The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


oskar270's picture


Anyone knows why honey crystalises in the bottle? After about a month, the honey crystalises in the bottle and I cant use it. Funny thing it does not happen all the times and I store it in the same place in the kitchen.

PaddyL's picture

Put the jar in a pot of hot water, don't let it boil, but keep it hot and your honey should become liquid again.  Sorry, but I really don't know the why of it.

Occabeka's picture

Honey is but a supersaturated solution of sugar. If you place the bottle in a cool place, some of the sugar will come out of the solution as crystals.

To liquefy it again, place the bottle in a pot of warm water like PaddyL suggested.


althetrainer's picture

I too have the same problem with honey going crystallized on me, if I store it in a clear color container.  I buy honey in dark colored plastic containers, but never clear color containers.  When the honey goes hard in a plastic container, I can't put it in hot wate because it will float then flip over!  If I want to use a clear color jar, a wide mouth glass jar is the way to go.    If the honey goes hard I can still scoop the right amount out for cooking. Or I can sit it in a hot water bath or in a microwave to liquify it.


dstroy's picture

I zap it in the microwave too :) Doesnt take long to bring it right back to it's original state! Biggest problem was finding an appropriate container that's not plastic, no metal, microwave friendly, but not too fragile!

leucadian's picture

Most honey has microscopic crystals in it, which form larger crystals over time. Packagers of honey can filter them out, and some do, but it's not always done. Re-liquifying the honey is not difficult, but if the bottle is made of water-clear plastic (honey bear shapes are common) it will not stand up to boiling water, and you'll have a mess on your hands. If you have one of these, with crystallized honey, seal it up tight and put it in a pan of water no hotter than 120 degrees, and leave it at that temperature for an hour or so, till the honey is liquid enough to pour out. Transfer it to a container that is more robust and let it continue to liquify at less than 140 degrees F, or microwave it. When it's very liquid, let it cool and then either use it promptly or put it in the freezer. Really. It won't crystallize in the freezer. Note, some honey crystallizes quickly, other honey won't crystallize at all. Honey crystallizes fastest at about 50 degrees. Next time, if you want to have it more accessible than in the freezer, keep the honey in a warmish place, maybe above the stove or water heater.  If you store it in a wide mouth jar as suggested above, you can scoop out crystallized honey and use it, as is, in breads and cooking.

Finally, crystallized hone can actually go bad through fermentation, because the liquid left behind when the crystals form doesn't have enough sugar to prevent bacterial and yeast activity. If it smells off, it's bad.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Thru evaporation, it crystalizes.  (A sign that it is good honey and not watered down!)

I only wish to add the following... To prevent it from crystalizing sooner,  Add a few drops (depending on the amount of honey) of clean water to the honey, close it up tight (remove any labels) and put it into the dishwasher with the dishes.  That will do the trick and no extra fooling with pans of water needed.  My plastic honey bear loves it!.  (Sometimes, I do have to paint his eyes back on.)

Mini O

davidg618's picture

The dishwasher! I'm going to leave the top off my blind honey bear to hasten its honey's crystalizing so I can try this!

You, so often, think outside the box!

David G

Doc Tracy's picture
Doc Tracy

That has got to be one of the most brilliant kitchen tricks I have ever heard. Mini, you're amazing!

I'm picturing you painting eyes on your Honey bears now.

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete

Hi Oskar, do not have a problem at all. In fact the opposite. It is a sign that you have 100% pure honey. It is a positive sign there has been no other additives like glucose or anything artificial added to it. Just pure honey, nature at it's best.

Do you live in a cold climate? Honey placed in a cold environment  over time like the fridge or  long cold winters months will crystalize pure honey. Here in Australia we say "the honey has candied" or "turned Candy"(Candy being a sugar) and is just the sugars crystalising.

Some commercial honey producers here actually whip this candied honey up till it is thoroughly mixed and lighter in colour. Then sell it as "creamed honey" because of it's new look and colour.

I agree with the others about using heat to melt it back to a runny food again. Here is what I do in the winter. I get a pot with lid that will hold the sealed tight jar of honey and place enough water in it to cover at least 2/3rds of the jared honey. Do this while the water is still cool. This ensures the glass jar heats with the water and won't crack by suddenly placing it an extreme tempetature difference. Place the lid on your pot and heat. When it is just starting to boil turn off the heat and let it stand till you once again have a runny honey. It won't take long but will take more than a minute or two. Allow to cool before use.

Your honey's not's just "candied". A sign of GOOD HONEY.


oskar270's picture

Thank you all

swtgran's picture

My father used have bees and when he died I took all his jars of honey.  They never crystallized and now I have only one quart jar left.  He has been gone since 1994.  I don't know if I can bring myself to use that last jar. 

Aussie Pete's picture
Aussie Pete


I can understand your sentiments but be warned your honey will out live you if not used!!!!!


moreisee's picture

I don't know why but real Tupelo honey will not crystallize.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

it is because

Monofloral honey made from the nectar of the Ogeechee Tupelo has such a high ratio of fructose to glucose that it does not crystallize.  


oskar270's picture

Very interesting, thanks