Can You Freeze Honey?

Technically speaking, honey cannot be frozen solid. This is because honey is a supercooled liquid. Therefore, it doesn’t become solid when it sits at a temperature below its freezing point.

As temperatures become colder, honey becomes more viscous instead, making it thicker and less runny. So while it can appear as though it is frozen, it will still flow but much slower.

But this doesn’t mean you can’t store it in the freezer. On the contrary, it may help you preserve its properties for longer.

To make things simple, I’ll keep referring to honey sitting in the freezer as frozen honey.

Frozen honey slowly oozing from an open squeeze bottle

Honey Freezing Point

Honey appears solid when frozen at -4 °F (-20 °C) but will still flow. At temperatures below -44 and -60ºF (-42 and -51ºC), honey enters a glassy state and becomes an amorphous solid.

So, what happens to honey when you store it in your freezer? Will it get hard like a rock at some point?

Given domestic and household fridges can get to a minimum temperature between -4 and -13 °F (-20 and -25 °C), it won’t get to the glass transition temperature because it’s too cold, even for your freezer.

While it will get harder to the touch than if it was at ambient temperature, you will notice it’s not completely solid. You can still squeeze it, and it will bend and change shape, although quite slowly.

I wanted to test this myself and bought a bottle of honey from a local supermarket and put it in the freezer.

After a couple of hours, it was already tougher than when I picked it up from the shelf.

It didn’t change that much after more than 12 hours in the freezer but less than 24. After that, it was a bit harder to squeeze but not significantly more.

You can tell it moves slow, and it takes more strength to make it come out of the bottle. It feels more like a harder silly putty you can bend and squeeze.

Does Freezing Honey Destroy Its Nutrients?

No, freezing honey doesn’t negatively affect the quality of honey. In fact, keeping it at low temperatures can be an excellent way to preserve honey long-term. This is especially important if it has higher moisture content and, therefore, a higher risk of fermentation.

By storing it at low temperatures, the natural yeast in honey will remain inactive. Therefore, there will be no risk of fermentation until it goes back to ambient temperature.

So, if you have a batch of honey with high water content and don’t plan to use it immediately, your best bet is to freeze it until you use it.

Crystallization is also completely stopped when honey is stored at temperatures below glass transition, i.e., -44 and -60ºF (-42 and -51ºC). However, this is not easy to achieve with household appliances.

How Long Can You Freeze Honey For?

You can store honey in the freezer for months without affecting its quality.

A 2016 study showed that freezing honey for 18 months at -4º F (-20ºC) didn’t change its quality significantly.

What Does Frozen Honey Taste Like?

Because lowering the temperature of honey doesn’t significantly affect its properties, the flavor of frozen honey is the same as honey at ambient temperature.

However, other elements like temperature and texture can affect the taste and the overall experience with it.

I wanted to try this for myself and ate about half a teaspoon of the honey I put in the freezer. It tasted the same, but it definitely felt different.

When you put it in your mouth, it feels cold and chewy. Then, after a few seconds, it starts dissolving and going back to its runny and familiar texture when it’s at room temperature.

I see why this has become a trend on TikTok. The novelty of the texture and the coldness can be very appealing.

But it doesn’t come without risks! For example, eating large amounts of honey at once can have undesirable side effects like abdominal pain and diarrhea – not to mention the long-term health problems of eating large amounts of sugar regularly.

How To Freeze Honey

Preserving honey by storing it in a freezer is quite simple. Here are some steps you can follow:

  1. Choose a suitable container.
    Glass is the preferred material to store honey. This will prevent it from absorbing excess moisture and the smells of the other food in the freezer. Regarding glass containers for freezer storage: make sure it’s made of tempered glass, or look for those labeled for freezer storage to ensure it won’t break during the process.
  2. Wash and dry the recipient well. Also, make sure it’s not hot before putting it in the freezer.
  3. Pour the honey. Leave some space between the honey and the lid.
  4. Clean the glass with a wet towel and then dry.
  5. Put it in the freezer.  To avoid temperature fluctuations, don’t place it on the door.
  6. Store it for as long as you need!

How To Unfreeze Honey

Although freezing honey doesn’t alter its properties, heating it can. So, if you’ve decided to freeze your honey while you’re not using it, don’t warm it up at any high temperature.

In my opinion, the safest way to do this is to take the honey out of the freezer and leave it thawing on your benchtop where it doesn’t receive direct sunlight.

Ensure the container is properly sealed as it could absorb moisture from the air, especially on a humid day.

Another option is using the microwave. It’s quick and can have the added bonus of reducing yeast spores which can decrease the risk of fermentation.

However, you have to be very careful. Processing honey by heating it carelessly can have undesirable effects.

For example, heating honey above 194 º F (90º C) can cause the sugars to caramelize. Therefore, make sure the power level in your microwave in combination with the duration doesn’t make your honey reach temperatures above 185 – 194º F (85 – 90 º C).

For safety reasons that have more to do with the glass recipient, you shouldn’t warm it up straight out of the freezer as the glass may shatter.

So… Can You Freeze Honey?

You can store honey in the freezer without altering the flavor or quality, but technically, you can’t freeze it solid. This is because honey doesn’t solidify completely, even at really low temperatures.

After keeping honey in a freezer, you will see an increase in viscosity which you will notice by how slow it flows as it gets colder.

Freezing honey can prevent fermentation and will preserve its quality.

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