Can you microwave honey to make it smooth and runny is a popular question during winter.
Honey contains fructose and glucose (natural sugars), and water. The water solidifies under cold conditions and stops holding the sugars together, causing the honey to crystallize.
Raw honey crystallizes even faster on beeswax. An exciting write-up explains more about reheating honey to decrystallize it.
Can You Microwave Honey?
Yes. The microwave method is the quickest way to crystallize honey particles and make them flow.
It is safe to microwave honey if you use a microwave-safe bowl without a metallic lid and maintain low to medium power.
Water molecules in honey heat up and melt sugar components, making them lose flow.
Microwaved honey is safe for human consumption, but you must observe proper caution so that you preserve its taste, consistency and helpful enzymes.
Extreme microwave heat can burn honey and denature available nutrients. Raw, unfiltered honey, especially, require more care; otherwise, it burns quickly, losing its taste and nutrients.
How to Microwave Honey
Here is the safest, step-by-step guide to decrystallize honey in a microwave:
- Transfer your honey from its plastic container to a microwave-safe container. Glass and ceramic bowls are the best since they can withstand high microwave heat.
- Ensure the glass jar’s lid is not metallic. Metals spark a fire in the microwave (arcing).
- Set your appliance at 50% power level, low or medium levels.
- Heat the microwave at 30 seconds intervals and pause to stir. Stirring ensures even heating and melting to avoid burning some parts.
- Monitor the smell of your honey to ensure it doesn’t burn.
How Long Can You Microwave Honey?
You should heat honey at 30 seconds intervals, stop the microwave to stir and smell if the money is burning.
You can then continue heating your honey at low-medium heat for another 30 seconds and repeat the process until it liquefies as desired.
Heating time could vary depending on the amount of honey you are melting and the amount of glucose and fructose in the honey.
However, don’t exceed the heating time; otherwise, the microwave temperature will rise and burn your honey, thus spoiling its taste and smell.
Can You Microwave Honey in A Plastic Container?
- NO. You must transfer honey to a microwave-safe bowl if came in a plastic container because of the following reasons:
- Plastics can’t withstand high microwave heat; they warp or melt when heated.
- Melted plastics leach harmful toxins to food that are linked to human cancer. Plastic pieces are also ingestible.
- Melted plastics are also dangerous for your hands; they may cause serious burns.
- Plastics are poor conductors of heat and hinder even heating. It could also mean heating longer with no tangible results.
Safety Tips to Remember When You Microwave Honey in A Microwave
Safety tips for consistently, tasty and crystallized honey include:
- Never heat honey in its plastic container. Most plastics melt when heated and leach potentially harmful chemical toxins into your food.
- You can use the following jars to soften your honey, provided you remove their lids:
- Honey dispenser, no drip glass.
- Ball regular mason canning jar.
- Stoneware pot with lid and wood honey dispenser.
- Elwiya Mason jar syrup and honey dispenser.
- Raw, unfiltered honey is delicate and requires more care to preserve its taste and consistency.
- Stirring your honey constantly ensures it heats evenly.
- Honey gets hot easily hence watch out not to burn your tongue.
- 110℉ is the safest temperature to decrystalllize honey. Beyond this temperature, the pollen enzymes, anti-oxidants and propolis are destroyed.
Alternatives to Melting Honey in a Microwave (Using a Water Bath)
The water bath method is the most recommended method to melt a honey block; however, time-consuming.
It involves the following 4 easy to follow steps:
- Transfer your honey from its plastic container to a water-tight glass jar. Plastics are poor conductors of heat.
- Heat water to 110℉.You can use an instant kettle, stove top, or sous vide cooker.
- Submerge the jar with honey into the water. Ensure water reaches above the honey level or fully covers the jar.
- Leave the honey to liquefy but keep monitoring the water temperature. It takes up to an hour for little honey to melt and much longer for more honey.
Why Does Honey Crystallize?
Different kinds of honey crystallize at different rates depending on the amount of sugars (glucose and fructose) present.
The more glucose honey contains, the faster it crystallizes. Honey with more fructose than glucose takes longer to crystallize and vice versa.
How to Decrystallize Honey Easily?
Microwaving is the easiest and quickest method to soften solid honey, while water bathing is the most time-consuming.
It takes 30-60 seconds to soften honey in a microwave and up to an hour using a water bath.
However, many people will use the water bath method since it doesn’t involve direct heating, unlike the microwave method.
According to the National Centre for Biotechnology, cooking honey alters its quality and taste and denatures its enzymes.
Softened honey is likely to solidify when left under cold conditions, so choose a method that will save you time whenever you need to liquefy honey.
What Are The Don’ts Of Reheating Honey?
You should avoid these practices when softening honey:
- Only microwave honey for up to 30 seconds. Extending the heating time raises the microwave heat, which further burns your honey.
- Never boil raw honey. Extreme temperatures denature available enzymes.
- Never use a plastic jar to reheat honey, regardless of your chosen method. Plastic melt and leach toxins into your food.
- Don’t reheat honey severally; otherwise, you will alter its taste and flavor. Just heat the amount you need at a time.
You can microwave crystallized honey to soften it, but you must observe proper caution for the best results.
You should use a microwave-safe jar without a metallic lid.
You should heat honey for 30 seconds at low or medium heat, pause your appliance to stir, and monitor its consistency.
You can also use the water bath method if you don’t have a microwave.