Does Mike’s Hot honey need to be refrigerated after opening?

Mike’s Hot Honey is a popular chili pepper infused honey that adds a delicious blend of sweetness and heat to all kinds of foods. This versatile condiment can be used as a topping on everything from pizza to chicken wings. Many fans of Mike’s Hot Honey wonder if it needs to be refrigerated after opening. Here is a look at whether or not Mike’s Hot Honey requires refrigeration once opened.

Quick Answer

Mike’s Hot Honey does not need to be refrigerated after opening. It can be stored at room temperature in a cool, dry place. Refrigeration is not required to maintain the quality and flavor of Mike’s Hot Honey.

Does Mike’s Hot Honey Contain Preservatives?

Mike’s Hot Honey contains natural preservatives that allow it to be safely stored at room temperature after opening. According to the ingredients list, Mike’s Hot Honey contains citric acid and potassium sorbate. These serve as preservatives to prevent microbial growth and maintain safety without refrigeration.

Citric acid is a weak organic acid found naturally in citrus fruits. As a preservative, citric acid lowers the pH of food and creates an unfavorable environment for bacteria, mold, and other microorganisms to grow. Potassium sorbate is a popular food-grade preservative that inhibits the growth of fungi and molds.

The combination of citric acid and potassium sorbate at specific levels ensures Mike’s Hot Honey has adequate preservation to prevent spoilage at room temperature for several months after opening. Refrigeration can extend the shelf life further but is not required.

What Does Mike’s Hot Honey Say About Refrigeration?

Mike’s Hot Honey does not provide any instruction to refrigerate after opening on its packaging or website. This implies that the product is formulated to remain safe and shelf-stable at room temperature over a reasonable timeframe once opened.

Mike’s Hot Honey bottles feature a “best by” date to indicate the end of the unopened product’s optimal freshness period. However, there is no further guidance to refrigerate after opening. The website’s product FAQs also do not mention refrigeration requirements.

The lack of any instructions to refrigerate Mike’s Hot Honey after opening confirms it can safely be stored in a pantry or cupboard with other room temperature condiments.

How Should You Store Mike’s Hot Honey After Opening?

To get the most out of your Mike’s Hot Honey, it is best to store it properly after opening. Follow these tips for storing Mike’s Hot Honey:

  • Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
  • Do not store near heat sources like the stove, oven, or dishwasher.
  • Store at room temperature – ideally between 60°F to 85°F.
  • Keep the lid tightly sealed to prevent moisture loss.
  • Do not store in the refrigerator as cold temperatures can cause honey to crystallize and harden over time.
  • Store honey away from other foods with strong odors that could be absorbed.

By keeping Mike’s Hot Honey stored in a cool, dry place in its original container with the lid tightly fastened, it can maintain optimal quality and flavor for several months past opening.

Will Mike’s Hot Honey Go Bad at Room Temperature?

Mike’s Hot Honey contains ingredients that prevent it from spoiling when stored properly at room temperature after opening. The citric acid and potassium sorbate preservatives preserve the honey, allowing it to stay safe non-refrigerated.

Honey itself has natural antimicrobial properties that discourage bacterial growth. Its low moisture content and acidic pH make it difficult for microorganisms to thrive. When blended with chili peppers and preservatives, Mike’s Hot Honey gains even more protection against spoilage.

Provided it is stored in a cool, dry location in a tightly sealed container, Mike’s Hot Honey can resist mold, yeast, and bacterial growth for months without refrigeration. Any crystals that form are naturally occurring and do not indicate spoilage.

How Long Does Opened Mike’s Hot Honey Last?

Mike’s Hot Honey can maintain top quality for 2-3 months after opening when stored properly at room temperature. Over time, the honey may start to crystallize and the chili flavors can begin to fade, but it will remain safe to consume. Refrigeration after opening can extend the shelf life to up to a year before quality loss is noticeable.

If you see any mold growing on Mike’s Hot Honey, it should be discarded. But this is uncommon when stored in the right conditions. The citric acid and potassium sorbate preserve the honey to prevent spoilage bacteria from growing.

Keep in mind that Mike’s Hot Honey, like any honey product, has a limited lifespan after opening even with preservatives. For peak flavor and texture, aim to use up Mike’s Hot Honey within a few months of first opening it.

Signs Mike’s Hot Honey Has Gone Bad

Mike’s Hot Honey stored at room temperature has a relatively long shelf life after opening, but it can eventually go bad. Here are some signs to watch for that may indicate your Mike’s Hot Honey is no longer good to consume:

  • Mold growth – visible mold growing on the surface of the honey indicates spoilage.
  • Fermentation – honey that has fermented will smell and taste unpleasantly sour.
  • Rancid smell – when oxidized and exposed to moisture, the aroma becomes stale and unpleasant.
  • Change in consistency – a very thick or crystallized texture that will not melt when stirred could mean spoilage.
  • Wetness – if condensation forms inside the lid, the honey has attracted moisture and could be prone to mold.

As long as it is stored properly, Mike’s Hot Honey can stay fresh for months after opening without refrigeration. But check periodically for any signs of spoilage. If there are any quality changes or you have had the honey for over a year, it is best to replace it with a fresh bottle.

Should You Refrigerate Mike’s Hot Honey to Extend Its Shelf Life?

While refrigeration is not required for Mike’s Hot Honey once opened, you can choose to keep it in the refrigerator if you want to extend its shelf life and slow quality deterioration over time.

The cool temperature of refrigeration between 35°F to 40°F can help Mike’s Hot Honey maintain optimum flavor and consistency for a longer period. It retards the growth of any yeasts and molds that could develop over many months and slows the development of crystals in the honey.

Refrigerating Mike’s Hot Honey can prolong its shelf life from 2-3 months to up to 12 months when properly stored. Just keep in mind that the honey may crystallize and need to be gently warmed to restore its original smooth, pourable texture when ready to use.

Tips for Refrigerating Mike’s Hot Honey

  • Store Mike’s Hot Honey in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
  • Use a clean, dry spoon each time when removing honey to prevent contamination.
  • After a month or two, you may need to gently warm it to reliquefy any crystals that form.
  • Check periodically for any signs of mold growth, fermentation or moisture.
  • Replace when you notice changes in aroma, flavor, or texture.

Refrigerating Mike’s Hot Honey is optional but can help maximize the opened bottle’s lifespan. However, proper storage at room temperature also keeps it safe and shelf-stable for months.

Can You Freeze Mike’s Hot Honey?

Mike’s Hot Honey can be frozen to extend its shelf life even further than refrigeration. Freezing is not required, but it can prolong the honey’s lifespan to up to 2 years when stored properly.

To freeze Mike’s Hot Honey, place the opened bottle in an airtight freezer bag or container. Make sure to squeeze out excess air before sealing to prevent freezer burn. Lay flat in the freezer for optimum storage.

When ready to use, thaw Mike’s Hot Honey in the refrigerator overnight. Give it a good stir once thawed and liquid to disperse any crystals. Frozen honey may have some texture changes but will be safe to consume.

Tips for Freezing Mike’s Hot Honey

  • Only freeze honey that is already opened.
  • Use freezer-safe packaging like plastic containers or bags.
  • Label package with name and freeze date.
  • Freeze for up to 2 years for best quality.
  • Thaw slowly in the refrigerator before use.
  • Honey will become thicker and crystallize when thawed.

Freezing gives Mike’s Hot Honey the longest shelf life after opening. But it can still keep well in the pantry for months without any refrigeration or freezing required.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why doesn’t Mike’s Hot Honey need to be refrigerated?

Mike’s Hot Honey does not require refrigeration after opening because it contains citric acid and potassium sorbate as natural preservatives. These ingredients inhibit microbial growth and prevent spoilage without needing refrigeration.

Can Mike’s Hot Honey be left out overnight?

Yes, Mike’s Hot Honey can safely be left out overnight without refrigeration. Its shelf-stable formula allows it to be kept at room temperature for months when properly stored.

How can you tell if Mike’s Hot Honey has gone bad?

Signs that Mike’s Hot Honey has gone bad include mold growth, fermentation odors, change in texture and consistency, excess moisture, or rancid smells. If Mike’s Hot Honey develops any off characteristics, it should be discarded.

What happens if Mike’s Hot Honey crystallizes?

Crystallization is a natural process in honey that does not affect safety. Simply submerge the jar in warm water for 5-10 minutes to gently reliquefy crystallized Mike’s Hot Honey before use.

Should I put Mike’s Hot Honey in the fridge after opening?

Refrigeration is optional for Mike’s Hot Honey after opening. While not required, refrigeration can help extend its shelf life further to up to one year when stored properly.


Mike’s Hot Honey contains natural preservatives that allow it to be safely stored at room temperature without refrigeration after opening. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from light and heat for 2-3 months of optimal quality. While not mandatory, refrigeration can prolong its shelf life up to a year. Freezing is also an option for long term storage. With proper storage and handling, opened Mike’s Hot Honey can last for many months before it is used up.

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