Kitchen Know-How: How To Decrystallize Honey

How to Decrystallize Honey; honey; solidified; hard honey; kitchen know how; how to melt honey; melt; how to soften; recipe; miel; como deritir; Spicie Foodie

I don’t drink sodas, I don’t like sweeten tea nor coffee, except for the occasional slightly sweetened iced tea. When I bake I try to use minimal sweeteners because I don’t want my mouth or lips sticking together from the sweetness. On those few occasions I reach for a sweetener honey is my first choice. I love the smell, color, consistency and taste of honey.

How to Decrystallize Honey; honey; solidified; hard honey; kitchen know how; how to melt honey; melt; how to soften; recipe; miel; como deritir; Spicie Foodie

Sometimes I also like to incorporate those lovely honey qualities into my savory dishes. When I have a sore throat or cough I like to mix a little honey with lime to soothe my throat. During episodes of hypoglycemia, when my sugar level drops, a teaspoon of honey helps tie me over until I can reach for a proper snack. In the winter time I like to make a soothing face mask of honey, yogurt and oatmeal to help prevent and smooth dry skin. I’ve also read that honey has been shown to have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal substance. Good quality honey is just a great natural ingredient to eat and use for cosmetic or medicinal purposes.

How to Decrystallize Honey; honey; solidified; hard honey; kitchen know how; how to melt honey; melt; how to soften; recipe; miel; como deritir; Spicie Foodie

Yes, I do love honey. But there is one thing I don’t like about honey, it crystallizes or solidifies. The only benefit of solid honey is that you can then spread some of it onto your morning toast. The texture will be a little grainy but it still tastes great. The negative side of a solid jar of honey is that when you want to spoon some out for a recipe or for a quick drizzle over yogurt, obviously you have a problem. Luckily the solution to that problem is quite simple. But first let’s explore the problem a bit, shall we?

How to Decrystallize Honey; honey; solidified; hard honey; kitchen know how; how to melt honey; melt; how to soften; recipe; miel; como deritir; Spicie Foodie

The Facts:
– When honey solidifies or crystallizes it is still edible, do not throw it out. Honey lasts for years.
– Crystallization is a natural process that occurs after three to six months of storage. If your honey does not solidify then it may be synthetic.

How to Decrystallize Honey; honey; solidified; hard honey; kitchen know how; how to melt honey; melt; how to soften; recipe; miel; como deritir; Spicie Foodie

Why it happens:
– “Over time, honey inevitably begins to crystallize, as the simple sugars revert back to sucrose.” (quote from NY times)

How to Decrystallize Honey; honey; solidified; hard honey; kitchen know how; how to melt honey; melt; how to soften; recipe; miel; como deritir; Spicie Foodie

How to prevent it:
– Do not store in the refrigerator.
– Do not store near heat and moisture of stove or oven.
– Store at a cool temperature between 50-70f or 10-21c.
– Make sure the container is airtight to prevent moisture loss.

How to Decrystallize Honey; honey; solidified; hard honey; kitchen know how; how to melt honey; melt; how to soften; recipe; miel; como deritir; Spicie Foodie

And this is how you decrystallize honey:
Place the tightly sealed jar of honey inside a pot or deep bowl. Heat some water*, pour the hot water into the pot or bowl with the sealed honey jar. Allow to sit until honey melts. OR I like to let the honey sit for 5 minutes, remove it from the pot, open it and stir to help it along then tightly seal the jar again and place back inside pot or bowl. I repeat the process until the honey has reached a liquid state or the consistency needed.

After the honey reaches the liquid state, remove from pot or bowl. Remove the jar from pot  and allow honey to cool or reach room temperature. Make sure to tightly seal and store at at a cool temperature between 50-70f or 10-21c.

*If you do not want to destroy the health properties of honey, it is important not to heat the water above 38C or 110F. Though of course that happens when honey is used in baking.*

How to Decrystallize Honey; honey; solidified; hard honey; kitchen know how; how to melt honey; melt; how to soften; recipe; miel; como deritir; Spicie Foodie

 

A few Spicie Foodie recipes that use honey:
Fresh Figs with Prosciutto and Spiced Balsamic Glaze
Mandarin Miso Salmon Medallions
Apple Honey Cake for My Honey and Life
Lemongrass and Pandan Lemonade
Strawberry Pomegranate Limeade
Banana Mango Yogurt Popsicles (and Mother Nature is a Tease)

honey recipes; miel; recetas; recipes; savory; dessert; drinks; fish; ham; salad; tea; Spicie Foodie

Sources quoted:
New York Times and Slash Food

 

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie

 

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the great tips. I just noticed one of my honey bottles started to crystallize and I went out a bought another one. Unfortunately, it’s in a plastic bottle so I’m not sure I can put it into boiling water. I think I will cut the bottle open and see if I can scrap the honey out into a glass container. Yes.. I’m typing out loud to myself. LOL! Thanks for letting me know the honey is still good. :)

  2. says

    Great post with lots of useful tips here. Honey truly is an amazing food. I read a fact somewhere that jars of honey were found in Tutankhamen tomb, and although they had crystallised they were still perfectly edible, after thousands of years.

  3. says

    Thanks for the info on honey! Honey is such an ant magnet in the pantry during summer months, I have to store it in the fridge where it crystallizes right away so this will come in handy;-)

  4. says

    This was a surprise to me as I didn’t know you would seal the jar to heat it in water. Great tip. I live where I can get such great local honey and pollen. This is good to know.

    • says

      I think if you leave it open then it will allow too much moisture to escape from the honey. But if you leave it open than steam or water could enter the honey and dilute it.

  5. says

    I loved this article! Great tips. The last time my honey crystalized, I threw it away. I also appreciate all you can do with honey as well as your reasons for preferring it. A great read! Thanks!

  6. Bethany East says

    Wow, I’m surprised so many people didn’t know how what to do when their honey crystallized!! Definitely do NOT throw away your honey, such a waste!!

    • says

      Hi Carolyn,

      I decrystallized mine last week and it is still smooth. Usually I don’t have the problem because I buy small jars and go through them fast. But I would assume it would stay decrystallized for a while. If not you can always do it again:)

  7. says

    Thanks so much for this information. I learned a few things here. Especially interesting about the synthetic. Geez, you have to watch these food manufacturers like a hawk. I’m wondering if a microwave would work with a plastic bottle?

    • says

      Yes, you really have to be careful of what you buy. That is why I always advocate readying labels. I wouldn’t microwave a plastic bottle. In case of a melt down, that would not be a mess you’d want to clean up. Instead I would suggest places some of the crystallized honey in a microwave safe container then microwaving in that.

  8. says

    To keep the beneficial effects of honey, it is important that you don’t heat it over 45 degrees Celcius. Putting the jar in boiling water is fine to decrystallize, but you will destroy all the good properties of the honey…. So use water of a lower temperature, or put the jar in a sunny window-sill to prevent overheating. The microwave is not safe either, because of heating with microwaves the honey will heat uneven. To decrystallize all the honey the sum of the colder and the hotter parts will be most likely over 45C, it is just too difficult to control.
    By the way, not all honey crystallizes, it depends on what the bees ate when they made the honey.

    • says

      Hi,

      Thank you for the tips. I did just find the info about the not heating it over 38c or 110f. But as far as the”not all honey crystallizes” I did not find any information to back that up. Instead all I found said that it all indeed does crystallize. But depending on the variety the crystallization will happen at different stages. Do you have a link where you can verify the information you’ve referenced here?

  9. says

    Great tip to share, Nancy. I buy tons of honey since we use it a lot at home and I have had to dip my jar in warm water at times to get the honey back to the right consistency. It really does work and it’s super easy. :)

  10. says

    I can’t believe I never knew this! I’ve thrown away crystallised honey before – I knew it was still edible, but not all that pleasant to eat – but if I’d known it was this easy I could have saved it!

  11. says

    Great advice…I’ve always used the microwave, but your method sounds better. And I didn’t know there was synthetic honey…ugh! Have a great weekend, Nancy!

  12. says

    Unfortunately, no link :-( I got the info from some bee keeping friends who learned that in their course bee keeping, that some honey never crystallizes. I guess that if you store the honey for some years, in the end it will start to crystallize, but usually it is already used up before that moment. One of the jars I got from them stayed fluid the whole time (I kept this special honey for special moments), but when I got a new jar, it was already crystallizing. So the timeframe in which honey will crystallize is very, very broad…
    And about the heating, it is of course not very useful to decrystallize very careful to not destroy the enzymes and other beneficial stuff in there, and then bake with it. But I guess that everyone can think of that themselves :-)

    Oh, and I do like your post a lot! It shares knowledge and prevends people from throwing perfectly okay food away, that is always a good thing!

    • says

      Hi Ena,

      Well, yes if you do not have honey for long you will not see it crystallize. Also the storing conditions will have a lot to do with the rate of crystallization.

      Thanks!

  13. says

    Nice write-up, Nancy. I’ve always nuked my crystallised honey – I wonder now if that destroys the health properties? I suppose it’s not called nuking for nothing – LOL! Will have to change tactics and try it your way. Also worth mentioning is the idea of whipping it, as per Tamara’s recent post on Honest Cooking.

  14. says

    I opened my cupboard this morning and saw a beautiful jar all crystalized and thought, “Oh crap, I do not want to throw this out.”

    Thank you so much!
    Matthew
    alunchboxblog.com

  15. says

    Great tips sweetie! I notice when I have my honeys up in the cabinet close to my tea collection (yes there is a collection for both), they end up with some crystallization. They do fine in the pantry though, but I am too lazy to walk that far, lol.

  16. says

    That was useful, esp the part about not heating above a certain temperature ! Good post ! Lovely pics ! Congrats on being featured on daily buzz !

  17. says

    awesome tips, now I have to make sure the next kind I buy is in a glass jar, mine was rock hard in a plastic container..such a waste of money. Wished I saw this before I threw it out.. Not sure if I could have save it though couldn’t get it out of the plastic.. thanks Nancy!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>