I've got a container of honey at home that has gone 'crystalised' and has caked up. When I turn the container upside down, the entire mass has fractured in half, and half sticks to the bottom and the other half slides in the direction of gravity.

Can this be rescued? (ie is it simply dehydated?) Can I add water to it to fix it?

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    Note such crystallized honey is perfectly fine to use. Your only concern is getting it out of the container. – SF. Jun 7 '14 at 8:45

Yes, crystalized honey can be saved with a combination of heat and water. The trick is using low concentrations of both. Your honey has solidified because over time the moisture has escaped and the sugars have formed crystals.

Add a tiny amount of water and break up the large crystals if possible to speed the process of dissolving the sugars back into solution. You can apply heat to the crystal solution via a water bath or microwave to help break down the crystals. However, you won't need much heat and a few seconds in the microwave should be ample. Do not over heat it (particularly if it is in a cute cheap plastic bear bottle that deforms under heat quickly). Your best bet is to add tiny amounts of water and heat, mix the solution and wait a bit. Repeat as necessary. Time is your friend, turning your honey into a boiling soup is not.

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    Where would the moisture have gone if the container has been closed? – Ruslan Jun 7 '14 at 8:40
  • It's bizarre to me because I've never heard of using water to loosen honey. I know heat works. – Jolenealaska Jun 7 '14 at 10:08
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    This answer is wrong. Honey crystallizes over time because it is an unstable solution, not because of moisture loss. blog.beeraw.com/real-raw-honey-crystal Honey will last forever undiluted. If you go adding water to it it will mold, though, or ferment, depending how much water you add. You can melt the crystals back to liquid by placing the sealed container in warm water for a few minutes. You can also microwave, but that's not ideal since the microwave heats so unevenly you can wind up with super hot pockets and some quality loss. – senschen Mar 14 '17 at 16:11
  • Honey crystallizes because it's sugar in a supersaturated solution. Warm it in a hot water bath to get the honey to it's "normal" state. Adding water to honey will surely spoil it. Crystallized honey is also a "normal" state and can be used normally, although the texture will be different (many prefer crystallized honey over a butter toast for breakfast) – roetnig Jul 10 '17 at 6:29
  • I use a sous-vide machine to keep a water bath at 105F or so. I put the container (lately big plastic jugs that have crystallized) in the bath and leave it there for several hours until all the honey has melted. – Kit Peters May 6 at 15:54

Just put the whole closed container in hot water. Warm it up and it will liquify, use it like normal. Once it cools again it will slowly re-harden, but it's fine. Rinse and repeat.

  • I usually microwave the bottle/jar for 5-10 seconds, stir, and repeat if necessary. Water bath sounds like a more gentle way of doing it though. Less risk of burning yourself too. – Preston Jun 7 '14 at 5:12

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