Crystallized Honey: Why It Happens & How To Revive It

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We don’t consume a lot of honey in our home so it’s not uncommon to find crystals develop in the jar before we get a chance to use it all. Is it still safe to eat? You bet! Here’s a simple trick that will dissolve those pesky granules along with some information about why the crystallization occurs.

Crystals Will Sometimes Develop In Honey But It's Still Ok To Eat

Crystals Will Sometimes Develop In Honey But It's Still Ok To Eat

First The Fix, Just Add Some Heat!

(heat gently to avoid damaging the honey)

  • Place jar in a pot of warm water, set heat to medium-low and stir until crystals dissolve. You can also place the jar in a pot of hot water and leave it alone until it liquefies (not resting on heated element).
  • Quick Fix: You could also heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, stir well, allow to cool for 20 seconds then heat again for 30 seconds (if there are still granules needing to be dissolved). Stir again and cool as noted before reheating (if required).

After being melted, the granules will disappear for a time but they will return eventually if the honey hasn’t been consumed quickly enough. Simply repeat the heating process each time.

Does crystallized honey mean it’s expired or is it still safe to eat? Honey doesn’t go bad but a shelf life of two years is a good rule of thumb (since storage conditions can affect taste of honey).

Are the granules edible? Yes, they’ll melt slowly in your mouth and in fact, some people prefer their honey crystallized a bit.

Why does honey become cloudy and grainy in the first place? Here’s a three page document from the National Honey Board Food Technology/Product Research Program [Update: removed since it’s no longer online] it’s loaded with information. A quote:

This natural phenomenon happens when glucose, one of three main sugars in honey, spontaneously precipitates out of the supersaturated honey
solution. The glucose loses water (becoming glucose monohydrate) and takes the form of a crystal (a solid body with a precise and orderly structure). The crystals form a lattice which immobilizes other components of honey in a suspension thus creating the semi-solid state.

Did You Know: Honey can be frozen! If honey isn’t a hot ticket item in your pantry and is only used irregularly, try freezing it in small batches and remove as needed (thaw at room temperature). Freezing will help prevent it from crystallizing.

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Published: September 21, 2011

What Readers Are Saying:
One Comment to “Crystallized Honey: Why It Happens & How To Revive It”
  1. Alyce Townsend says:

    Love your site Have for years
    Just a couple of tips on HONEY Of course ‘raw honey’ is the best As it has all the good properties in it Contrary to heated processed honey you buy in the store Also some of the honey you buy in a store has corn syrup added Have no idea why they would do that
    Honey will keep for ‘eons’ That has already been proven by archiologists[sp]
    They have found honey in containers in Egyptian tombs and it is just fine
    You really have to watch the heating in a microwave It is extremely easy to kill the good vitamins etc I usually do it in hot water and keep it changed Would have to be careful of not getting to hot on the stove, too
    Sorry for misspelled words
    Hope the ‘tips’ are useful
    Thanks again for such a great site


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