Who has never had the unpleasant surprise of finding their pot of honey all hard at the back of the closet? And of course there’s no question of dipping your spoon into it… Don’t worry if your honey has become solid, it’s only that it has crystallized. Here’s how to make it liquid in minutes.
Why does honey harden?
Honey is a natural food produced by bees from the nectar of flowers. Let’s not lose sight of the fact that if bees make honey, it is not to please humans but to feed their larvae and have food for the winter in the cells of the hive. So it must be able to be kept for a long time, which is why it hardens. This phenomenon is called crystallization and it is a completely natural process that does not damage the product at all. It is even a guarantee of authenticity!
In fact, the honey will crystallize more or less quickly depending on the flowers that were used to make it. The more glucose there is in a honey the faster it hardens, this is the case with heather or rapeseed honey. On the contrary the more fructose it is the longer it remains in a liquid state like chestnut, fir or acacia honey. Crystallization is more or less slow but it is inevitable for real honey. If a honey has not hardened after several months of storage, it is suspect.
Storage temperature can also play a role in hardening. The lower it is, the faster the honey crystallizes. It is therefore advisable to store honey at room temperature and never put it in the refrigerator. You should know that temperature differences can alter the quality of the precious nectar.
A brilliant trick to make your honey runny
You will understand, if a honey hardens it is rather a sign of quality so do not throw it away, it still has plenty of good things to bring you. Here’s how to make it liquid again without altering its taste and nutritional properties:
1- Heat water in a saucepan to make a bain-marie that does not exceed 35° to 40°C, if you don’t have a thermometer, you should be able to dip your hand in it without burning yourself. Attention the worst enemy of honey is overheating!
2- Immerse your jar in it with the lid open, leave it for a few minutes until it becomes fluid. You can stir it to speed up the process, but gently because honey doesn’t like to be shaken…
3- Leave to cool gradually off the heat, leaving the pot in the pan so as not to cause thermal shock. Close your jar once the honey has completely cooled because as it is very hygroscopic, it could take on moisture and lose quality and flavor.
Another technique to find a nice syrupy texture is to put your jar of honey in a cooling oven. On the other hand the use of the microwave is to be avoided because it would damage the famous product of the hive.
3 tips for properly storing your honey
Above all, it is important to buy quality honey, preferably pure honey. To preserve its properties, good conservation is essential. Here are 3 simple and effective tips recommended by beekeepers:
- Prefer airtight glass jars to plastic jars.
- Store away from light in a dry place and always close the jar well because UV rays and humidity degrade the product.
- Store at room temperature and do not exceed 25°C. Do not put in the refigerator.
Stored in good conditions, the honey will be preserved and can be kept for several months, even several years, without any problem. On the other hand, unlike some products, it does not improve over time…
Thanks to all these tips, you can now enjoy your honey, its virtues and its aromas with confidence and over time. And don’t forget when you choose your honey, that they don’t all have the same properties and the same textures and that it is the floral nectars that make the difference.