How many times have you thought about throwing away a perfectly good jar of honey just because it got crystallized? If you are one of those people who are convinced that hard honey is spoiled, we have news for you: honey never goes bad, and it is perfectly good to eat when it is hard. In fact, some people actually prefer crystallized honey to its liquid alternative! If you are not one of them though, there is no need to throw the honey bear into the trash. Read on to find out how to make honey runny again as well as how to store it to slow down the crystallization process. With the proper knowledge and technique, you will be able to enjoy your favorite liquid honey much longer!
Why does honey crystallize?
Honey almost entirely consists of natural sugars. There is only 20% of water in this product. This means that there are not nearly enough water molecules to hold all the glucose and fructose, which leads to eventual separation of these components. And this is exactly how you get crystallized honey. To make sure the product stays liquid as long as possible, store it at room temperature in a glass jar with a tightly closed lid. Never put honey in the fridge! It will speed up the crystallization process.
Most store-bought honey varieties are heavily processed. Manufacturers use pasteurization to kill the bacteria and yeast as well as to slow down crystallization, making the product more appealing to the customers. Raw honey is unprocessed, and this is why it crystallizes much faster. However, it also means that all the nutrients and enzymes in it are still intact, making it a healthier choice. If you skip out on the amazing benefits of raw honey just because you don’t fancy its texture, we can tell you how to make it runny again in a few easy steps!
How to decrystallize honey?
To bring honey back to its original consistency, you need to heat it up. It is crucial to maintain the right temperature – going too high would mean to scorch the product and destroy the precious vitamins and enzymes. The heating method is also important. If you look up how to decrystallize honey in Google, you may find some pretty bad advice like using a microwave oven. In this case, the heat will distribute unevenly, which means that some areas will stay crystallized while others will simply boil. What is more, if you store the product in a plastic container, using a microwave oven will melt it, releasing harmful toxins and particles.
So how to decrystallize raw honey the right way? Don’t worry, it is super easy. All you need is a pot of hot water and a bowl large enough to accommodate your honey jar. The key is not to let the water boil, which happens at 100°C. Try to keep the temperature up to 45°C to preserve enzymes and antioxidants. If you have accidentally overheated and boiled the water, let it sit for a few minutes. Once it cools off enough, slowly add it into the bowl, filling the space around the jar with crystallized honey. Make sure you leave the lid on and don’t pour water on top of it. Decrystallizing honey takes time. Be patient and carefully add more hot water as the liquid in the bowl starts to cool down.
Though it is preferable to keep honey in a glass jar, many retailers sell it in plastic containers. If you have one of those honey bears on your hands, the steps will be similar but this time keep the water temperature lower than 38°C to prevent plastic from deforming. Give your bear a good soak and once the honey is liquid enough, transfer it to a glass jar. Now you know how to decrystallize honey. We hope that this knowledge will help you save a ton of money by increasing the shelf-life of your favorite product, making your life that much sweeter.