What to do with Crystalized Honey?

Pure natural honey will always granulate, crystallise or become "sandy", solidify or "go to sugar" as some people say.  The sugar content is NOT CHANGING OR IS IT PROOF THAT SUGAR HAS  BEEN ADDED.

 

melting1-honey melting honey

 

This is an normal condition of honey!  Sometimes the honey granulates as a smooth spread, such as in "Creamed Honey" or "Spun Honey" and sometimes much grainier.  Honey will not go bad! - eventually over many years it may darken. Honey should not be refrigerated but stored at normal room temperature at 70°F to 80°F in a dry cupboard, make sure that the cap is on tight since honey tends to absorb moisture from the environment, which can lower its quality. Also store honey away from direct sunlight as it could affect its properties. 

Different types of honey may granulate quicker or be more sandy looking than smooth.  Many times the honey sold at our sales stand may only be liquid for a few months and some years a lot longer.  The honey that we package has been warmed to 135 degrees and will not granulate for 3 to 6 months.  Honey sold in stores may have been heated to 160 degrees or more and run through filters to make sure that is "looks pretty" for a very long time.

The process of crystallization can be easily reversed and does not affect the taste and quality of honey at all, although it affects its appearance.

 
  • Hot water method - As show in the above images, honey can be put in hot water.  We used acontainer with a strainer or you can throw a few coins in the bottom to keep the jar of honey from touching direct heat source.  Warm it untill the crystals granulate.  Length of time will vary upon size of jar and temperature of water.  Loosen the lids or the jars could break.  It is not necessary to have every crystal melted - just enough so it is semi-liquid and you can use the honey. Melting every crystal is ok - but you are just doing it to make it look prettier.
  • Sometimes we melt smaller jars with plastic lids in a microwave oven.  The trick is to lay the jar on the sides and ONLY HEAT 20-30 SECONDS OF SO!  Then remove the jar and keep turning the jar to mve the honey around inside.  Repeat another 30 seconds and again mix the honey inside the jar.  Keep repeating until the honey is melted inside.  After it starts to get warm, let is set a minute or so to see if more crystals will melt and them maybe repeat again.  DO NOT OVERHEAT THE HONEY BY LEAVING IT IN 2 OR 3 MINUTES!  A microwave will tend to heat the top of the jar more than the rest and it will be overheated.
  • Although storing honey in direct sunlight can damage it over time, crystalized honey can be remelted by leaving it in a window with sunlight or on a car dashboard for a day or so.
  • We also have an old refrigerator with a small heqat source and a themostat that we use to melt honey.  Some people just put a 60 - 100 watt light bulb in an old fridge.
 
 
The main thing to remember is to warm the honey without heating it too much (over 135 degrees) and it is not necessary to melt every crystal - just make it liquid enough so you can enjoy it!