A spoonful of a product you probably already have in your cabinet can prevent (or reverse) the crystallization of honey as it ages.

 

1 Easy Tip to prevent honey from crystallizing - & fix it if it already has

Honey is the only food product that never goes bad, though, if you’ve ever discovered a jar of honey forgotten in the back of a cabinet, you might doubt it based on looks. Aged honey turns to an unappetizing, crystallized mess- making it impossible to pour, or still.

Experimenting with Honey Crystal Prevention

When I saw Alton Brown make simple syrup on Good Eats, on the way explaining the process behind sugar crystallization, it sparked an idea for dealing with the stockpile of crystalized honey I had in my pantry. In his simple syrup, Alton used a tiny amount of glucose (aka corn syrup) to change the chemistry of his sugar-syrup enough that the solution became inhospitable for the formation of sugar crystal molecules.  I began to wonder if the same method that prevents crystallization in simple syrup would “fix” crystallized honey.

fixing crystallized honey and preventing recrystallization

Research: Determined to know, I asked a beekeeping friend if adding corn syrup to honey would change the chemical makeup enough to prevent crystallization.  Horrified, he began ranting about purity, marketing, and the shady business of corporate food company labeling, so I decided I’d just stay quiet and experiment.

Hypothesis: Honey crystals can easily be melted with heat, but I wondered if the same basic chemistry that prevented crystallization of simple syrup could rescue honey that had turned from liquid to a semi-solid state. Three years after my original test of this hypothesis, I can confirm that this method works to fix crystalized honey and prevent re-crystallization when it is returned to storage. see if the honey recrystallized, and the theory seems to be a success.  Below, I demonstrate this method step by step.

 

 

Steps to Fix and Stabilize Crystalized Honey

SUPPLIES NEEDED:

Honey – either crystallized or a batch you want to prevent from crystallizing.
Corn Syrup

fixing crystallized honey and preventing recrystallization

 


STEP 1. Melt Existing Honey Crystals

Scoop crystallized honey into a clean saucepan.

fixing crystallized honey and preventing recrystallization

Over medium-low heat, warm the honey, stirring occasionally, until the heat breaks up the sugar crystals and the honey is a smooth liquid.

fixing crystallized honey and preventing recrystallization

 

STEP 2. Add Corn Syrup to Warmed Honey

Add a small amount of corn syrup to the warmed honey. (No exact measurement required. For my approximately 3/4 cup honey I used 1 tablespoon).

Only a small amount is required to disrupt the crystallization process of sugar.  This small amount of corn syrup will not affect the flavor of the honey.

Stir to combine

fixing crystallized honey and preventing recrystallization

You can add fresh honey if you’d like to prevent future crystallization of fresh honey. When I go through these steps with old crystallized honey, I try to save myself some future work by adding fresh honey to the batch- to keep it from later crystalizing.

fixing crystallized honey and preventing recrystallization

 

Step 3: Decant into Clean Dry Jars 

Pour honey into a clean jar.

If you’re processing a large amount of honey, try pouring a portion of the honey over a jar filled with fresh herbs like sage or rosemary. Left undisturbed for several months, the honey will preserve the herbs and the herbs will infuse intense flavor into the honey. Warm and strain before serving with rustic bread, cheese, or fruit.

fixing crystallized honey and preventing recrystallization

Then seal and enjoy! Three steps and one extra ingredient is all it takes to restore crystallized honey to a viscous liquid state and change the chemical makeup enough to prevent crystallization, but not so much that it changes the flavor.

fixing crystallized honey and preventing recrystallization

 

 

Related Post

Liked it? Take a second to support Lindsayanne on Patreon!

4 thoughts on “How to Prevent Honey from Crystallizing (or Fix it if it Already Has!)”

    1. Thanks for your comment. The heating process breaks down the crystals, the second step of adding corn syrup prevents the honey from recrystallizing later. For more info on why it works, check out Alton Brown’s Serious Eats episode about making simple syrup.

Leave a Reply

Related Post

%d bloggers like this: