Does pure honey crystallize?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Does pure honey crystallize?”, and why it happens. We will discuss whether you can eat crystallized honey or not and how to decrystallize it. We will also discuss whether you can refrigerate honey or not and if you can freeze it.

Does pure honey crystallize?

Yes, pure honey crystallizes. This is because it is a highly saturated solution made up of sugars. If your honey crystallizes then you know that this honey is pure.

Why does pure honey crystallize?

Pure, raw honey is a highly saturated solution. It contains 70-80% sugar and roughly only about 20% water. The sugars mainly found in honey are glucose and fructose. The water content is much lower. The sugars do not stay dissolved in the water as it is much less. Fructose stays dissolved while glucose starts to separate overtime.

This separation is what forms the crystals in honey. Whole honey can also become solidified or it may just have some crunchy bits.

Another reason is that pollen can be present in raw honey. Honey bees carry pollen stuck to their bodies so pollen can get transferred to honey in the honey-making process. Pollen, when present, provides a place for crystals to form on. The more the pollen particles are present in honey, the more crystals will form.

Also, if you keep your honey stuffed away in the cupboard or in your pantry with your other temperature sensitive foods in a cool place, then honey will crystallize much faster. It should not be placed in a cool place. Instead it should be placed on the counter top at room temperature.

Does crystallization mean the honey has gone bad?

No, crystallization does not mean that the honey has gone bad. It just means that your honey is pure and very healthy. Crystallized honey is safe to use. You can get used to its crunchy texture and enjoy it as it is or decrystallize it.  

Crystallized honey is just as tasty and is easy to spread too. You can spread it over your toast and enjoy.

How to decrystallize honey?

Although you can eat crystallized honey as it is, if you do not like its texture then you can use the following method to decrystallize it.

  • Pour all the honey in a glass jar that is heat safe.
  • Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil.
  • Place the jar containing honey in the hot water and gently stir it in intervals.
  • Do not let the water enter the jar of honey.
  • Once all the honey has become velvety and smooth again, remove it from the saucepan.
  • Put the lid back on and seal it tightly.
  • Place it in a dry place away from moisture at room temperature.

Do not microwave the crystallized honey as the microwave heats the honey unevenly and does not have temperature control. It can cause the honey to lose its texture and taste. It is a quicker method but if you want to preserve your honey’s quality, then do not use it.

Can you refrigerate pure honey?

No, you should not refrigerate honey. As explained above, honey crystallizes in cooler temperatures. So, honey that has been placed in the refrigerator will crystallize much faster compared to the honey placed in the pantry.

Can you freeze pure honey?

Yes, you can freeze honey. Although honey almost never goes bad, you can freeze it to keep it in its best quality for a long time. Freezing honey also prevents contamination and crystallization. 

You should pour honey in a glass jar and leave some space at the top. Secure the lid tightly on it to make sure no air enters the jar. You can also place it in a freezer-safe bag. 

Place it in the freezer. You can take it out and reheat it whenever you want to use it. Do not allow for temperature fluctuations inside the freezer.

Learn how to thaw frozen honey here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “Does pure honey crystallize?”, and why it happens. We discussed whether you can eat crystallized honey or not and how to decrystallize it. We also discussed whether you can refrigerate honey or not and if you can freeze it.

Citations

https://www.wired.com/2014/03/crystalized-honey/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.