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Honey That Won’t Recrystallize

By Cook's Illustrated Published July 2016

Over time, honey crystallizes when moisture evaporates. Here's how to fix it.

We’ve found we can clear up a jar of crystallized honey by putting the opened jar in a saucepan with 1 inch of water, heating the water (and honey) gently over low heat, and then transferring the now-smooth honey to a clean jar—but it’s never a lasting fix. Rather than repeatedly perform this trick, we wanted a more permanent solution.

Over time, honey crystallizes when moisture evaporates, causing the individual sugar molecules to interlock and form a lattice. But this can happen only when the sugars are all of the same structure. Corn syrup never crystallizes because it contains fragments of glucose chains.

With that in mind, we heated jars of crystallized honey until the honey was smooth and then evenly divided it between two containers. We stirred a small amount of light corn syrup (2 teaspoons per cup of honey) into one half and left the other untreated. And then we waited. And waited. It took some time to get an answer, but the corn syrup did the trick in the end. The untreated honey started to recrystallize after three months, while the honey mixed with corn syrup stayed fluid and clear even after six months of storage. So the next time your honey crystallizes, heat it with 2 teaspoons of light corn syrup per cup for a long-term fix.

SYRUPY FIX: Corn syrup keeps honey from recrystallizing.