When you freeze honey, it can turn more viscous or even crystallize. And you for sure prefer to use softened honey. Want to know how to defrost it? We have gathered the solutions for you.
Try any of the following three methods to defrost/de-crystallize your honey:
- Soak it in hot water
- Simmer it in the crockpot/slow cooker
- Heat it up in the microwave
In this article, we will thoroughly discuss the properties of honey when frozen. Then, we will elaborate on each defrosting method, the longevity of frozen honey, crystallization, and more. So keep on reading.
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What Happens When You Freeze Honey?
Honey adapts well to many temperatures. If it is exposed to wildly fluctuating temperatures for an extended period, it might lose some of its qualities. Honey can crystallize when it is cold, but it will become more liquid when it is hot.
A smart technique to prevent the detrimental effects of temperature variations is to freeze honey if you anticipate that the place where you wish to store it will suffer significant temperature changes.
Honey has a high viscosity property because of its saturated solution of sugar. Since it doesn't have a lot of water in it, when the temperature drops below the freezing point of water, it won't freeze.
However, your honey will become considerably more viscous as the temperature drops. Below are the properties of honey as the temperature drops:
- <-4°F: Honey continues to flow slowly but remains in a liquid state. Honey is capable of falling to such a low temperature and remaining viscous, unlike water.
- -4°F to -59.8°F: Honey will go through a glassy transition between its liquid and solid states.
- <-59.8°F: Honey will solidify into an amorphous glass-like substance.
How To Defrost Honey?
Several dishes benefit from the wonderful addition of honey, but once you get it from the freezer and it crystallizes or hardens, it can be challenging to use. You can soften honey in a few different methods, all of which are quite simple.
Soak In Hot Water
1. Choose a pot that is big enough to accommodate your honey bottle or jar comfortably.
2. Fill the pot with water and check that there is enough water to cover 75% of the honey container.
3. Place the pot over a big burner with high heat.
4. Observe the water closely to determine whether or not it is bubbling. When the water is actively steaming and boiling, turn off the heat and transfer the pot to a cooler location.
5. Allow the water to cool until it reaches a temperature of 140°F or below. Let it sit for a few minutes to cool down.
Keep an eye on it by inserting a thermometer into the water to gauge its temperature. Wait until the water is below 140°F before using it for any purpose.
6. Get the honey bottle or jar and open the lid. Place it in the center of the pot. Let it sit and start absorbing the water's heat. Keep a thermometer close by to monitor the temperature.
7. Allow the honey to soften for at least 30 minutes. While your honey warms up, give it a stir. If it hasn't already softened, let the honey sit in the water for an additional 30 minutes, or until it is no longer hard.
As a reminder, heating the honey too much can destroy beneficial enzymes and other properties.
Also, many plastics can resist boiling temperatures, but you shouldn't leave plastic bottles in hot water baths that are over 140°F for very long. Check whether there is any safety information on the label.
Simmer On The Crockpot/Slow Cooker
1. Partially fill your crockpot with water. To prevent it from seeping into your honey container, fill the crockpot ¾ full.
2. Check the water's temperature using a thermometer or refer to your crockpot's instructions to learn what the lowest setting is.
Simply place a plastic jar of honey into the crockpot if the temperature is lower than 140°F on the lowest setting. If not, you must put the honey in a glass container.
3. Place the honey jar in the slow cooker and leave it there for 8 hours. Every few hours, check to make sure the water has not risen above 140°F. If so, switch the crockpot off, allow it to cool, and then turn it back on to start heating.
4. After 8 hours, check on the honey and keep heating it if there are still crystals in the jar. Check again in another hour. But if it is okay, remove the jar from the crockpot.
5. If you can, dry your honey container and keep it somewhere warm. Avoid places like the oven or the window sill where the temperature is likely to fluctuate.
In this process, the amount of honey you are decrystallizing and the severity of the crystallization will affect how long it takes. Use a slow cooker if you are worried about the water cooling down in the first method!
Heating Up In The Microwave
1. Remove the lid and place it somewhere nearby so the honey may continue to breathe while it heats up. Never heat closed honey jars since the majority of jar lids are made of metal.
2. Adjust your microwave's settings to reduce the amount of power that goes into the appliance. Pick a "medium" power level if your settings aren't explicit. Select "50% power" or less if your microwave is more advanced.
3. Set the microwave time for 1 minute or less. Wait for the honey to fully warm then stir it to check for crystallization. If the honey appears to be crusty and hardened, warm it for no longer than 30 seconds.
This is a quick heating process but never heat up your honey intensely in the microwave as it will destroy good enzymes and other nutrients.
Also, avoid using the microwave to heat plastic honey bottles because the plastic may flex and start to melt.
How Long Is Frozen Honey Good For?
Honey can last years if properly frozen. The quality could deteriorate as noted earlier if it goes through temperature changes. Honey's color darkens and flavor alters as it ages, but freezing it stops these alterations.
Why Does Honey Crystallize?
Sugar and water are the only two components of honey. Water has dissolved the sugar, yet there is more sugar present than the water can contain.
Or, to put it another way, not enough water is present to keep the sugar dissolved indefinitely.
The two components will eventually split, causing crystals to develop. Depending on the type of honey, these crystals can have a variety of sizes and textures. It also depends on the product's sugar-to-water ratio.
More sugar in honey generally crystallizes more quickly because the water has a harder time holding it.
Raw honey crystallizes faster because it retains trace amounts of pollen or beeswax than the processed honey which has been cleaned out already.
It's important to note that honey can crystallize. In fact, any raw honey that has been sitting in your cupboard for a while will probably do so.
Contrary to popular belief, this doesn't indicate that the honey is of poor quality. Rather, it's a sign that your honey is rawer and less processed since, again, such honey contains pollen or beeswax, which speeds up the rate of crystallization.
There are many factors that speed up the crystallization. One is the storing condition, such as putting it at a colder temperature.
What Is The Difference Between Raw And Pasteurized Honey?
Pasteurization is the process of heating honey to high temperatures in order to destroy any bacteria or germs that may be attempting to dwell in the honey.
Since it is considered safer by some, a large portion of the honey that you may buy in supermarkets has been pasteurized.
Many critics claim that pasteurization gives producers a better opportunity to dilute the pure honey with sugar or other additives, making it less expensive to produce but also having an impact on the honey's nutritional worth.
As you might expect, raw honey is the purest, most organic form of liquid that is drawn from a honeycomb. It might even contain hive-related materials, such as wax bits or the actual comb.
With its abundance of antioxidants, antibacterial capabilities, phytochemicals, and other health benefits, raw honey is unquestionably more valuable.
Beware of marketing tactics that attempt to mislead you by using words like "pure" or "genuine," which are not identical to "raw" and don't actually have any bearing on health.
You can effectively defrost a container's worth of honey without compromising its nutritional value, flavor, or texture if you pay close attention to the instructions above. Just simply apply minimal heat and it will liquefy/runny again. Enjoy your delicious sweet honey!
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