How to Decrystallize Honey the Easy Way


Crystallized honey

The crystallization of honey is a natural process, but it is one that many people confuse with spoiling. It is not uncommon for some individuals to throw away perfectly good jars of honey because it has changed color or has hardened (crystallized). But why does honey crystallize and is there anything you can do to reverse the process when it does happen? Well, if you have ever wanted to know how to decrystallize honey, this is the article for you.

What Causes Crystallization of Honey?

Over time, honey will turn solid. Sometimes this crystallization process can occur very quickly. But contrary to what some might think, crystallization is not actually a bad thing and shows that the honey is authentic.

Real honey contains sugars known as fructose and glucose. Indeed, honey has a high sugar content and a low water content and after a while the sugars will separate from the water and bind together to form tiny crystals. It is this process that turns the honey cloudy or white and creates the gritty texture crystallization is known for.

How quickly the crystallization occurs depends on the type of honey as varieties with more glucose tend to crystallize faster. Dandelion, clover, and lavender honey all have high glucose levels and so typically crystallize quicker than varieties such as acacia, tupelo, and sage honey, all of which are higher in fructose.

Is Crystallized Honey Safe to Eat?

The good news is that honey, whether in its liquid or solid form, is completely safe to eat. Even when your honey turns cloudy and begins to set, it is still totally safe to eat – and just as delicious.

While correctly stored honey will never expire, it can spoil if it is not stored correctly. For example, if you leave your honey uncovered in a humid environment or allow it to be contaminated by water, it can ferment. Should this happen, the taste of the honey will change and will be quite sour.

Crystallized honey though is actually quite tasty. But even if you do not like the gritty texture, you can return the honey to its liquid form very easily.

Decrystallizing Honey in Warm Water

How to Dissolve Crystals in Honey

Perhaps the easiest way to decrystallize honey is to place the jar into a bowl of hot water and wait for the crystals to dissolve. To speed up the process, you can stir the honey occasionally. If you have a large jar of honey, you may need to change the water in the bowl a couple of times until all the crystals are gone.

Another way to decrystallize your honey is by placing the opened jar in the microwave. It is important that this is done in stages though. It is best to use a moderate heat and only for thirty seconds at a time, stirring in between. If the heat is too high you could end up burning the honey. Only use this microwave method if your honey is in a glass container; a plastic container may warp in the microwave. If your honey is in a plastic jar or bottle then, scoop out the amount of honey you need to use and place it on a microwavable dish before heating.

It is best to only decrystallize what you intend to use as repeatedly heating and cooling the honey could affect the aroma and flavor.

Why You Should Never Overheat Honey

When trying to decrystallize honey, it is easy to overheat it. Nevertheless, this can affect the quality of the honey, particularly in the case of raw honey where overheating destroys all the nutritional content such as the pollen, enzymes, antioxidants, and propolis.

If you heat honey at temperatures in excess of 110F, the nutritional properties of the honey will be destroyed. Once the temperature exceeds 140F, the taste and quality of the honey will be affected; temperatures over 160F will cause the sugars in the honey to caramelize.

To ensure you keep the quality of your honey while decrystallizing it, you have to use a moderate heat and regularly stir to help dissolve the crystals.

Summary

Real honey will crystallize with time, but this is a completely natural process. Crystallization occurs when the sugars in the honey separate from the water content and bind together to create tiny crystals. Crystallized honey is perfectly safe to eat and should not be thrown away.

To return honey to its liquid state after it has crystallized, you can heat the jar of honey in a pot or pan of hot water and stir it until the crystals have dissolved. Alternatively, heat the honey that you want to use in a microwaveable dish on a moderate heat in the microwave. Do this is stages, stirring the honey in between.


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Anthony

Anthony is a content creator by profession but beekeeping is one of his great passions.

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