Vintage honey, eat or toss?

jar of honey by microwave
Photo credit: Ask an Expert

I have a jar of honey from my parents that I think dates to 2010. Can you tell me whether it's good still? (It looks fine. It is partially crystalized, but looks ok.) 

- Deschutes County, OR

Your honey should be fine.

If you heat it up in a microwave or in a small water bath (about 2-3 inches of water in a saucepan), the crystals should dissolve. Be very careful - the jar will be hot. Honey can be heated to much higher temperatures than water. If heated in the microwave there could be some "spitting" or "popping" when you try to move the jar. Use hot mitts or hot pads.

If your honey was being stored with the two piece canning lid, that may have let in excess air and let the crystals to form. Ball has some nice white plastic screw-top caps in the canning section of stores that carry canning supplies. This might give your honey better protection and prevent some of the crystallization.

Glenda Hyde
Senior Instructor, Family and Community Health
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