Sweet, golden honey drips thickly from spoons, but it can harden and crystallize during prolonged storage. Honey is almost pure sugar so it naturally begins to crystallize and harden in the jar. It may also darken or develop a stronger flavor, but this doesn't ruin the quality of the honey. The sugar crystals melt easily with heat, which revitalizes the honey so it regains its thick, sugary consistency. You can heat and dissolve the sugar crystals as often as necessary to keep the honey in its liquid form.
Bring the jar of honey to room temperature if it was refrigerated. Set it on the counter for about one hour prior to softening, especially if it's in a glass jar. Cold glass can crack when it heats up.
Fill a medium saucepan with water. Open the jar and set it in the pan so the water comes about halfway up the sides of the jar, or at the most just below the level of honey in the jar.
Heat the water over low heat but don't bring it to a boil. You turn the heat up to medium heat if the honey is in a glass jar, but keep the heat low if it's in a plastic container so the container does not melt.
Stir the honey constantly as it begins to soften. Stirring allows the honey to heat evenly and ensures all the sugar crystals melt. Continue to heat and stir until the honey reaches the desired consistency and all the crystals are gone.
Store the revitalized honey in a closed jar at room temperature. Honey crystallizes more slowly at room temperature than in the refrigerator.
- You can use the microwave to soften the honey if it's stored in a glass jar. Microwave in 20-second intervals, stirring between each, until the honey reaches the desired consistency.
- Although honey doesn't usually spoil, dispose of it if it has visible mold growth. Do not feed honey to children under one year of age.
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