As good and nutritious honey is for our health, the concept of freezing it is not that easy. Since honey contains a high saccharine level in it, the product doesn’t necessarily solidify and freeze but attains a crystal-like appearance when frozen in ideal temperatures.
Real honey is not a joke to harvest and find. It is of high-quality and nutritional value, which justifies why people are always so careful about storing it.
Not every component of the real and natural honey freezes to solid. Generally, it needs to be frozen at -4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not readily available in the refrigerators found in our homes.
Here, I will share every last detail that you need to know about freezing honey and why it is considered such a confusing subject, in general.
Why does Honey Not Freeze?
Technically, when you put your honey in an airtight container in the freezer, it will appear solidified and frozen from the outside, but it is actually in its crystal form instead.
The high levels of saccharine in the raw and natural honey prevents it from freezing. If you are buying the store-bought honey, which has mixed proportions of water in it, they tend to freeze a lot better, in comparison.
Moreover, honey needs an ideal temperature of less than 4 degrees Fahrenheit, which is not commonly found in the refrigerators you have at home.
What is Honey’s Freezing Point?
Another common question that people have concerning freezing honey is its freezing point. Even though the honey’s viscous property seems frozen solid in lower temperatures, it flows at a prolonged rate.
Ideally, the honey starts solidifying at -20 degrees celsius, which can then turn the honey into an amorphous solid form at -51 degrees celsius.
Even the beekeepers tend to store their honey between -4 and -20 degrees celsius to retain the product’s nutritive value.
If you are planning on freezing your honey, it is essential that you avoid exposing it to rampant temperature fluctuations.
Does Freezing Honey Degrade the Nutritive Value?
It is standard for people to assume that freezing honey could alter its nutritional quotient. But, technically, it doesn’t.
Storing the honey in the freezer doesn’t affect its nutritional balance and retains the antimicrobial and other healthy properties you’d typically expect from honey.
If you are reheating the honey multiple times or consistently freezing and thawing it, that can affect the nutritional value. It generally affects the quality of the honey and forms crystals in the viscous liquid.
Constant freezing and thawing also add moisture to the honey, which, in turn, affects the quality of the product.
If you plan to freeze the honey for future use, try and store them in small airtight glass containers in individual batches. It will prevent you from thawing the entire batch every time you want to use it.
How to Freeze Honey Correctly?
With so many myths surrounding freezing honey and the nutritional value of this byproduct, it is common for people not to freeze the honey the right way.
Here, I am going to walk you through each step so it’s easier for you to understand.
- Start by picking out some good quality airtight glass containers for this. Clean the containers before filling them with honey.
- Once done, fill the jar with raw or organic honey, leaving about an inch gap from the container’s lid. It provides more room for expansion when the honey solidifies.
- Once you have filled the jar, take a damp cloth and clean the spills around the jar and the lid. It is crucial to prevent solidification on the outside of the jar. Let the jar dry from the outside before you freeze it.
- If you have many things in the freezer, pack the jars of honey in a ziplock bag and then store them in the freezer. It prevents the mixing of external odor into the honey.
- The last thing to do is set the ideal temperature for the freezing process to begin. A temperature between -24 to -4 degrees Fahrenheit is considered ideal.
Can you Freeze Honeycombs and Frames?
Another common thing to know is the process of freezing the honeycombs or the frames. It is mainly done by the beekeepers who prefer freezing the honey in the comb instead of extracting it.
Aside from the ease of storage and better retention of the nutrients in the honey, freezing it with the comb also kills any remnant wax moths and their larvae in the honey. This makes it safe for the consumption of the consumers.
The freezing process is pretty similar to standard honey; just ensure that you cover the comb in a plastic wrap before freezing it.
Is it Safe to Refrigerate Honey?
Till now, we have discussed freezing honey, but what about refrigerating it? Honey can be refrigerated and is often done in the majority of the households.
The one change in the physical characteristics that you will see is crystallization. The saccharines in the honey tends to become crystallized when exposed to lower temperature settings.
The only downside is that the repeated crystallization and reheating process affects the nutritional value of the honey.
So, if you have honey at home, try and consume it within the expiration date and store it at room temperature instead.
How to Thaw Frozen Honey?
The thawing process is pretty straightforward and can be done in two ways. If you are in a rush, use a microwave and if you do have time in hand, use a bowl of warm water. Generally, the warm water technique is considered ideal.
Using a Microwave
- If you are using a microwave, make sure that you bring the jar to room temperature first. Avoid taking it out of the freezer and then chucking it into the microwave. That can result in a disaster.
- Once you have put it in the microwave, set the timer for 20-30 seconds intervals, and keep checking.
- If required, you can take a spoon and stir the contents now and then.
- Avoid “heating” the honey during the process.
Using Warm Water
- Take a bowl of warm water and place the jar of honey inside it.
- The warmth from the boiling water will eventually melt the solid crystals and help you thaw the frozen honey in no time.
Freezing honey can be a very tricky and strenuous process. If you plan on doing it, I’d suggest you follow every last detail mentioned in the guide above to get the desired results. Retaining the quality and the nutrients in the honey is crucial. So, freezing it the right way is essential, and I hope this article helped.