Does Honey Go Bad?

Honey
Honey. Antonio M Rosario/Photographer's Choice/Getty Images

Question: Does Honey Go Bad?

Answer:

No, honey does not go bad. In fact, it's recognized as the only food that doesn't spoil.

It will, however, crystallize (becoming thick and cloudy) over time. If this happens, just remove the lid from the jar; place it in a pan of water; and heat it over low heat until the honey returns to its original consistency. If your honey is in a plastic container, be sure to pour it into another container first.

Keep a close watch over your pot, and adjust the heat down as needed. You don't want the water to come to a boil. Exposing the honey to too high of a temperature will kill the beneficial enzymes in your honey.

In a Hurry?

You can also heat your honey in the microwave. Just cook it for 30 seconds; stir it; and heat it again until the sugar dissolves back into the honey. Just know that this method is likely to kill all of the beneficial enzymes and special properties found in raw honey. Because of this, you may only want to use the microwave method to decrystallize pasteurized honey. All of those special qualities will already be missing from the honey.

Honey Storage and Usage Tips

To keep honey from crystallizing prematurely, keep your honey at room temperature. Storing your honey in the refrigerator will cause it to crystallize rapidly, and isn't necessary, since it doesn't go bad.

To ensure no honey goes to waste, spray your measuring cup or spoon with cooking oil or run it under hot water before you measure out your honey.

This will cause the honey to drop right out of the cup or spoon when you add it to a recipe, so nothing gets left behind. As expensive as honey is these days, you sure don't want to wash any of it down the drain.

Stuck lid? Run it under hot water for a minute to soften up the honey that's hardened around the rim.

The lid should loosen right up when you go to turn it again.

Honey Substitute

If you ever run out of honey, you can use one of these substitutes, until you're able to get to the store for another jar.

And here's my complete list of ingredient substitutions. It contains over 70 ingredient substitutions (and counting) to help you keep your recipes on track. Bookmark it or pin it, for easy reference whenever you need it.

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