If you are planning out your food storage stockpile, you are not going to want to overlook having honey in the mix, but it needs to be stored properly.
Long-term food storage can be a delicate process and it needs to be approached with careful consideration if you want to maximize the shelf life of your food items. Honey is known for having an exceptionally long shelf life provided that you approached storing it correctly.
If you want to keep honey for long-term food storage, you need to ensure that it is an ideal food-safe container that is going to be away from any moisture or sunlight. In addition, you want to keep your honey in a safe location that will be suitable for long-term food storage.
If you are looking for the perfect, natural product to add to your food storage system, there is really no better option than honey. This natural food item is the best way to add some sweetness to your life when relying on your emergency goods. It is often the case that when we plan out our food storage goods, we try to pick items that are going to be good for decades, which is already a very exceptional shelf life. However, with honey, you have the potential to rely on it for much more than that - with some honey lasting for literally thousands of years! This beats just about anything else in your food storage stockpile, which is why having some honey in your system is an absolute must. With that being said, just like any food item, you can only achieve the best shelf life from your goods by storing them properly. To help you understand this further, we are going to share with you our complete guide for long-term honey storage.
After extensively researching long-term honey storage, I have been able to gather enough information to create a guide on how to maximize its shelf life. My experience has taught me that the best way to achieve long-term storage from your honey is to ensure that you have eliminated all risks of contamination.
Long Term Honey Storage
These days, having a food storage stockpile at home is becoming a very popular practice in the United States. There are so many things that can go wrong in the world and you certainly do not want to be caught off guard when they do. We have been seeing an increase in natural disasters and global events that encourage us to take proper precautions for our survival - with a food storage system being one of the best measures that you can take to keep yourself and your family safe.
The reason that this is so important is that people tend to panic when an emergency arises. The grocery stores are generally flooded with desperate, panicked shoppers who are buying up everything that they can get their hands on. This is the last position that you want to find yourself in, which is why taking the time and initiative to plan out a food storage system is simply common sense.
There are a lot of great items for you to consider for your stockpile, but few can match up to the reliability that honey offers. With a shelf life that has been known to last for thousands of years, you really can’t go wrong with having some honey in the mix. However, the reason that there have been instances of honey lasting this long is due to the fact that it was stored in optimal conditions, which is why you are going to want to secure the product properly for long-term storage. Keep reading to learn more about long-term storage for honey.
Honey Storage Containers
Picking the right storage containers for your food items is always going to be critical. If you want to maximize the shelf life of any product (including honey), selecting a storage container that is designed for preventing contamination is the only way to secure the food item for the long haul.
You are going to find that there are a number of different methods for storing honey in different containers. Given that honey is such a resilient food item when it comes to storage, you have got more options to consider than with most things in your stockpile. Here are some examples of ideal storage containers for honey.
Surprisingly, the original package that your honey came in is actually going to be a very solid option for achieving long-term storage.
If the honey has been sealed in a package that is made out of glass such as a jar or a durable plastic container, then it is probably good to go - meaning that you can throw it into your stockpile just like that.
On the other hand, you may find some honey packages at the store are not going to be as suitable for long-term storage. We can commonly see honey being sold in pouch containers, which may appear to be a great option given that they are not likely to shatter when met with impact. However, these are going to be good for long-term food storage.
Theoretically, if the pouch stays fully intact, it will likely be good for a long time, but given that a thin package container can be ruptured much easier, it may lead to a form of contamination later on. The reason for this is that honey will deteriorate this kind of cheap plastic eventually and it can sabotage the product.
If you are going to rely on a plastic container, make sure that it is thick and durable. With that being said, the absolute best package would be honey that is sold in a jar.
A glass jar is going to be your best bet for achieving long-term storage for your honey. However, you may like a brand of honey or have found a deal on some, not in ideal packaging.
If that is the case, not all is lost. You can still use this honey in your stockpile by simply transferring it over to a glass jar.
Before you pour your honey into the glass jar, you must be certain that the jar is clean and completely sanitized, as this could otherwise lead to contamination. Mason jars are excellent for this but otherwise, any glass jar will do.
Glass jars are a crowd favorite among many food storage enthusiasts. However, glass jars are quite fragile and can break very easily when met with impact. If you can guarantee their security, then they are going to be perfect, but if you are having doubts - you should consider a food-safe plastic container instead.
Food Safe Plastic
There are a lot of excellent food-grade plastic containers on the market, which are perfect for storing your honey. When browsing your options, you want to always look for a label that says ‘food-safe’ specifically.
What is great about food-grade plastic containers is that they are often available in larger sizes than glass jars. Getting yourself a 5-gallon food-safe bucket is really the ultimate way to store your honey long-term in a container that is safe and reliable. These containers are very durable and designed to make food last as long as possible - with any chances of contamination being seriously mitigated.
If you are on the fence between storing your honey in a glass jar and a food-safe bucket, you can always combine the two methods. To do this simply fill up however many glass jars you want with your honey and then place them neatly inside of the food-safe bucket. This will give your honey jars an added layer of protection.
Honey Storage Environment & Locations
If you have found a great storage containment method for your honey, then the majority of the work to secure the shelf life of the item has been done. However, you do want to also consider the environment that you are going to store the product in, as well as the location.
The key thing to keep in mind when storing your honey is that you want to keep it away from moisture and sunlight at all costs. Contrary to virtually every other food storage item in your stockpile, having your honey be safe from oxygen is not going to be an issue.
When considering the environment of your storage location, you want to pick an area that is going to be cool and dry. Most standard homes have plenty of ideal places that are perfect for long-term honey storage. Let’s explore your options.
Pantry & Cupboards
If your kitchen has a pantry this is going to be a perfect place to store your honey.
A kitchen pantry will be dry and kept at a stable temperature for the majority of the time. In addition, this is a place that is away from sunlight.
If your pantry happens to lack space but you still want to keep your honey inside of your kitchen, then allocating an area in one of your cupboards will be just fine.
Basement & Garage
If your home has a basement, then you have one of the ultimate locations for storing your honey long-term, as well as virtually any other food storage item.
Basements are notorious for being cool and dry all year long and they generally are spacious enough to accommodate an entire food storage stockpile, which means that your honey will be out of your way and ready when you need it.
However, if you happen to not have a basement at home, then your garage is also going to be a very suitable place to store your honey - just make sure that it is not going to get damaged or sabotaged, as garages tend to get used more than basements.
With that being said, whether you decide to use your basement or your garage for your honey storage, you want to ensure that the area is going to be suitable long-term. These parts of your home are more likely to have pests such as rats, which could potentially interfere with your food storage system.
To prevent any issues with this, make sure that the area is kept clean. We would advise checking up on your goods routinely to inspect the area for any signs of rodents such as bite marks or droppings, as well as other contamination risks such as leaks.
A common characteristic of honey is that it tends to crystalize and become solid when stored long-term. Many people mistakenly assume that the honey is useless at this point and they will often throw it in the trash.
This is a totally natural occurrence and it does not mean that your honey has gone bad - you can still use it. If you find that your honey has crystallized, you can actually still consume it in its hardened form, as it is safe to eat and is still delicious like this. The reason that this happens is that the honey was kept in a colder environment, which lead it to solidify.
However, some people prefer to have honey back in its original form, which you can achieve. If you want to turn your honey back into liquid, you can place the crystalized honey inside of a pan to be heated on a stove. Turn the heat on to low or medium and stir the honey as it begins to liquify. You may want to add a tiny bit of water as you do this to achieve the exact viscosity that you want.
About THE AUTHOR
I have over a decade of experience in food and beverage management, including a ServSafe food safety qualification. As part of this qualification, I have been professionally trained in safe food storage.Read More About Mark Walker