Decrystallizing Honey





Introduction: Decrystallizing Honey

It is very rare that Honey actually goes bad.  The most common affliction facing honey is crystallization. 

Picture it .. There is your honey,  minding it's own business.  Nestled snugly in its little plastic bear shaped bottle.  All golden and see through.  Then one day ... *BAM* .. your honey gets all cloudy and grainy.  It stops taking your calls.  It won't come out of the cabinet.  And the big dance is coming up next weekend.  *sigh*

Don't throw that Honey out just yet.  It can be saved.

Step 1: Salvation in One Easy Step

Grab your double boiler.  Don't panic if you don't have a double boiler ( I don't)  you can make one out of two pots. 
Put about an inch of water in the bottom of the double boiler and turn on the heat.
Put your crystallized honey into the top of the double boiler.
Warm the honey until the crystals dissolve.

Step 2: Bill Nye Time

At around 100 degrees the crystals will begin to dissolve.

by the time the honey gets up to around 140 degrees all the crystals should be gone.

Pour you honey into its container and let it cool.




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Has this been approved by Winnie the Pooh?

At 140 degrees you've over cooked it and it no longer carries the same benefits as the original honey. If you are using store bought big manufacturer honey, probably wasn't raw anyway. Best way - warm up a bowl of water (not boiling) and put your jar of honey into it. Possible to warm a hand towel and wrap it around your jar to get it to dissolve as well. Note, once you cook as mentioned above, it continues to crystallize.

I think there are fragile nutrients in honey that are easily destroyed by high temperatures. I never put honey in the microwave or on the stove... even direct sun comes under suspicion, so the dashboard idea is "out" - a "hot car" scenario would probably be adequate and do the job nicely without overheating the honey. I avoid buying honey in plastic containers (due to chemical leaching, BPH concerns, etc.)... instead, opt for glass. When honey crystallizes, avoid the hassle and mess by setting it near (or on) a heat vent, in an hot room (out of direct sunlight) or near the stove when baking. .. that way if the honey crystallizes, immerse the (glass) jar into hot water (in a pan or bowl) just up to the point where the jar won't float... this is the fastest, least invasive way if you need it in liquid form right away. I heat the honey only with passive external sources like those mentioned earlier (no microwaves or stoves) ...

Lazy man's solution for the remedy of crystallized honey: on the morning of a warm and sunny day, park a car somewhere with full exposure to the sun, put the container of crystallized honey on the dashboard where it will be exposed to sunlight, let the container sit in the car until the sun goes down, at which point you can remove the container, the honey having been de-crystallized with the aid of the sun and without the Bill Nye mess. An effortless viola....

It doesn't take nearly this long and you don't want to over cook the honey. I had one exactly like the one in the pictures above at my work. I put it on the dash of my car on a warm spring day and in about 2 hours the honey was so hot it had melted the bottom of the container a little bit. It made the container look like the leaning tower. Luckily the continer was still whole and I didn't spill honey all down through my dash. I suggest checking on the honey every 20 minutes while doing the "dashboard" cook.

thats a great idea!

How about dropping the container in the microwave for a wee bit ?

according to the internet ....

"Do not heat honey in the microwave as this alters its taste by increasing its hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) content."

and if it is on the internet it has got to be true :)

I haven't tried to microwave honey yet .. because the bottle was to big to fit in the microwave.

I don't know if the taste gets affected radically by microwaving, but I know it is fine if you warm it up on the stove the way I did, or by immersing the container in hot water.

Heat produces the HMF. Doesn't matter whether from a pan or a microwave. And it's only 1-10% of the concentration you get in a cup of coffee. Honey is supersaturated. Just add a teaspoon of dihydrogen monoxide before heating to keep the crystals and HMF levels down.