Monday, June 25, 2012
How to use crystallized honey
I have lots of honey that is 15 or more years old. It has gone crystallized and hard inside the 5 lb. plastic jugs. When I can melt it, it is perfectly usable. But how do I melt it?
BOILING ON STOVE:
I just put a grate in the bottom of a pot and put the opened jug on top of the grate, and boil it in water until I can pour it out into smaller containers. (Never put the jug directly on the bottom of the pot, and never boil a jug with the lid on.)
The honey stays reasonably soft, soft enough to use it for spreading on toast. It doesn't go back to completely liquid and pourable, but it is usable.
IN THE MICROWAVE:
These jugs are too tall for my microwave. However, if the honey is in plastic jugs, you can saw the top part off with a serrated knife and then set the jug inside the microwave. Microwave it long enough to make some of it liquid, pour that off, and repeat.
Another way I have melted the hard honey is by putting the jug out in the sun on a sunny day. The outer edges will melt and you can pour that off and keep repeating. An even more effective way to do this is by putting the jug inside a turkey roasting plastic oven bag. Puff the bag out away from the jug, put a twist tie on the opening to keep the heat inside. The sun will shine through the bag and the heat will collect inside the air space, like a car in the sun. If you're doing this on a sunny day when it isn't very hot outside, set the bag/jug on top of something insulative, like a board, to keep it off the cold ground.
NEVER BUY HONEY IN 5 GALLON BUCKETS OR GLASS JARS
I never buy honey in anything other than small plastic jugs or containers. Why? Because if it is in a huge container, you can't put it in the microwave or boil it on the stove. My friend had to chisel chunks of hard honey out of a 5 gallon bucket to try to melt the chunks on the stove. That does not sound fun.
And I don't get glass jars, because then I can't saw off the top of the jug to fit it in my microwave.
Face it, with food storage honey, it is going to go solid eventually. So you better have a plan on how you are going to soften it.