COURTESY OF MIKE’S HOT HONEY
Ketchup, soy sauce, and hot sauce are condiments I’ve deemed as pantry essentials most of my life. As my palate continues adapting to global flavors, I’ve added fruit chutney, gochujang, and harissa (to name a few). The next condiment I think deserves its own spot on my shelves: hot honey. Just as the name implies, it’s a combo of honey and chile spices that provides a delightful little sweet-spicy kick to foods. If spicy honey is new to you, here you’ll learn what this delicious condiment is all about, where to buy it, and the best ways to use hot honey. You’ll also find our Test Kitchen tip on making your own hot honey recipe at home because trust me, you’ll be using it on everything.
Hot honey is simply honey infused with chile peppers. The spice level and type of peppers used depends on the brand and your heat tolerance, but you shouldn’t expect it to be overwhelming. According to Mike’s Hot Honey website, the product “has a kick but the heat hits on the back of the palate.” And that’s just what it is: a perfect balance of sweet heat. Fans of really spicy food might want to give Mike’s Extra Hot Honey ($11, Amazon) a try.
Where to Buy Hot Honey
Perhaps the largest movement of the hot honey trend started with Mike’s Hot Honey selling like hotcakes on Amazon. To date, the hot honey brand has a 4.5/5-star rating with more than 8,300 reviews. The increasing popularity of hot honey also makes it much easier to find next to traditional honey bears sold in stores. Look for it in grocery stores and retailers such as Target. Aldi even has its own version under the Berryhill line, and it happens to be one of this week’s Aldi Finds (for just $4!).
How to Make Your Own Hot Honey Recipe
While some will swear no hot honey can compare to their favorite purchased chile-infused honey, it is possible to do it yourself (or to use in a pinch as a hot honey substitute). If you really want to try it before Amazon can get it to your door, try stirring in ½ tsp. of crushed red pepper flakes into 2 Tbsp. of honey. That’s what our Test Kitchen recommends as a substitute in recipes such as the peach-berry hot honey crisp pictured above.
Uses for Hot Honey
One taste of hot honey and you’ll quickly realize it’s a great accompaniment to pretty much any sweet or savory dish. Add a drizzle to a slice of pizza, pasta, or fried chicken sandwich. Coat your roasted veggies or chicken wings. Add them to your favorite cookie recipe. You could even try stirring it into your morning cup of coffee or tea. The possibilities really are endless here.