We love honey, but aren't too fond of the sticky mess
December 4, 2017 12:22 PM   Subscribe

We eat a lot of honey at our house, particularly in tea. Larger containers cost less per ounce, but generally lack a handy pour spout that are found on smaller containers. With that, what are good honey pots or dispensers? Honey pots with little serving utensils/spoons look cute but sticky, while honey dispensers that pour from the bottom look nice but I'm concerned they'd leak a lot between the holder and mug of tea. MeFites, what is best?
posted by filthy light thief to Food & Drink (22 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
How about keeping a smaller container once you've used up the honey, and refilling it from the larger container?
posted by Autumnheart at 12:29 PM on December 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


How about keeping a smaller container once you've used up the honey, and refilling it from the larger container?

Bingo. Decant it into the small, easy-to-manage squirt bottle.
posted by phunniemee at 12:32 PM on December 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


Honey pots with little serving utensils/spoons look cute but sticky, while honey dispensers that pour from the bottom look nice but I'm concerned they'd leak a lot between the holder and mug of tea. MeFites, what is best?

We use precisely one of those, and despite it appearing in the AskMe linked Gifts for People You Hate, I've been perfectly happy with it for quite some time. As long as you hold it for a second or so after you release the trigger to put the plug back down, it will be a while before the honey drips again, plenty of time to make it back to its holder. And often not even then - I think there's been enough honey down in the holder for me to bother cleaning it out maybe twice in the past three years; I really think of the holder as being more to keep the dispenser upright than to catch any drips. Also, the original holder broke some time ago due to a roommate's clumsy moment, but we replaced it with a 4 oz Ball jelly jar, which is almost perfectly the same size in both height and diameter, and I don't think any visitor has ever noticed.

There are, however, two drawbacks, they just aren't the one you are worried about:
1) if your house/apartment is cold, the honey is slooooow, and there's no squeezing to speed it up. Pumping the trigger has limited effect. Though if you are dispensing into a hot drink or dish, that's mitigated almost entirely by the rising steam, so with hot tea you will be fine. Iced tea, less so.
2) refilling is a slightly tricky affair, and you need to have the place where you will set the top/plug down and the refill bottle already prepped before you start; your finger has to replace the plug on the bottom, so basically, the unscrewing of the top, setting it down somewhere, picking up the honey and pouring it in, then putting that down, getting the plug back and screwing the top back on are all done with one hand while the other feels useless holding the thing all because one finger cannot move or disaster will surely follow.

And now you have more thorough a review of the device than surely those silly little buggers merit, and you can make a fully informed decision if the aesthetics are worth it.
posted by solotoro at 12:53 PM on December 4, 2017 [4 favorites]


This thing! It's awesome if you like to buy from beekeepers who use canning jars. It doesn't really drip since you can just turn it upside down on its journey to the tea mug.
posted by xylothek at 1:16 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


How about keeping a smaller container once you've used up the honey, and refilling it from the larger container

We have a bad habit of puncturing the smaller (plastic) containers, sometimes resulting in a slow leak of honey that we don't notice until the counter is sticky and squeezing the jar no longer encourages a nice, controlled flow of honey from the mouth of the container.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:21 PM on December 4, 2017


Is there a reason you can't just stick a clean spoon into the jar each time you use it? It completely eliminates every concern discussed in this thread so far.
posted by HotToddy at 1:22 PM on December 4, 2017 [5 favorites]


I totally get that using a spoon is just sticky and messy - it's always dribbling, and the quantity isn't consistent.

What about using a glass container often used for syrup? As seen on diner tables everywhere. They only have a top opening, so no dealing with a base. They can be picked up quite cheaply from a restaurant supply store.
posted by hydra77 at 1:49 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


You need the thing! The wooden thing with a beehive on the end of it. This is the thing you need.
posted by bq at 2:24 PM on December 4, 2017


Start buying creamed honey? It's thicker and thus you can manage with a knife (more like peanut butter).

It still dissolves nicely in tea.
posted by platypus of the universe at 2:33 PM on December 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


You need the thing! The wooden thing with a beehive on the end of it. This is the thing you need.

If you're talking about a honey dipper, I have one of those, and it's terrible. The only reason I bought it is because I'd never seen one in real life, but I think I know why; it's pretty much just plain worse than using a spoon. The thing it theoretically does well is dribble a nice even stream of honey. But it's super sensitive to honey consistency, it's impossible to use without making a big mess, and it always holds a more honey than it actually dribbles so each time you clean it you waste a bunch of honey (maybe you're supposed to just leave it in your honey container? IDK)
posted by aubilenon at 2:36 PM on December 4, 2017


you're supposed to just leave it in your honey container?
yes, you are supposed to leave it in

I generally just buy the medium sized squeeze bottle that has the flat top dispenser lid. It is a similar profile to the ketchup bottles with the lid on the bottom, and the honey can be stored that way when you get down the end of the bottle.
posted by soelo at 2:42 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Does it even have to be a honey bottle? Just buy a squeeze bottle at your local Container Store or wherever, and fill it with honey. Buy a thing of Aunt Jemima, or Heinz Ketchup, toss the contents and use the bottle.
posted by Autumnheart at 2:48 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


What about replacing the lid of the large honey pot with something like this pour-spout lid? You can find alternative mason jar lids and the like to fit all sorts of sizes of jars, and if you buy two then you can swap them out for easy cleaning.
posted by DSime at 3:06 PM on December 4, 2017


Best I know of are the squeeze bottles designed to be stored neck-down - the ones with the little cross-cut silicone dome valve in the cap that holds itself closed under the weight of the honey but pops open under squeeze pressure. The instant you stop squeezing one of these, the dome closes itself off and the honey just drops away from it.

Most of these bottles also have a pretty wide neck, so refilling them from a bulk container shouldn't be too difficult.

You can even use a stream of hot water to wash the outside of the valve and the inside of the cap, removing such tiny driblets of honey as have managed to stick to the sides and pool up in there, without the hot water leaking back into the bottle. Those little silicone valves just work really well.
posted by flabdablet at 3:09 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


Beyond just creamed honey most less refined honeys are solid or crystalized. Just spoon it out, no dribbling. They're usually better for you anyway. They also spread nicely on toast if you want to up your honey game.
posted by Bistyfrass at 3:24 PM on December 4, 2017 [2 favorites]


I've explored this very problem and ultimately settled back on a good old teaspoon, wielded with a twirl and a scrape before the transfer from jar to cup. Every other tool was just an exercise in jumping through hoops or gratuitous stickiness.
posted by gyusan at 4:23 PM on December 4, 2017 [3 favorites]


Honey is also available in powder form.
posted by effluvia at 4:26 PM on December 4, 2017


We also use a tea spoon, specifically an “iced teaspoon” that has a very long handle so our fingers don’t have to dip in the jar and possibly touch sticky spots.
posted by Swisstine at 4:27 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


How about with a big syringe?
posted by ShooBoo at 5:01 PM on December 4, 2017 [1 favorite]


I bought a lovely ceramic beehive with lid today at Trader Joes. It comes with a dipper but the slot would hold a spoon. WINCO sells bulk honey to refill it https://www.amazon.com/Mary-Lake-Thompson-Ceramic-Beehive-Dipper/dp/B00794MF7Q#
posted by Oyéah at 6:08 PM on December 4, 2017


I just buy creamed or whipped honey in a tub -- it has the consistency of soft butter so it doesn't drip. Stirs into tea easily and tastes the same.
posted by ananci at 6:34 PM on December 4, 2017


I have found that the key is keeping the honey warm. All of the distribution methods seem to work best with more liquid honey.

Do you have a stove with a pilot light or another appliance that emits warmth? Set the honey on top of that. If that's not an option, you can get a syrup pitcher and keep it in a shallow saucer or bowl. When you make your tea, pour a few tablespoons of hot water in the dish. While your tea steeps, the honey will warm. If you do end up with a few drips they'll dissolve in the warm water instead of welding the pitcher to the countertop.
posted by annaramma at 10:00 AM on December 5, 2017


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