Quick Tip: Working with Honey Made Easy

Honey: We put it in tea, spread it on toast, and use it in baked goods. It’s versatile, and also very sticky. I’ve developed a few tricks to make working with honey a lot less stressful – and messy.

How to resuscitate crystallized honey: Honey typically begins to crystallize after it has sat still for a couple of weeks. That’s when glucose, one of the main sugars in honey, begins to precipitate out and form hard granules. (Read this PDF for lots of information about why and how honey crystallizes.)

The easiest way to return honey to its smooth, liquid form is to heat the crystallized honey gently, either in a warm-water bath or in the microwave. I find using the microwave is much faster – simply heat the honey in a glass container on medium power until it begins to warm (about 30 seconds at a time). Then stir the honey, heat and repeat until the crystals have dissolved.

Heat honey to make pouring easier: Room-temperature honey is pretty viscous, and takes a long time to pour. I make it easier on myself by warming honey before I cook with it. I’ve converted an old fruit preserves jar into my cooking honey jar. I keep it about one-third full of honey. Before measuring out my honey, I quickly heat it in the microwave for only 15-20 seconds. This thins the honey and makes measuring and pouring much faster and easier.

Grease your measuring utensils: Notice how the honey isn’t sticking to the sides of the red measuring cup? That’s because I measured the oil in my recipe first, before measuring the honey. With the oil coating the measuring cup, the honey doesn’t stick at all.

One of the things I like least about cooking with honey is having to use a spatula (or get my fingers sticky) to make sure all the honey is out of the measuring cup or spoon. Of course, it’s easiest to grease your measuring utensils as you’re cooking – simply measure oil first. I’ve even found it’s worth it to intentionally oil the measuring cup with just a couple drops of oil before measuring something sticky, like honey or molasses.

Put some of these honey tricks to work and bake a batch of honey almond spice cookies.

  • Lydia

    Measuring the oil first is a great idea. 

  • Abby

    You can also spray it (measuring cup, spatula, or even your fingers) with cooking spray if your not using oil.

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