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Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:30 PM

Crystallized honey

I have three partial bottles of honey, all purchased from regular stores (as opposed to the tupelo honey I buy from guys with pickups on the side of the road), and every one of them has crystallized, either wholly or partially.

I have put the bottles in baths of hot water and they are not de-crystallizing. So now what do I do? They are all in plastic bottles so I am considering just cutting the bottles in half and scraping out the honey. Then maybe mixing with butter for a honey butter spread - but I don't need the calories.

I do use honey in my home made bread, but I am not sure how well the crystallized honey will mix in, even with my KitchenAid.

Any suggestions?

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:32 PM

1. I run out of suggestions after double boiler.

When you say "baths of hot water", how hot ? Tap water hot or actual double boiler hot ?

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:34 PM

2. I've been using my electric tea kettle to heat the water

Then pouring it into a bowl with the jars of honey standing up in it. I'm not sure the plastic bottles would take much more heat than that. Usually I change the water when I heat some to boiling for tea, since the tea kettle minus one cup is just the right amount to fill the bowl.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:38 PM

3. I found out the hard way that microwaving is not the answer. :)

But I *think* they can take boiling water -- just be sure it's in a double boiler, not in a pot directly on the stove.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:53 PM

5. I dug out my never used double boiler

That I got with my set of pots and pans forty + years ago. I'll try heating the bottles tomorrow for an extended time. I think the problem with my approach today is that the heat is only in short bursts. To re-crytallize, they probably need to be heated for more like half an hour or more.

Once it is liquid - if it ever does - I will pour the honey into a wide mouth jar and use in the next few batches of bread. For eating with stuff I prefer tupelo honey - it is not as cloying as the clover and rainforest honey that these jars are.

One source recommended heating water in a slow cooker for however long it takes - maybe I could put the double boiler insert into the slow cooker - but maybe that is not even needed if I do that. I could heat water in my electric tea kettle to get it started quickly.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Tue Jan 7, 2020, 11:42 PM

4. You were right the first time, cut open and scrape out honey.

Then reward in glass bowl in a double boiler. Warm for about 10 min and transfer to a glass jar.
After the heating the honey will eventually re crystallized after a while but it doesnít effect the flavor. Just donít refrigerate.

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Response to flying_wahini (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 12:01 AM

6. I was really hoping to keep the honey bear jars for reuse.

Tomorrow I'm going to try either a double boiler or heat them in the slow cooker on low or warm and see if a few hours of that will get them liquid. Once liquid I will use it up as soon as possible. At this point I making making bread about every week and a half and use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of honey per loaf. I think among the three bottles I have about 1.5 to 2 cups of honey so it would go quickly.

If I can't liquify the honey I will go to plan B.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 12:16 AM

7. This doesn't help, but

I usually buy local honey. We donít use lots, so it takes time to finish the bottle. And weíve never had that honey crystallize. Donít know if that because itís local or because it doesnít sit for years. Just a comment on buy local.

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Response to matt819 (Reply #7)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 01:15 AM

9. Yeah, I usually buy the local tupelo honey

But I got sucked into trying the rainforest honey from Costco and somebody gave me a jar of clover honey. Tupelo honey has never crystallized, but these other two varieties did rather quickly. The irony is I don't even like these other honeys - they are cloying, and too sweet. In fact, that may be why they crystallized.

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 12:19 AM

8. Microwave will eliminate crystals. Do it slowly with low power.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 01:17 AM

10. I'm a little afraid of trying the microwave, to be honest

I'll try heating them in either a double boiler or in the slow cooker with a water bath and see what happens.

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Response to csziggy (Reply #10)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 09:03 AM

11. I live alone and have carefully microwaved my little,

plastic bears of honey for decades.

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 09:13 AM

12. OK, maybe I'll try with the clover honey

Since it is my least favorite it would be less missed - and it is not in a honey bear jar.

Thanks!

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Response to sinkingfeeling (Reply #11)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 06:51 PM

14. UPDATE: I heated the three honey jars in the microwave and it worked!

Though two of the three jars got a bit out of shape.

The clover honey was the worst and it turned out fine, but took three 30 second bouts. It's jar slumped over and will not stand upright at all. So with the rainforest honey in a honey bear jar, I did it two 30 second bouts, then took it out. That jar was fine until I put the top on, thinking it was cool enough, but the bottom pooked out. With the last rainforest honey in a honey bear jar, I just heated it one thirty second bout, then poured the still warm honey from the other rainforest jar into the good jar. There was enough heat to de-crystalllize the last bit.

Since I was making bread today, I rinsed out the empty jar with the hot water I use for my bread and added just a bit less honey into the recipe. The bread turned out great, and now I have honey in smaller jars that I can actually drizzle honey out of. And I have one good honey bear jar to transfer my tupelo honey into once I use up the non-local honey.

Thanks for the suggestion!

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Response to csziggy (Original post)

Wed Jan 8, 2020, 06:26 PM

13. crystalized honey mixed with clarified butter sounds like a good plan

You don't want butter solids in there because that's what will go bad. Put the mixture into glass jars this time, in case it does tend to get overly stiff before you use it up.

I've never used plastic jars for honey, I've always transferred it into glass so that I could stick it onto riser in a pot and heat the water slowly until the honey redissolves. I've also been known to water it.

Maple syrup can also be resurrected by heat.

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