeze your honey in freezer-safe glass containers. This helps prevent it from absorbing odors from the freezer.
Equipment Needed To Freeze Honey
- Airtight, freezer-safe glass or BPA-free plastic container
- Zipper top freezer-safe bags (ONLY if you are using a plastic container)
- Black Sharpie
- Freezer labels (I use these)
- Warm, wet cloth or paper towel
- Dry cloth or paper towel
Step By Step Instructions For Freezing Honey
Step One: Pour your honey into an airtight, freezer-safe glass container.
Step Two: Leave at least 1” of headspace in your container. This means leaving at least 1” of empty space in your container so when your honey expands, it will not break the glass container.
Step Three: Make sure no honey is spilled on the container, especially the rim. With a warm cloth, wipe off any honey located around the rim or on the outside of the container.
Step Four: Thoroughly dry the container and rim. Then make sure the lid is screwed on tightly.
Step Five: Place the honey in the coldest part of the freezer, ideally towards the bottom of a chest freezer or in the back of an upright freezer, away from the door.
Pro Tip: If you do not have or prefer not to use glass containers, you can use freezer-safe plastic containers. Follow the above steps with one addition. After Step Five, place your freezer-safe plastic container inside of a freezer-safe zip-top plastic bag before putting it into the freezer. This will help ensure no odors make their way into your honey.
How Long Is Frozen Honey Good For?
If properly frozen, honey will last indefinitely. Should it experience fluctuations in temperature, the quality may degrade as previously mentioned.
How Do You Thaw Frozen Honey?
It’s best to thaw honey in a container of warm water. Never use hot water or direct heat to thaw your honey. Honey that has been heated with high direct heat loses flavor and nutrients.
If your honey has crystallized, don’t worry. Crystallization doesn’t hurt your honey at all. In fact, it helps preserve its nutritional value and antimicrobial properties.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Differences Between Raw And Pasteurized Honey?
While there is no legal definition of raw honey, it is generally defined as honey coming straight out of the hive without any additives or added heat.
Pasteurized honey or “regular” honey as many people say, is honey that has been pasteurized and filtered. Pasteurization is the process of applying high heat to the honey to kill the yeast. Once pasteurized, the honey is then filtered to remove impurities. Pasteurized honey is often clearer than raw honey.
With regular or pasteurized, store-bought honey, there are concerns about the honey being contaminated with sweeteners such as HFCS (high fructose corn syrup) or other sugars.
To sum it up, the main difference between raw honey and pasteurized honey is how it is processed.
Can you Freeze Honey Frames or Honeycombs?
A honey frame (as shown above) is the part of a beehive that holds the honeycomb. It is often made from wood and is removable, allowing the beekeepers to inspect the bees or collect honey.
The honeycomb is a structure found in beehives where the bees create hexagonal-shaped “rooms” that are used to store bee pollen, royal jelly, and honey as well as their larvae. It’s made from beeswax.
Because honey has a low moisture content, you can successfully freeze honeycombs and honey frames without damaging them.
How To Store Honey
Glass containers help prevent foods from picking up odors and moisture so to help protect the flavor of your honey, store it in a glass container.
Honey should also be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. You should avoid extreme temperature fluctuations and ensure your honey is not stored in a location that is too cold or too hot.
Does Honey Go Bad?
If your honey has been stored properly, there is a very low chance your honey will ferment.
Is Crystallized Honey Bad?
The above picture is crystallized honey. Crystallization happens to honey over time. And no, crystallized honey is not bad. In fact, it is perfectly safe to eat.
You can run hot water over your honey jar or place the jar in a bowl of hot water and the honey will return to its liquid state.
What is Dry Honey?
Dry honey is merely honey that has been dehydrated. It can be referred to as honey powder, honey crystals, or dried honey. Each of these types of “dry honey” has different properties and can be processed quite differently.
Some are pure honey, others have additional ingredients added. They can also vary in textures ranging from bigger grained to a fine powder.
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Final Thoughts From Cost-Effective Kitchen
Whether you buy it raw or pasteurized, honey is a great cost-effective, versatile pantry staple.
Besides being used widely in sweet dishes such as candy, cakes, and muffins, honey has other uses in the kitchen.
You can start your day by adding a little honey to your lemon water or tea.
Or you can use honey in a variety of savory dishes such as honey barbeque wings or wings with a spicy hoisin honey glaze. You could also use to to spice up canned corn.
Not into wings? Then use your honey to make a spicy honey vinaigrette for your next slaw or salad. Or maybe use your honey to make kid-friendly honey-glazed carrots. The uses are endless.
Got any more questions about honey? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time…