Hot Honey Is the Condiment You Can't Live Without—Here's How to Make It With Just 2 Ingredients
There's a new condiment taking over tables across the country. And by new, we mean a mashup of two items you likely already have in your kitchen, but never thought to combine: honey and hot chile peppers. That's right, hot honey is the addition to your table that you never knew you needed, but won't be able to believe you lived without.
What Is Hot Honey?
Hot honey is a brilliantly simple combination of honey and chile peppers. The honey is infused with dried chile peppers—see below for a basic recipe on how to DIY the process—to create a perfectly sweet, spicy, and all around stellar topping for pretty much any dish you're serving. I first tried hot honey when it was served to me at a pizza joint alongside my red pie topped with bacon and jalapeños. The slight sweetness and extra spice offered by the honey made an already fantastic combination out of this world, and I was officially hooked. The level of heat can vary greatly depending on the type of chiles used and how long they're simmered with the honey, but the basic principle is about as minimalist as it gets.
How to Use Hot Honey
There are endless ways to use spiced honey in both sweet and savory dishes. You can use hot honey to top basically any roasted vegetable, flatbread, or grilled protein for a sweet and spicy kick that will elevate a basic meal from boring to showstopper. If you're looking for some more guidance, try:
- Mixing hot honey into a hot toddy in place of regular honey for an extra-warming cocktail.
- Drizzling it over roasted Brussels sprouts and pecans right when they come out of the oven.
- Topping spinach, provolone, and sausage pizza with an unexpected sweet kick (and make sure to save some extra for crust dipping - trust us!)
- Glazing chicken skewers for the perfect BBQ addition.
- Punching up honey mustard dipping sauce for chicken tenders, veggies, or pretzels.
- Adding an unexpected twist to a traditional honey cake.
- Serving alongside homemade biscuits with salted butter for breakfast, tea time, or a side dish that's sure to be remembered.
Make It, Buy It… Just Get Your Hands on It!
It's easy enough to make hot honey, but if you're feeling especially low maintenance, there are some great brands on the market. Brooklyn-based Mike's Hot Honey ($10; amazon.com) is one of the OG creators of this magical condiment, and has been bottling up pure joy since 2010. Bees Knees Spicy Honey ($15; amazon.com) is another fantastic option that uses oleoresin habanero peppers for an even spicier kick, if that's your style.
If you want to go the homemade route, you can follow the basic formula below. Note that you can mix up the type of chiles you use to make the honey more mild or hotter, depending on your preference. A mild start would be jalapenos or fresnos, mid-level might be cayenne or serrano, and all-out heat would be your ghost or red habaneros. For your first batch, start easy and go up from there to avoid burning mouths!
Hot Honey Recipe:
In a small saucepan, combine 12 ounces of honey with 6 to 8 dried chile peppers of your choosing (see note above), chopped or sliced into small pieces. Bring to a simmer and reduce heat to medium; simmer for about 5 minutes at medium heat, then reduce heat to low and let the honey continue to infuse for 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how strong of a chile flavor you prefer. Taste halfway through for flavor and add more dried chiles as needed. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool before draining through a fine meshed strainer into a small jar, discarding the peppers.
Note: Your homemade hot honey can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three months in an air-tight container. Avoid storing in a metal container, which can cause oxidation.