I was wondering what temperature is suitable to store honey bought from stores?

Now in the summer, it can be around 30+ Celsius, and even nearly 40 on some day. Do you suggest keeping honey while being consumed in the refrigerator? If not, what harm can that cause?

  • 1
    fun fact: honey is the only food stuff that never spoils. Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 7:23

5 Answers 5


Honey should be stored at 50-70 Degrees Fahrenheit

Honey is similar in to olive oil and should be storaged between 50-70 Degrees Fahrenheit according to Max Shrem from Slashfood:

Similar to olive oil, honey should be stored at a cool temperature between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit. So, it's best to store it away from your oven or stove. Also, it should not be refrigerated. Extreme changes in temperature will spoil the flavor of honey.

Looks like this confirms that you may want to keep it in a cool place and away from hot temperature where it would cause honey to degrade in quality.

Shrem from Slashfood continues:

Remember Do not store honey in a refrigerator or near a stove or oven. Store it in an air-tight container.

Thus, choosing an appropriate container is an important part of the equation.

Penn State has a great article germane to this topic.

Refrigerating Honey

In the article, it talks mentions the crystallizing state of honey if it is refrigerated in no way it harms the honey at all.

Restoring honey from a crystalized form

I know this is not related to your question. But something you asked in the comments. Apparently, honey can be restored from it's crystalized form: placing it in the microwave for 20 seconds can restore it from a crystallized form.

Therefore, you can store it in the refrigerator and heat it afterwards. The downside is that if stored in the fridge too long it'll turn hard and sugary.

Proper Storage Container

Since honey has very little moisture in it it is difficult for microorganisms to grow. Thus, an airtight container is of utmost importance.

If moisture gets in the container it can be an ideal environment for mold and yeast to grow. Honey should be thrown out if it foams and smells like alcohol

Long Term Storage of Honey

Honey can be stored for long periods of time without any issue. Over time, honey will darken and intensify with flavor.

  • Thanks! Why not in refrigerator? Does that do harm?
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 17:53
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    It'll crystalize
    – chrisjlee
    Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 18:52
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    "turn hard and sugary" and "crystallize" are the same thing. It's not right to refer to that as degrading, since it's entirely reversible and harmless. You can put crystallized honey in your tea or other hot drink without effect, and as a child I liked crystallized honey for sandwiches because it was crunchy and fun. It's only inconvenient and hard to get out of the jar. It doesn't become unhealthy or spoiled or bad. Commented Aug 8, 2011 at 20:03
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    Only some honey crystallizes. Canadian cream-style honey, for example, maintains perfect texture and flavor throughout freezing and refrigeration. My mother-in-law recently found some pure clover honey from the '80s in her deep freezer. When thawed and heated slightly and used as usual, it was absolutely amazing.
    – justkt
    Commented Aug 9, 2011 at 17:58

When I was a child, we used to keep honey (taken from our own bees, and not pasteurized or whipped or whatever) in the root cellar, where it was dark, and cool but not cold. This was a situation where some of it would be kept for years. Sometimes when honey gets cold it crystallizes, which is really no big deal - just sit the closed jar in warm water from the tap for a few hours, stir, maybe repeat. Or scrape off however much you need with a sturdy spoon, and carry on with your life as though it wasn't crystallized. It's harmless, just inconvenient. Totally reversible if the inconvenience is getting to you.

If you just have a jar of it in your house, and you go buy another when it runs out, I don't think it matters. Keep it where the ants are least likely to find it (for us this means out on a kitchen counter rather than away in a cupboard) but not in the fridge. That's what we do with whatever current jar we're using. The honey stores (from my adult hives, which have since died since I was not as good a beekeeper as my Dad, or perhaps it's because mites and such are a much bigger deal now, but anyway we're working through a dwindling store over a multi year period) are in the cool dark (but heated) room in the basement where we keep all our canned goods.

  • Thanks! Why not in refrigerator? Does that do harm?
    – Tim
    Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 17:53
  • 3
    In the fridge it might crystallize. And even if it doesn't, it will be thicker and harder to pour, spoon, or spread. Commented Aug 7, 2011 at 18:02

One of the wonderful properties of honey is that if it crystallizes all you need do is put it in a microwave (or warm it some other way) and it is just as good as it has ever been.


Honey crystallizes quickest at 14C (57F). Above this temperature the rate of crystallization decreases until by 32C (90F) it will stay runny. Similarly, below 14C the rate of crystallization decreases until by 0C (32F) it will be frozen solid and no crystallization can occur.

You might deduce then that keeping it warm is best but this results in an increase in enzyme activity which increases the level of of a chemical called Hydroxymethylfurfural which is, apparently, bad for us. Here in the UK it's illegal to sell honey for human consumption is the level exceeds 40mg per Kg. The darkening of honey is also due excessive warmth/enzyme activity. So, from health perspective and to avoid degradation of the honey, in the fridge is best. I have to admit though that I don't keep mine in there (but it's not normally very warm here!).

FYI, Honey crystallizes differently according to the types of sugar present in the nectar. Those high in Glucose set quickly with a fine crystal, those high in Fructose set slowly with a large crystal. "Cream-style" honey is honey that has set solid (preferably small crystal) then warmed just enough to allow it to be mechanically agitated which breaks the bonds between the individual crystals and results in the lovely smooth texture.

Hope that helps.


I buy honey in 5lb. plastic jugs, 6 per case. if it crystallizes I warm it in my crock pot in water. a better way to store is on the top shelf In my pantry ( heat rises) so far none stored there has crystalised.


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