Is Crystallized Honey Safe

Dear Home Ec 101,

I don’t really like honey, but I keep it around for when my grandkids visit. It always gets grainy and I don’t trust that it’s safe for the kids. Is there a way to prevent this from happening?



Heather says:

Honey crystallizes over time, it’s just a fact of life.

The more pollen contained in the honey, the faster it will crystallize. Don’t worry, the crystallized honey is safe, but the texture isn’t really that appealing.

You can heat the honey gently to dissolve the crystals and it will be good as new, for a very short time; the crystals tend to reform pretty rapidly. You can either place the container in a warm water bath or pour the honey in a microwave safe container and microwave on low power, stirring occasionally until the crystals dissolved.

Don’t store honey in the refrigerator, this may accelerate the crystallization process. Keep it in a cupboard that has a stable temperature (not over the stove, for example) to get the longest crystal-free shelf life. It is also fine to freeze honey in freezer safe containers, but not really necessary for safety’s sake.

Above all else, remember to never give honey to an infant.


  1. mail order brides on August 31, 2010 at 2:45 am

    It is a very interesting article for me, that’s why I have decided to express my opinion. I know the answer from my own experience, as my elder brother is a beekeeper and there is a lot of honey at home. And I would like to tell you that it is absolutely normal when honey is crystallized. Moreover I assure you it is much better then when honey does not become crystallized. It means that it is not natural and contains different unhealthy ingredients.

  2. CJ McD on August 26, 2010 at 10:41 am

    You can always stir a little of the crystalized honey with butter and use it on pancakes, waffles, muffins, toast and cornbread. Honey-butter is delicious.

  3. ThatBobbieGirl on August 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    If your honey DOESN'T crystallize after it's been sittin' around a good while, it's not PURE HONEY. It's had something else added to it, corn syrup or some such thing, to keep it from doin' what comes naturally.

    BTW, we smear raw honey on burns right away, then cover w/ guaze. It's soothing and it helps it heal. My daughter had a nasty steam burn that I was sure would blister and be ugly, but the honey worked and it healed up in a few days.

    • Sal on August 27, 2010 at 4:25 pm

      Please DON'T do this. Do not put ANYTHING on a fresh burn! Especially not honey or butter. The safest thing with a burn is to immediately cool it under running water for at least 15 minutes (not freezing cold water and never ice).

      If it doesn't blister after that time and it is quite small, you can use antiseptic cream then cover it with gauze or a plaster.

      If the burn is bigger than a penny, you should see a doctor. If it's on a child and any size you should see a doctor. If it's on anyone's face, or covering someone's fingers, or if it's otherwise large or severe, or if it blisters straight away, get to the ER.

      • ThatBobbieGirl on August 27, 2010 at 4:44 pm

        You're correct in saying not to use butter, but honey has been used on burns for ages, and with good results. There have even been medical studies done on its effectiveness. But in our own personal experience, it's worked better than the burn cream that my mom always had us use.

        Newer is not always better.

  4. @rbucich on August 25, 2010 at 12:25 pm

    C'mon now, everyone likes honey! You can put in everything from tea to BBQ sauce, beer to salad dressing.
    Bees rock:)

    • HeatherSolos on August 25, 2010 at 12:35 pm

      Nope, let's just say the honey hater is someone in my life, but I refuse to reveal their identity. Oh and it's not me, I love honey and buy it by the quart from the farmer's market.

  5. Nancy Cox on August 25, 2010 at 11:58 am

    If you keep it sealed from moisture, honey will last forever. It has been found still edible in Egyptian pyramids.

  6. Molly on August 25, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Agreed! I've rehabilitated and enjoyed many jars of honey this way. I just wanted to add a note about safety. Heating in a warm water bath on the stove is slower but probably safer because it heats more evenly (loosen the lid first). If you microwave on high power, it can create pockets of boiling-hot honey in the middle of a lump of cold crystals, which can explode the honey, or even worse, explode a glass bottle. If you use the microwave, be sure to heat very slowly, stir often, and be careful.

  7. Brian on August 25, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Also, honey never spoils. Kills bacteria, insufficiently moist for yeast.

    • Crissy on May 4, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      Thanks for the insight. It brngis light into the dark!

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