Don’t Store Honey in Metal Cans

This was originally a light clover honey.

The other day we found a very old can of honey in my storage. Somehow, it had gotten pushed into a corner. Anyway, it was a metal can, now metal cans have a bad effect on honey if it is stored for long periods.  The honey turns black and the taste charges, it becomes much stronger.  If it gets too strong, you will not be able to eat it.

Upon opening this can, we found the honey to be crystallized and starting to turn black.  When I bought this honey, it was a mild tasting clover honey.  Now it tastes like a strong molasses.  Now I don’t mind crystallized honey, where I was raised overseas all the honey we got was crystallized.  It is great just spread on bread that way.  However, in this case because of the taste, we felt it would best be used for cooking.  We heated it at a low temperature and turned it back into a liquid and poured it into glass jars.  Do not over heat it because it will kill the healthy enzymes.  We will go ahead and used this honey like you would use molasses.  If it had been left in the can much longer, the taste would be too strong to use.

If you have any old honey in metal cans check them now and transfer the honey into another type of container.  In the correct containers, honey will never go bad.


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13 Responses to Don’t Store Honey in Metal Cans

  1. Lurker says:

    All my honey is stored in canning jars, the local guy I trade with puts all his in ball jars. Some jars are almost all crystallized and some have a bit of comb on the bottom. Is it OK to warm the ones with a little wax in a water bath? I love honey and have stored a bunch of local produced product but want to make sure it will be useful when needed.
    Your blog has been very helpful, thanks.

  2. I had no idea. Thank you.

  3. Hangtown Frank says:

    Thanks much.
    I have 3 cans that I’ll repackage into glass jars.

  4. Matt in Oklahoma says:

    I sent this to several beekeeper friends, good info, thanks for sharing

  5. Brady says:

    Yeah thats kinda interesting i had no idea that honey would do that in a metal can

  6. Hangtown Frank says:

    After reading your post I opened two 5 pound cans of honey that I had in storage for several years. They both had the same problem you describe. In both, the tin plating on the inside of the can had been almost totally corroded down to iron under the tin. Since tin and iron aren’t toxic I decided to repackage the honey into glass jars. The honey in the cans had darkened considerably but the taste is tolerable.
    Thanks much for your post.

  7. Mary says:

    I found some old honey in a plastic jug in the back of my mother’s cupboard. It has turned black and somewhat crystallized. Tastes okay.

  8. admin says:

    Stored in plastic it should be good almost indefinitely. If you want it liquid again, just heat it up.

  9. Sam says:

    I opened up some 30 yr. old honey I inherited. Somebody was moving and gave our family all their food storage. It was all stored in cans. The honey tastes pretty bad by itself. If I use it for baked goods like bread, do you think it will ruin the bread? Otherwise I have 30 lbs. of honey I’ll have to throw away.

    • admin says:

      I think it will show up in the baked goods, but I would try it to be sure. I am like you I hate to throw honey away, but sometimes you have to.

  10. Usually I do not read post on blogs, but I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, very nice post.
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  11. Amira says:

    Mine was stored for fifteen years only, and it was very black, and tasted of tin! My husband is worried about it being carcinogenic! Any body out there does know?

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