How to Decrystallize Honey

201,157

141

79

Published

Introduction: How to Decrystallize Honey

About: I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!

Honey is delicious. Smooth and sweet. If it sits in your cupboard too long, it could start to crystallize. This doesn't mean it is bad, you just need to fix it, decrystallize it. It is very easy to do, and doesn't take that long.

Step 1: Supplies

Not much is needed to fix your crystallized honey.

  • Crystallized Honey
  • Glass Jar (if honey is in a plastic container) - cover is optional and if you use one, make sure you don't put it on the jar very tight, keep it loose
  • Saucepan / Pot / an Asparagus Pot also works GREAT for this as it will use much less water
  • Stove
  • Water

We will be using the stove top, I do not know if you can use a microwave to do this, but I would think you could.

Many people in the comments also recommend just throwing your container of crystallized honey in the dishwasher and letting it sit through cycles until it is back to normal! Just make sure it is closed tightly so it doesn't leak :)

Step 2: Move to Glass Jar and Heat

If your honey is in a plastic jar, move it into a glass one. You need to be able to put it in a pan of water on the stove. I used a knife to stab the crystallized honey and scooped out what I could with a spoon that fit through the mouth of the container.

Once it is transferred to the glass container, put it in a pot of water on the stove. Now turn the stove on to low to medium heat. You want it barely simmering, no boiling [mine got a bit too hot at one point (started to try to boil) and the jar was trying to dance around in the pan so I turned it down until it stopped doing that]. Do not submerge the whole jar. I recommend having the water level up to the level of the honey if you can. Also, it is good to avoid having the jar sit on the bottom of the pan by using a trivet as sharpstick suggested in the comments. If you use an asparagus pot, it already has a nice basket in it you can put the jar on :)

Note: If you put the lid on, like I did, make sure it isn't super tight, you want to make sure air can escape and the jar doesn't explode.

Let it sit in the water for 20-30 minutes. Feel free to stir it as it sits there to help it along (probably don't want a lid on if you are going to stir it). I think mine was there for 35, but I was just being careful since it was my first time doing it. You can just set a timer and let it sit if you want. I used tongs to lift my jar up once in a while and swish the honey around to watch its progress.

Once you no longer see any crystals forming, you can turn it all off and take the jar out to cool. Your honey shouldn't recrystallize, but if it starts too, you can heat it up again on the stove until it looks right, then move it to a bowl of warm water. This will prevent it from cooling too fast.

I don't know how old of honey it will work on, but if my label is right, my honey is 4 years old and I was still able to de-crystallize it. Don't judge. It's just sugar.

Step 3: Enjoy Your Honey

Now you can take those leftover KFC biscuits you have been wanting to eat for the last few hours and finally enjoy them with honey.

2 People Made This Project!

Recommendations

  • Stick It! Contest

    Stick It! Contest
  • Pets Challenge

    Pets Challenge
  • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    Colors of the Rainbow Contest
user

We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.

6 Tips

The microwave works fine too, but either way I just let it half liquify, stirring quite often, to produce creamed honey; much less messy than liquid honey, and much better for spreading on toast or whatever. I've never found a problem with repeating this process whenever needed.

The water should be no hotter than 110 or 112. Any hotter than that and you will destroy the natural health benefits.

A microwave will do the job, but do not place the plastic container with honey in a microwave with the top sealed. Remember to open it or you will have a microwave with an interior coating of your now molten honey. Trust me on this :P

Simply heating the crystalized honey will make it molten, but it will just recrystallize once it returns to room temperature. Furthermore, heating it uncovered will cause moisture loss which allows even easier crystal formation.

If you want to keep old honey fluid, you should turn the sucrose into invert syrup by acidifying it while you heat it. Add ~1/8 tsp of citric acid or cream of tartar per pound of honey and keep the temp below 140°F.

In invert sugar, the sucrose molecules are broken down into its constituent molecules of glucose and fructose. Neither of these molecules prefer to be in crystal form as much as sucrose does, and the whole mixture is actually sweeter due to fructose being ~200x sweeter on its own than sucrose.

The resulting honey will remain more fluid, taste sweeter but it may not behave entirely the same as pure honey for cooking applications where you need sugar to carmelize. It may function as a dough conditioner in baking.

If I notice my honey starting to crystallize I put the jar in my dishwasher. After a few loads it is usually back to liquid.

I always use my microwave for this purpose, and it works just fine.

Questions

79 Comments

My kids won't eat crystallized honey because of the texture so this is where I make my flu season medicine. Put the crystallized honey in a blender and add lemon juice from fresh lemons, minced garlic and a couple pinches of thyme.blend until liquid is milky looking. Put in a glass jar and refridgerate. You can play with the quantity of each ingredient to taste. Then keep in the refridgerator. Its good for about a year so it pretty much covers things like flu, sore throats, coughs and chest infections. Two tablespoons every four hours usually does the trick and the kids don't mind the taste. For adults you can also add ginger as most kids don't like that ingredient because it makes the blend have a more hot and spicy taste but it does make it more powerful and effective. Each ingredient has medicinal properties.

1 reply

That sounds like a great use of crystallized honey! Thanks for sharing it :)

There's no experation date on honey. I've seen honey crystallized from 1980's and when I found it it was 2011.

1 reply

Quite a few comments about not heating honey over 40 degrees c.

Slightly confused: In nature what happens in beehives in the Aussie mid summer when it hits 44+ degrees very easily in some parts? 47 here last year. Does all the honey then just naturally cook and lose all of its enzymes within the beehive ?

1 reply

Heating crystallized honey will certainly get it back to a more liquid state, at least for a while and there are many ways to so. But please ensure that the method you choose does not allow the temperature of the honey to go above 40 degrees C. Most of the beneficial enzymes in honey do not survive temperatures above this value. Alternatively buy honey with a low glucose content. It will not crystalize for a long time. However much of the lower priced liquid honey in supermarkets has been heated to 80 degrees C and micro-filtered to remove all crystallization nuclei, turning it into just sugar syrup.

I'm a beekeeper as well and I re-iterate my colleagues' mention of not heating honey over 140 degrees to prevent the destruction of beneficial enzymes and such. I have found a great way to deal with crystalized honey. Closed cars can become quite hot from the Sun. At 70 degrees on a sunny day, after a half hour, the temperature inside a car is 104 degrees. After an hour, it can reach 113 degrees. I have found this a great way to gently liquify crystalized honey. You do have to monitor the inside temperature, as you can go above 140 at higher outside air temperatures and in direct sunlight.

I just leave my honey in the sunlight and it rejuvenates perfectly.

Don't use the microwave, It kills all the GOOD bacteria in the honey, and you end up with a dead sweet simi-fluid substance. Tast's good though !!!!

We put the jar in a plastic bag and then drop it in the hot tub overnight. The water is just right to convert it back and you don't have anything but a plastic bag to put away when done.

1 reply

There is a much easier way. Seal up the jar, bottle, or whatever, and put it in the top rack of your dishwasher. After you run it, the honey will be back to normal!

1 reply

Bonus, super clean outside of the jar when you are done :)

Good post. I would like to add that you never want to raise the honey higher than 120° f. To do so damages the enzymes. If you got the honey from a commercial source this will not be an issue as most packaging houses. Are allowed to bottle at 140°f killing all the enzymes. One reason you need to know your beekeeper.

1 reply

Once the honey is in the glass jar, consider using plastic lids instead of the two-part canning lids. They are easier to mange.

Plastic-Lids-For-Mason-Jars.jpg
1 reply

Yea, those are great! We have some but just not for that size jar I was using :)