Can You Freeze Honey? Unveiling the Surprising Truth

Can you freeze honey? The surprising truth

Honey, often referred to as “liquid gold,” is a natural and delicious sweetener produced by bees. Not only does it satisfy our sweet tooth, but it also offers nutritional benefits. If you find yourself with a large supply of honey, you may be wondering if freezing it is a viable option for long-term storage. In this article, we will explore the surprising truth about freezing honey and provide you with the best methods for storing honey to maintain its freshness.

Freezing Honey: The Truth

Pure, raw honey does not freeze solid. Although it may appear frozen at temperatures as low as -4°F (-20°C), some components of honey will continue to flow slowly. This is because most home freezers only cool down to -4°C, which is not cold enough to completely freeze honey. Therefore, if you try to freeze honey, it will solidify to some degree, but it won’t technically be frozen.

Preserving taste and quality

Freezing honey does not affect its taste or quality. It is a viable method of preserving the freshness of honey, although crystallization may occur. To prevent oxidation, it is important to store honey in an airtight container. Glass containers are recommended as they protect the honey from absorbing nearby flavors and odors and prevent moisture from seeping in.

Freezing honeycombs or frames

Many beekeepers and farmers choose to freeze honeycombs or frames without damaging the honey or frame. Freezing honey in the comb can be advantageous for several reasons. First, it allows all the honey to be extracted at once after harvesting. In addition, honey has a low moisture content, so it doesn’t expand much when it freezes, which prevents damage to the delicate honeycomb. Freezing honey in the comb can also effectively eliminate wax moths and their larvae.
To freeze honeycombs or frames, wrap them tightly in plastic to protect them from air and moisture. This precaution ensures that the honey remains in optimal condition during the freezing process.

Preserving Nutrients in Frozen Honey

Freezing honey does not destroy its nutrients. In fact, it helps preserve honey’s natural antimicrobial properties. However, it is important to note that heating honey or exposing it to fluctuating temperatures can affect its nutritional value. When honey is heated and cooled, it can form crystals, adding moisture that can compromise the quality and safety of the honey. Therefore, if you decide to freeze honey, plan to thaw it all at once and allow it to slowly come to room temperature. Once thawed, you can warm crystallized honey to return it to its smooth liquid state, but avoid exposing it to extreme temperature changes or high heat.

The long shelf life of honey

Honey is known for its remarkably long shelf life. It is considered the only natural food on earth that does not spoil under normal conditions, provided it is raw and pure. Honey’s unique properties contribute to its exceptional longevity. First, honey is composed primarily of sugar, which inhibits the growth of bacteria and fungi. Secondly, its low moisture content prevents the survival and fermentation of other organisms. In addition, honey is naturally acidic, which further inhibits bacterial growth. Finally, bees leave an enzyme in honey that enhances its antibacterial properties and acts as a preservative.
While it is possible for honey to spoil if harvested too early or contaminated, such cases are rare and unlikely. It is worth noting that the more honey is processed, the less it is protected against bacteria. Therefore, it is advisable to choose raw honey for optimal freshness and longevity.

Preventing crystallization

Crystallization is a natural process that occurs when glucose separates from water in honey. The likelihood of crystallization increases in honey with a higher glucose content and when it is cooled. Crystallized honey is perfectly safe to consume and even offers benefits such as preserving the flavor and natural properties of honey. However, some people prefer honey in its liquid form.
To slow the crystallization process, store honey in glass jars at room temperature or warmer. Once honey is cooled below 50°F (10°C), it is more likely to crystallize. If you prefer to consume non-crystallized honey, consider varieties with higher fructose content, such as acacia, sage, or tupelo honey. In addition, filtered honey tends to be smoother because it lacks tiny honeycomb debris particles that can promote crystallization.

Decrystallizing Honey

If your honey crystallizes, there are simple methods to restore it to its original liquid state. One effective approach is to place the jar of crystallized honey in a bowl or pot of hot water. Make sure the container holding the honey is glass, not plastic, as heating plastic can cause chemicals to leach into the honey. Alternatively, you can scoop a portion of crystallized honey into a heat-safe bowl or container and place it in hot water.
Microwaving honey can also speed up the decrystallization process. Start by microwaving the honey in short bursts of 10-15 seconds, stirring in between, until the crystals dissolve. Be careful not to overheat the honey, as excessive heat can affect its quality.


In conclusion, it is possible to freeze honey, but this will not result in a completely solidified state. Pure, raw honey will solidify to some extent when exposed to temperatures as low as -4°F (-20°C), but it will still have a slow flow. Freezing honeycombs or frames is a common practice among beekeepers and farmers and does not harm the honey or the comb. Freezing honey preserves its nutrients and antimicrobial properties, but it is important to thaw it slowly and avoid extreme temperature changes.
Honey has an exceptional shelf life due to its high sugar content, low moisture content, acidity, and natural enzymes. While raw honey can be stored indefinitely without spoiling, processed honey may have less protection against bacteria. Crystallization is a natural process in honey and can be slowed by storing honey at room temperature or warmer. If honey does crystallize, it can be easily decrystallized by gently heating it.
Overall, honey is a versatile and long-lasting food that can be stored in a variety of ways to maintain its quality and freshness. Whether you choose to freeze honey for long-term storage or store it at room temperature, proper storage techniques and precautions will ensure that you enjoy its delicious taste and many benefits for a long time to come.


Can honey be frozen?

Yes, honey can be frozen, although it will not freeze solid. It will solidify to some extent, but will still have a slow flow.

Does freezing honey affect its taste or quality?

No, freezing honey does not affect its taste or quality. It is a viable method of keeping honey fresh.

Can honeycombs or frames be frozen?

Yes, honeycombs or frames can be frozen without damaging the honey or frame. Freezing honey in the comb can have several advantages.

Does freezing honey destroy its nutritional value?

No, freezing honey does not destroy its nutritional value. In fact, it helps preserve honey’s natural antimicrobial properties.

How long does honey last when properly stored?

Honey, when stored properly, can last indefinitely without spoiling. It is known for its exceptional shelf life.

What can be done when honey crystallizes?

If honey crystallizes, it can be easily decrystallized by gently heating it. Placing the jar in hot water or microwaving it at short intervals can help return it to its liquid state.