Can you smoke honey? (+5 Ways honey goes bad)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you smoke honey?”, and how to store honey?

Can you smoke honey?

Yes, you can smoke honey. The following recipe briefly shows you how you can smoke honey.

Ingredients 

  • 8 ounces local honey
  • 1/4 cup water optional

Instructions 

  1. Select a fruitwood such as an apple or cherry. The sweetness pairs well with the honey and the smoky flavor like mesquite or oak.
  1. Add the honey to a smoker safe dish, preferably a glass dish. Dilute the honey with some water If it feels too thick. 
  1. The water will eventually evaporate and the honey will return to its thickness. Smoke for about 2 hours, remove and let cool. Smoking for more than 2 hours will impart an intense smoky flavor. 
  1. If the honey feels too ashy, do not smoke it directly. Use a cheesecloth as a shield to prevent the ash from getting into the smoked honey.

What temperature do I smoke honey?

Smoke at a scope of 160 degrees F to 200 degrees F. Any higher temperature quill increases the potential for the nectar to bubble or caramelize, and we don’t need that. 

You can perform cold smoking also, or holding the temperature under 90 degrees, however, we favor a more blazing temperature for flavor.

What do I do with smoked honey?

  • Blend it in with margarine or butter for a Smoked Honey flavor
  • Add as a sprinkle to Skillet Cornbread
  • Sprinkle the nectar over sheep’s milk cheddar on a cheddar platter. Finish off with some salt
  • Make it a part of your breakfast by spread it on toast
  • Jazz up your Holiday Ham, Grilled Pineapple,  Grilled Peach Crostini with some smoked honey 
  • Use it to make a sauce and baste ribs with it (Smoked ribs) 
  • Make a smoked honey cocktail by adding some smoked honey to your Hot Toddy
  • Gift it to your loved ones on events or special occasions like Christmas
  • Lick it from a spoon much like peanut butter or Nutella

How to store honey?

  1. Use glass jars and stainless steel containers with a tight seal for storage.
  2. Keep away from moisture. The ideal temperature to store honey is 50-70℉.
  3. Refrigerating honey will make it crystallize faster and the texture becomes denser. Heating honey at low temperatures will melt the crystals. However, be careful with the temperature as high temperatures can degrade the quality to a great extent.
  4. Using dirty spoons to scoop out honey can introduce microbes that can lead to contamination and spoilage.
  5. If the honey develops a foamy appearance, has a bad taste or odor, and a lot of free water, it should be discarded.

Other FAQs about Honey which you may be interested in.

Are bees attracted to honey?

When can honey go bad?

Contamination

Microbes are naturally present in honey but in small amounts. 5-15% honey samples contain spores of Clostridium botulinum in small amounts. This amount is negligible for adults but can’t be ignored for babies under age one.

In babies, this can cause infant botulism. Other than that, honey can also be contaminated during processing by equipment, dust, water, insects, etc.

Toxic compounds

Honey can collect certain toxins from plants from which the bees extract nectar. One example is grayanotoxins that come from Rhododendron ponticum and Azalea pontica. Another compound called hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF) is produced in honey during processing and aging.

Adulteration 

This includes adding cheap sugars to honey or feeding honey bees with sugar syrups made from maize, cane, and beet sugar.

Sometimes the honey is harvested at an earlier stage during ripening when the water content is high and contains unsafe compounds. Water content above 25% can lead to contamination, fermentation, and bad taste.

Improper storage 

Prolonged storage causes the honey to lose its antimicrobial properties. It can also be contaminated or start to degrade slowly over time. Improper storage can cause its water level to rise to unsafe levels.

A high water level and introduction of microbes from the surrounding favors the growth of microbes in honey. Heating honey at extremely high temperatures will degrade the quality to a great extent.

Crystallization 

Honey can naturally crystallize becoming lighter in color. The texture becomes grainy and the color is no more clear. The water released during crystallization increases the risk of fermentation. 

Prolonged storage of honey can make the honey become darker and dull. As compared to commercially packaged honey, raw honey has a high pollen content. Therefore the chances for crystallization are high.

Microwaving honey to dissolve crystals is a bad idea. Microwaving will get too hot too quickly, running the quality of honey. 

Excessive heating to melt crystals might also caramelize the sugars in honey. The best way to melt the crystals is by heating the jar in a bowl of warm water.

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “Can you smoke honey?”, and how to store honey?

References

https://www.thespruceeats.com/how-to-store-honey-1807772
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-honey-go-bad#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5

Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.