To fix grainy honey, put it in a glass jar and submerge the jar halfway in water set on low to medium heat. Leave the jar or stir the honey for around 20-30 minutes. This is the best way to decrystallize your honey and make it smooth again.
The rest of this article will go over how you can decrystallize your honey or keep it from getting grainy in the first place.
Can You Reverse Crystallized Honey?
Keeping honey at home is a wonderful idea. This natural food is great with waffles, adds some sweetness to your chicken dishes, and is soothing for sore throats.
Grainy honey, on the other hand, is not preferred by some. It can look unappetizing because of its coarse texture when left untouched. So, we understand why you’re trying to make your honey smooth again.
You can reverse crystallized honey. You can either place your jar of crystallized honey in a pot of warm water on the stove or microwave it with a bowl of hot water. The heat from the water will melt the crystals back into smooth, liquid form.
These methods are simple and entirely doable at your own house without needing any special equipment.
The Best Way: Decrystallize Grainy Honey on the Stove
The best way to decrystallize honey requires a glass jar, a pot, and a stove. If your honey is already in a glass jar, that’s great. However, if it’s in a different container, you’ll need to put it in a glass jar instead.
Honey is often sold or kept in plastic containers, and plastic containers are not recommended for decrystallizing honey.
Because the process involves an element of heat, plastic jars can leach chemicals or burn. This is dangerous and can make your honey toxic, so make sure that you use glass containers instead.
Follow these steps to decrystallize your grainy honey on a stove:
- Pour water into a large pot.
- Set the pot on a stove and turn the heat low to medium. The ideal temperature is around 104 to 105°F (40 to 41°C). Do not go above 140°F (60°C). Keep the temperature cool enough so that your honey will not degrade. Extreme temperatures can be damaging to honey enzymes.
- Once the stove is on, submerge the bottom half of your honey jar in the water. You should not submerge the entire container in water. You can keep the top off if you want to stir the honey.
- Leave the honey in warm water for around 20 minutes. Once the time is up, you can take the jar out and see whether the honey has decrystallized completely. If not, repeat the process until it does.
Here’s a video to take you through the step-by-step process and provide alternatives in case you don’t want to wait at the stove for 20 minutes or more.
Use a Double Boiler to Decrystallize Honey
You can use a double boiler if you’re not comfortable with the idea of submerging a jar of honey in warm water.
Double boilers are two pots used together that utilize the heating effects of steam. They also work very well for de-crystallizing honey. All you need to do is pour the grainy honey into the top of the double boiler and boil 2 cups (470 milliliters) of water in the bottom pot.
When using a double boiler to decrystallize honey, it is recommended to maintain a temperature of 100 to 110°F (37.78 to 43.44°C). This temperature range will allow you to decrystallize honey quickly.
Make sure all the crystals are gone before you finish the process. Allowing some to remain can lead to a quick crystallization again.
Having an excellent double boiler for this method is essential. I recommend this double boiler (available on Amazon), which is made of stainless steel and can fit in most pots. Even direct contact with heat can’t damage it, so it’s perfect for melting or boiling.
Related Is Honey a Good Survival Food? (How to Store It).
Use a Microwave to Descrystallize Honey
This third method sounds a lot more convenient than the first two. However, it could be less effective, so I don’t encourage it.
To use a microwave for decrystallizing honey, simply put a jar of honey in the microwave and let the heat de-crystallize it.
You may notice that the honey takes longer to descrystallize in the microwave, and the results are not consistent. Some crystals may still be present after you’ve decrystallized most of the honey.
So, using a different method is preferable, but the option to use the microwave is available if you want, especially if it’s the only equipment available to you.
Why Has My Honey Gone Grainy?
When honey goes grainy, it means that it is crystallizing. This is a naturally occurring process and nothing to worry about.
Honey goes grainy because it contains a high percentage of glucose. When glucose separates from the water in the honey, it forms crystals, leading to the crystallization of honey.
Honey is a highly saturated sugar solution. In honey, there are more sugars, mainly glucose and fructose, than water. Water is only 20% of the concentration, whereas sugar makes up around 70%.
Water is the main component that keeps sugars dissolved, even in honey. More water is required to dilute sugars when there is a higher sugar concentration. This is the case when it comes to honey.
When glucose concentration is higher than fructose and water, honey tends to crystallize faster because the solution does not have enough water to dilute the sugars.
If your honey is raw and hasn’t been filtered or heated, it will likely crystallize faster. This honey contains more pollen and particles that aid the crystallization process.
When honey crystallizes, the texture becomes grainy and rough. The sugars in honey attach to form the tiny crystal-like structures you notice.
How To Keep Honey From Crystalizing?
While crystalizing is not a bad thing and is reversible, people always want to know whether they can prevent honey from becoming grainy in the first place.
To keep honey from crystallizing, you must store it at room temperature. Honey can also be kept at temperatures that are warmer than room temperature. Never store honey in the refrigerator because temperatures that are too cold can affect its flavor and texture.
Keeping honey on a shelf works quite well, too. Make sure that the lid is tightly closed to prevent moisture from entering.
It’s recommended to keep a honey jar away from a refrigerator because the cold temperature of it will encourage the crystallization process. Placing your honey in any location with temperatures below 50°F (10°C) will result in faster crystallization.
Is Grainy Honey OK To Eat?
Most people who are used to seeing honey in its smooth state believe that grainy honey is not edible and usable anymore. However, that is not true, so you do not need to throw your delicious honey away.
In fact, honey was found in King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. This honey has been stored for around three thousand years, and scientists say it is still edible today. So, your honey that has only been here for a year or less can still be eaten.
Grainy honey is definitely safe to eat. When honey crystallizes, it usually means that its physical state has changed due to its high sugar content. Even if it crystallizes, honey is still edible, and you can still use it.
Honey is a food staple that has been used for hundreds of years. While it can last for ages, it’s important to store it properly, or else its quality will quickly deteriorate.
If you take the time to store honey correctly, however, you’ll be rewarded with sweet treats that don’t spoil even after extended periods of time.
The composition of honey between sugars and water prevents the survival or spread of bacteria, which means that honey doesn’t spoil under normal conditions. If you see physical changes in honey, it doesn’t mean that it’s no longer edible.
As we’ve explored above, grainy honey can become smooth again if it goes through decrystallization. Honey in either its coarse or smooth state is still suitable for use. Now, if your honey has to be de-crystallized over and over again, it is possible that its taste will change.
Moreover, if honey is stored for a longer time, it can change color, flavor, and natural smell. This change doesn’t mean honey can’t be eaten anymore, but you may enjoy it less.
When honey is kept for extended periods, it can crystallize due to the glucose in its composition. While grainy honey may not be your preference, it is still edible, so you can continue using it.
If you would like your smooth honey back, you can use a pot or a double boiler to decrystallize honey. Using a microwave is another option, although it’s less efficient and inconsistent.
With the right method, you can have your honey back to its smooth state, and you can continue enjoying it with your breakfast pancakes.
For more, check out How Long Does Honey Last? | The Answer Is Surprising.
Anne James has a wealth of expertise in a wide array of interests, including quilting, cooking, gardening, camping, and making jelly.
She has a professional canning business and has been featured in the local newspaper, and has been her family canner for decades. Anyone growing up in the South knows that there is always a person in the family who has knowledge of the “old ways,” and this is exactly what Anne is.
With over 55 years of experience in these endeavors, she brings a level of hands-on knowledge that is hard to surpass.
Lovingly known as “Jelly Grandma” by her grandkids, Anne hopes your visit here has been a sweet one.