What is dry honey and how to use it

Dry honey
Dry honey is raw honey without all the moisture, a feat managed by dehydrating it through drum rolling, freeze-drying, vacuum-drying, or microwave drying. The versatile ingredient has a concentrated sweet honey flavor and is ideal for beverages, rubbed meats, and baked goods. It is usually available as granules, flakes, or in powder form.

What is dry honey?

Dry granulated honey
Dry granulated honey

Dry honey is raw honey that has been dehydrated to reduce its moisture content from 20-25% to only 1.5%. It may be available in different forms, including honey sheets, honey powder, granulated honey, or honey flakes.

Why do people dry honey?

People dry honey for many reasons:

  • To improve its stability and this way enhance its shelf life
  • To make cleaning up easier since dry honey doesn’t have all the stickiness of liquid honey
  • Powdered honey is more consistent in texture, color, and flavor
  • Dry honey is easier to pour or measure accurately when adding it to a dish
  • Drying honey reduces the need for storage space
  • Drying honey prevents the formation of honey crystals, an annoying aspect of fresh honey
  • To reduce the chances of fermenting by limiting the activity of microbes like yeast
OriginPeople used liquid honey as far back as 2100 BC
CuisinesIt is present in Chinese, Asian, African, Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cooking
AppearanceLight yellow or brown, depending on its type
Flavor profileHas a sweet honey flavor with floral and nutty hints

Origin

Historical records indicate that people used liquid honey as far back as 2100 BC. In 2015, a team of archeologists found 3,000-year-old edible honey in Egyptian tombs, which attests to the early use and infinite shelf life of honey.

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Liquid honey has primarily been the main way people use honey for ages. However, recent advancements in technology and ideas have made it possible to dehydrate honey and turn it into powder, flakes, or granules.

Cuisines

Honey is a common ingredient in cuisines all over the world. It is present in Chinese, Asian, African, Greek, Turkish, and Middle Eastern cooking. The dried form is gradually becoming a beloved ingredient in many cultures.

According to Worldatlas.com, the countries that use honey the most include The Central African Republic, New Zealand, Slovenia, Greece, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Montenegro.

Appearance

Dried honey is light yellow or brown, depending on its type. Honey turns brown when exposed to heat during drying or cooking. Darker brown color indicates prolonged or intense heat exposure.

Dehydrated honey lacks the stickiness and viscosity of fresh honey. Honey powder, granulated honey, and honey flakes flow freely since they are more pourable than raw honey.

Flavor profile

Like raw honey, dried honey has a sweet honey flavor with floral and nutty hints.

Depending on the manufacturer, commercially dried honey may be a concoction of different honey varieties or just one type. Honey from single nectar sources is usually clover honey, sourwood honey, or orange blossom honey.

Commercial dried honey products usually contain 70-80% real honey and 1.5% water. Some versions may have as low as 50% pure honey . The lower pure honey content is because drying honey requires additives like sweeteners, gums, and anti-caking agents.

Nutritional Benefits of dry honey

Like liquid honey, dry honey is an excellent source of healthy sugars, enzymes, minerals, amino acids, and vitamins A, B, C, D, and E. It contains potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, selenium, and magnesium.

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These vitamins and essential minerals can strengthen your skin and help control surface oils.

Dried honey has antioxidant and antibacterial properties that can help your body heal wounds, protect against cancers, and relieve coughs.

The anti-inflammatory compounds in honey can help prevent and treat infections in the body, especially in the stomach. They also help manage cramping and constipation.

Is dry honey real honey?

Honey
Honey

Yes, dry honey is real honey. It’s made when all-natural pure honey is made to lose its moisture through various drying methods like freeze-drying, drum rolling, microwave drying, vacuum drying, or using a food dehydrator.

How to use dry honey in cooking or baking?

Dry honey is a versatile sweetening and flavoring agent. You can use it in the following ways:

  • As an additive-free homemade natural sweetener for fruit drinks, lemonade, or hot and cold beverages like tea and coffee
  • As a garnish on cake frosting and homemade candies when it is in powder form
  • In dry coatings and rubs for meats
  • In dry bakery mixes for cakes, bread, and cookies
  • In vinaigrettes, marinades, sauces, and brines

How long does dry honey last?

Raw honey or unprocessed honey has an incredibly long shelf life. It can last thousands of years and still be edible. Dry honey also has the same characteristic, although its shelf life may be limited depending on storage conditions.

Commercially dried honey has a shelf life of two years when stored at room temperature in sealed containers in a cool, dry, dark place. Additive-free homemade dried honey can last indefinitely.

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Your dry honey will have a shorter life if you expose it to moisture. It won’t necessarily go bad, but it may return to its liquid state.

Can you freeze dry honey?

It’s not advisable to freeze dry honey. A freezer is a high-humidity environment, and regular opening and closing can cause temperature and humidity fluctuations that won’t be healthy for frozen dry honey.

Furthermore, honey is hygroscopic, meaning it can absorb moisture if you don’t close its storage containers tightly. It may absorb enough moisture to turn into liquid honey.

Freezing dry honey may cause it to ferment when it absorbs moisture. Honey doesn’t ferment if its moisture content is below 17.1%. Now, fermented honey is still edible but has an awkward taste you may not like.

Freezing dehydrated honey also makes dispensing it difficult. This negates one of the main points of drying it in the first place: making it easier to handle by eliminating stickiness and crystallization.

Keep your dry honey intact at room temperature in watertight and airtight containers in a cool, dry place.

Alex Maina

Since discovering how well spices transform a dish from bland to enjoyable in seconds, Alex became sold on using spices to better three of his major passions—gardening, cooking, and writing. When he is not tending to his spice crops, you'll find him trying a new recipe, writing for the Spice Gourmand, or serving a second helping of his spicy food!

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