Does hot water destroy honey?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Does hot water destroy honey?” and methods to safely heat honey.

Does hot water destroy honey?

Hot water can destroy honey. Hot water can alter the chemical composition, nutritional value and negatively affects the enzymatic properties of honey. The ingredients present in honey become less effective when hot water mixes with honey.

Heating honey can also change honey’s texture or color. Other properties can be affected when hot water is added to honey. These are as follows:

  • There is a reduction in the anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties of honey when hot water is added to it. Invertase and diastase are two enzymes present in honey. These enzymes get destroyed when honey is overheated.

Invertase and diastase help in breaking down and metabolizing sugar. Glucose oxidase is another enzyme that gets destroyed. Glucose oxidase produces hydrogen peroxide which protects your body against viruses, bacteria, or other pathogens.

  • Honey is a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants help in neutralizing free radicals which in turn reduce inflammation. Free radicals also aid in the development of chronic diseases like cataracts or diabetes. 

Antioxidants donate an electron to free radicals which neutralizes them. One of the antioxidants present in honey called polyphenols also acts as an anticancer agent but if hot water is poured over honey, these antioxidants would be destroyed. 

As a result, it is better to avoid cooking with honey or other procedures that can expose honey to high temperatures. Even if you cook your honey with a grill or microwave, honey can lose its physical as well as chemical properties once heated.

The taste and flavor of the honey get destroyed when it is exposed to high heat.

Does honey lose its properties when it is exposed to heat?

No, honey does not lose its properties when exposed to low heat. This could be explained through the temperature in the beehive. The temperature in the beehive is 35℃. This means that slight warmth would not destroy honey.

Excess heat though can definitely damage the components of honey. This would also depend on how long the honey was being heated and the amount of heat that the honey was exposed to.

When crystallized honey is heated, the heat turns the honey into a liquid form which makes the honey easier to handle. In this case, though, the honey is exposed to low heat. As a result, it is essential to remember to not heat honey more than 35℃.

How can honey be heated safely?

Avoid heating honey excessively or holding it over direct heat. It is essential to note that the higher the heat, the higher would be the loss of honey’s properties.

  • Boiling the water first without honey is recommended. When the water has finished boiling, remove it from the source of heat and let the water cool for a while. After the water has cooled a little, place the container holding honey in the warm water.
  • You can also use a slow cooker to warm the honey a little. For this purpose, place a container into the cooker and fill it up with water. The water should be up to the ¾ mark. 

Turn on the slow cooker and set it to minimum heat. Place the jar containing honey into the cooker. You can use a plastic or a glass jar. Remember to not increase the temperature to more than 48.9℃.

You can use a thermometer to measure the temperature to prevent overheating. Avoid covering the jar with a lid while using this technique.

  • A honey-warming bee blanket is another technique to heat honey. The blanket contains a temperature similar to that of a beehive. It also contains a thermostat which would help in controlling the temperature.

The advantage of using a honey-warming bee blanket is that it does not require a physical presence of an individual to operate it. The thermostat regulators help in modulating the temperature and it is less prone to overheating.

How to liquefy crystallized honey?

Crystallization of honey can occur because of storage conditions, particulate matter in honey, or components present in honey. The sugar that crystallizes quickly is glucose. 

  • In a bowl containing warm water, place the container containing honey. Stir the honey in the container slowly to dissolve the crystals and liquefy them.
  • You can use the microwave to remove the crystals though it is not recommended. In the microwave, heat the honey for 30 seconds. Check after 30 seconds to see whether the honey has liquefied. If not, heat again for 30 seconds.
  • Microfiltration can also reduce the rate of crystallization.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Does hot water destroy honey?” and methods to safely heat honey.


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