Decrystallizing Honey





Introduction: Decrystallizing Honey

About: Jack-of-all trades, master of some. I would probably be much more modest if it wasn't for these delusions of granduer that I suffer from.

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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    20 Discussions


    2 years ago

    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.

    1 reply

    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....

    2 replies

    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.

    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.

    I did that with a glass honey jar the other day and didn't notice any taste-difference. But it had been a while since I last used some honey I could very easily not notice it at all.

    Yes, the microwave will revive the honey.but i do remove from bottle first as the plastic bottle was probably not intended to be heated.

    I transfer to a dish that goes in the microwave and its going very well in the microwave

    Mmmmmm.. looks even more delicious after the fact. Hey, i have an excellent recipe with lots of honey and specialness

    1 reply

    Wow, this just happened to me and i've just been using the crystals and all in my tea. I tried setting the bottle in hot water but i just ended up with water in the honey that leaked through the lid. Now i know how to save it! Yay!

    Great tip. I need to get that double boiler out more often. Also - FYI - leave it in the double boiler a little longer than you think you need to. And, clean the bottle completely before you put the honey back in. If you leave any honey crystals at all, you are "seeding" the honey and it will re-crystalize sooner rather than later.

    1 reply

    A very good point about the crystals.

    As a matter of fact that is how they make creamed honey ( aka spun honey, whipped honey, churned honey, etc)

    Don't let the name mislead you, it is actually finely crystallized honey.

    It is made by adding a small amount of the creamed honey to a container of uncrystallized honey so that the small crystals propagate through the host honey.

    I've never thought to use a double boiler! I always just try running the bottle it's in under hot water, which doesn't do much. I'll definitely try this next time. :)

    1 reply

    a really nice thing about using a double boiler setup is that it is much more forgiving when it comes to temperatures.
    While it is possible to burn what you are heating in a double boiler (especially if you let the water run out in the bottom pot) it is much less likely to happen than heating in a single pot.
    I tried the running it under hot water method previously too .. took forever to get very little results. :)
    I also tried submerging the bottle into boiling water. It worked for the honey that was below the water line but anything above the water took forever to slowly slide down and decrystallize.