How to Soften Solidified Honey

by A.J. Andrews

The same properties that give honey a long shelf life cause it to harden.

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Items you will need

  • Saucepan
  • Wire cooling rack small enough to fit in the saucepan
  • Spoon

Over 300 varieties of honey are available domestically in the United States, and each crystallizes and solidifies at a different rate. Hardening does not indicate that honey has turned, only that its water has redistributed -- a result of honey’s long storage life. Raw honey and varieties with high-pollen content crystallize quickest, but all honey solidifies over time. Reversing the effects of crystallization merely involves redistributing the displaced moisture over heat in a controlled manner. Although some advocate heating honey in the microwave, this is not advised. Microwaves heat unevenly and liquefy part of the honey while leaving the rest in a hardened state.

Step 1

Set a wire cooling rack in a deep saucepan. Place the jar or container of crystallized honey on the rack.

Step 2

Fill the pan with water until it reaches halfway to the level of the honey in the container.

Step 3

Heat the water over medium heat for 30 minutes and stir the honey. Continue warming the honey until it liquefies, approximately 30 additional minutes. Stir the honey every 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the honey to cool in the water before removing.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

About the Author

A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.