The Best Way to Serve Honey – FIFO Bottles
I have stewed on what is the best way to serve honey since – well – forever. I dislike – dare I go so far as to say hate – how messy it is!!
Who likes the sticky drips and wiping up a dribble on the shelf?!
Imagine eleven people, from toddler on up to adult, dipping into honey all day long. No one seems to notice the sticky drizzle that is dripping down the side of the bottle and eventually dripping through the wire shelf to shelf and onto the bag of potatoes. Honey mixed with dust, potato dirt, and bread crumbs – ick!!
There had to be a way to contain the honey and serve it efficiently. And I tried everything – EVERYTHING!
We used those cute honey bear bottles, refilling them as they emptied. We also used those funky glass honey dispensers that open from the bottom when you pull the trigger – more of a hassle than it was worth. We even used one of those plastic honey dippers from a little crock – toddlers and adults alike STILL managed to get honey everywhere. Nothing lasted long. The honey always got gunky with peanut butter or crumbs and it always dribbled!
Side note: You have had to reheat honey to de-crystallized honey before, haven’t you? Glass is best, right? Well, I tried to melt honey in one of those poor teddy bears and, well, Pooh Bear would have fainted at the sight of one of his likenesses with a warped bottom, listing to the right. Sad!!
Now, I realize that is not the issue for most folks. But now that I am buying honey in those large six-pound bottles at Costco, it still is messy; still dripping onto the counter, smearing into the coffee grounds left from brewing coffee earlier. My kids just never understood my issue with those drips – grrrr! You get the picture.
Light bulb moment at the sandwich shop
As it happened I was ordering sub sandwiches for my work crew one Saturday noon. I watched as the kid behind the counter picked up a bottle then squirted the sweet onion and BBQ sauces onto the sandwiches. Maybe you’ve seen them. They have a top and a bottom lid. But the bottom lid had a silicon valve which opens when you squeeze the bottle. Brilliant idea… fill from the top and squirt out the bottom.
– light-bulb moment – If it worked for mayo, dressing and barbecue sauce, why not honey!
*Note: my only “gripe” and a few tips
I had to have one.
I LUUURVE my FIFO bottle for honey!
So, once I got home, I went to Amazon and proceeded to search for this specialized bottle. But what to call it? I must have typed in something like, “squeeze bottle with a valve in the bottom” or something like it. And guess what, there it was! But its better descriptive title is FIFO Squeeze Bottle – FIFO, of course, meaning first in, first out.
That means no more messy honey. Fill in through the top, close lid. Then hold bottom over your spoon or mug and squeeze. Honey comes out until you stop squeezing and then stops when you stop. Brilliant. My OCD hubby has no complaints and my 5-year-old grandson is a testimony to its wonderful simplicity (and a happy grandma).
And I immediately began to think of all the other uses for one of these ingenious bottles. These would work for home-made or store-bought:
- Salad dressing (duh)
- Chocolate sauce
- Oil (not sure about that one yet but I have heard that folks use them for oil)
- Anything saucy
But how about:
- Dish soap
These guys are EASY to clean. Just open up and use a bottle brush and hot soapy water, rinse well and air dry.
I love that they come in different sizes. The 16 oz and 20 oz are the most useful to me, but they come smaller and bigger, 20 oz., 24 oz. and 32 oz.
What I like LOVE about these:
- No drip * see note below
- Easy to clean. Just remove the top and bottom and clean in hot soapy water. Rinse and air dry. Not good in a dishwasher.
- Stable. Stands on its bottom
- Uniform sizes – all fit very neatly in the fridge door or in my condiment bin.
- Easy to label the lids – see from the top.
Tip #1 – Keep the refrigerated bottles cool (dressings, catsup, mayo, etc).
If a bottle is left out of fridge on a warm day or near a warm stove for more than a few minutes, the moisture in the contents will expand and force it to dribble or even spurt out the valve. Either put the bottle back in the fridge right away or place it on a dish to catch the mess.
I keep my dressings in a bin all together so all I have to do when I serve salad is to bring out the bin of dressings neatly contained in one place. This way they keep each other cool and contain any mess as well.
My own experience is with Italian salad dressing. I left the bottle out of the fridge for too long and the dressing “squirted” due to built up pressure. Keep the bottle chilled or place it on a dish to catch fall-out. In the restaurants, they are kept chilled and in a bin.
Tip #2 – Make sure the bottom and top are properly aligned and sealed tightly and you are good to go.
If you don’t make sure these are lined up they will leak!! I never had a problem with this but I have gotten feedback on leaky lids and this was the problem.
Once I learned to keep chilled sauces and dressings cold and honey in a consistently warm area, I had no more drips.
You have to try this thing!
Tip #3 How to liquefy crystallized honey in a FIFO bottle
If honey sits for long, it will begin to crystallize or get sugary. That is not a problem per se but when you like to have the honey flowing freely, no matter the way you dispense it, you need to warm it up gently.
General tips for liquefying honey
When I heat honey no matter what it is stirred in, I put the whole container in a saucepan which is large enough to hold it, then fill the water to a level at or just above where it is in the container. The turn the heat up to medium low. Watch the honey and turn the bottle from time to time allowing the honey to pick up any stray crystals. Once it is all liquidy, set it out to cool.
You can also heat honey in the microwave. It depends on how much honey you have but try a 15 seconds to a minute, stopping every 10 to 15 seconds.
In a FIFO bottle, loosen the top lid before placing in water (or microwave oven). Heat as above, gently. Once it is all liquidy, put the still open bottle on a small plate till it is completely cool. THEN tighten the top lid. If you don’t loosen the lid while heating, you WILL have honey leaking into the water and onto the counter. Ask me how I know!!