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8 April 2019

This hot honey recipe infuses honey with a mixture of fresh habanero peppers and spicy dried red peppers for a spicy honey you’ll love. Works with any chili pepper.

If you like a bit of “sweet” with your heat, hot honey is going to be a new wonderful surprise. Many people like their sweets, but when you’re a chilihead like me, even those need a little blast of warmth to fully satisfy. When you douse hot sauce on pretty much anything, there’s nothing like a bit of heat infusion to kick things up a notch.

That’s exactly what this recipe is – an infusion. Like many other liquids, honey can be infused with all sorts of different ingredients and flavors.

It lends itself to many different things, though, being me, I am partial to chili peppers. Of course.

You’ve probably heard of brands like Mike’s Hot Honey. It’s great to buy some, but it’s also fun to make it on your own.

Let’s talk about how we make it, shall we?

Hot Honey in a jar

Ingredients Needed

  • 4-5 habanero peppers, roughly chopped (or peppers of your choice)
  • 4-5 small dried peppers, rough chopped (I used Hawaiian hots, but try dried Thai chiles or chile de arbol)
  • 12 ounces honey

How to Make Spicy Hot Honey – the Recipe Method

Chop and add your peppers and honey to a small pot or a small saucepan. Heat the honey and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes to infuse it with the pepper flavor and heat.

I used fresh habanero peppers and spicy red dried chiles (Hawaiian Hots), though you can use any peppers you’d like. More on that below.

Simmering honey with hot peppers to infuse them with flavor and heat

Remove the honey from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

Strain the honey through a fine mesh sieve. You can toss out the peppers, or enjoy the fresh peppers, as they are now candied with honey.

Straining the infused hot honey

Store your infused honey in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator.

Pouring the strained honey into a jar

Use as needed. It’s wonderfully sweet and spicy.

BOOM! It’s very easy to make. I love easy. Go and make yourself some spicy honey! I know you want to.

About the Chili Peppers

Fresh habanero peppers and dried spicy red peppers used to infuse honey with heat and flavor

I used both fresh habanero peppers and spicy dried red peppers for my infusion, Hawaiian Hots in particular. I like them for their heat and flavor.

However, you can use any type of chili pepper you’d like to make spicy honey. Try making it with milder peppers, like jalapenos or mid levels like cayennes or serranos for less heat. If you’d like some REALLY SPICY hot honey, make this with either fresh or dried ghost peppers, 7 Pot peppers, scorpion peppers, or even the Carolina Reaper

Oh baby! Talk about some heat. Habaneros will give you a good level of heat, though. Be warned.

You can also make this with either dried OR fresh peppers. It works either way. I used a combination of them.

Final note on the amounts of peppers used here. You don’t have to use as many peppers as I used. Other recipes will call for only a couple peppers for double the amount of honey that I used. You can easily use fewer peppers for a milder infusion.

For me? I love the heat and flavor. I go with more peppers. Shocking, I know.

What Foods Go with Hot Honey?

Hot honey is outstanding on many different dishes. Here is list of ideas you might try:

  • Fried chicken. This is a favorite for many people. Drizzle a bit of your spicy honey over freshly fried chicken and you’ll fall in love with it.
  • Chicken and Waffles. Spoon it over chicken and waffles for some added kick, or over fried or baked chicken wings for a pop of sweet heat.
  • Seafood. This is my personal favorite. Think of recipes like Hot Honey Salmon or Hot Honey Glazed Shrimp. Oh baby. Drizzle it onto seared scallops.
  • Pork or chicken.
  • Vegetables. Grilled, pan seared, roasted, steamed, it doesn’t matter.
  • Biscuits. Match made in heaven right here.
  • Ice Cream. Drizzle a little over the top of a scoop of vanilla. Wonderful.
  • Cocktails. Use it anywhere you’d use regular honey. Consider pairing it with whiskey or making a hot toddy. So many ways you can go with this.
  • Honey Mustard. Swirl a bit of your hot honey with a spicy mustard and you have a homemade spicy honey-mustard. 
  • Protein Shakes. Squirt in a teaspoon so it doesn’t taste like cardboard. They often lack flavor.
  • Hot Water with Lemon and Honey. There are health benefits to this concoction. Why not add the benefit of extra zing?

Think of it as an easy finishing sauce, but also a simple glaze. Or as your very own honey hot sauce.

That’s it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your new hot and spicy honey. Go ahead and whip up a batch and fill some bottles. They make great gifts, too.

I love this stuff. Enjoy!

Try Some of My Other Popular Recipes

Hot Honey in a jar, ready to enjoy

If you enjoy this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment with some STARS. Also, please share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at #ChiliPepperMadness. I’ll be sure to share! Thanks! — Mike H.

Hot Honey Recipe Infused with Habanero Peppers
Print Recipe
4.8 from 10 votes

Hot Honey Recipe

This hot honey recipe infuses honey with a mixture of fresh habanero peppers and spicy dried red peppers for a spicy honey you'll love. Works with any chili pepper.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Appetizer, hot sauce, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: condiment, habanero, honey, recipe, spicy
Servings: 72 teaspoons
Calories: 14kcal

Ingredients

  • 4-5 habanero peppers roughly chopped (or peppers of your choice)
  • 4-5 small dried peppers rough chopped (I used Hawaiian hots, but try dried Thai chiles or chile de arbol)
  • 12 ounces honey

Instructions

  • Add the peppers and honey to a small pot. Heat and simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes to infuse them with the pepper flavor and heat.
  • Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Strain the honey through a fine mesh sieve. Toss out the peppers.
  • Store in an airtight glass container in the refrigerator. Use as needed.

Notes

Seed the peppers if you’d like, though I usually leave them in. They’re strained out anyway.
Hot honey will last 4 weeks refrigerated. Use it as needed.
Heat Factor: Hot.

Nutrition

Calories: 14kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Potassium: 4mg | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 15IU | Vitamin C: 0.8mg

28 comments

  1. Just wondering your thoughts – I have some dried Trinidad peppers from a friend that I think would be great for this – how much of that would you recommend in this recipe so it’s not overwhelmingly spicy?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Alex, those can be pretty hot, so you might only use 1 or 2 if you’re not sure of the heat. You can always use more in another batch if it isn’t hot enough. Let me know how it goes.

  2. 5 stars
    I made a batch to give as a gift, and immediately had to make another batch to keep for myself. Absolutely scrumptious!

  3. 5 stars
    I have made a few batches of hot honey and enjoy the results. Adding some ginger to the infusion also adds to the flavor.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Nina, honey is not a good environment for bacteria, and really doesn’t go bad. However, when infusing it with fresh ingredients, like fresh peppers, you introduce new elements into the mix. Once you strain out the peppers, it really should be fine, but the best way would be to infuse your honey with dried pods. Then it should really be fine.

  4. Why put the honey in the refrigerator? Honey shouldn’t ever be put in the fridge, and I wouldn’t think infusing it with peppers would change that. Just curious. We are beekeepers and I was interested in making hot honey with some of our harvest.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Monika, anytime you infuse anything with fresh ingredients, it becomes more perishable. You can keep your honey in a cool, dark place, but refrigeration is better in the long run. The choice is yours.

  5. 5 stars
    Just want to add that this honey on coconut shrimp will blow your socks off with its deliciousness

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Yes! There you go, Bonnie. Love it. Perfect.

  6. Diana Peltier

    5 stars
    I love Mike’s Hot Honey and ran out so tried this as a substitute. I only had fresh habaneros on hand so used those and they worked great. I like this even better than Mike’s Hot Honey – and it’s a lot less expensive. Thanks for the great recipe!

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Diana! Glad you love it! Even better than Mike’s!

  7. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe! I bought a bottle of Mike’s Hot Honey, but all I could taste was sour vinegar. I went looking for a chili honey recipe without vinegar and was happy to find this one.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Great, Tom! Glad you enjoyed it! I love this recipe. Great for so many things. Thanks for commenting.

  8. 3 stars
    I made it last night and today the honey is SUPER hard. Any recommendations as to how to cook the honey so it is semi liquid afterwards?
    Thanks in advance

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      5 stars
      Kirsten, honey hardens up the refrigerator from the cold temperature. Just take it out and bring it to room temperature. If you want to speed up the process, set the jar/container into hot water and gently simmer to soften it up. It is still good. It is normal to harden in the refrigerator. Let me know how it goes for you.

  9. Could I use red pepper flakes for this as a substitute? Or should I double up on fresh peppers?

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Scott, absolutely. You can make hot honey with chili flakes or whole dried chili peppers. Give it a go! Let me know how it turns out for you.

      1. Made this last night with the dried chili flakes, and fresh habaneros. I tried it this morning on a spoon and it certainly woke me up! Can’t wait to try it on EVERYTHING. I will say that my mesh screen wasn’t fine enough to remove some of the smaller pepper flakes, but I think it gave it some character and let you know it was not your usual honey. 10/10 would make again.

        1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

          Nice! Great job, and thanks for letting me/us know. Enjoy it on everything! =)

  10. 5 stars
    Thanks for the great recipe! One thing I would say is don’t store it in the fridge unless you want it to crystallise.

  11. Aloha! I was wondering if the end product Is okay to leave on the shelf or would it needed to be stored in the fridge? Also how long do u believe the product good for? I know honey can stay good for centuries as long as it stays uncontaminated, but I’m curious about what happens with the introduction of the chili peppers. I am thinking of giving these out as Xmas gifts so I want to make sure no one ends up with mold in their stockings. Thank you.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Hello, Duro. Processed honey will last a long, long time, and is said that is never spoils. We’re adding infused material, though, so it is best to consume within a month for peak flavor. However, it still should last you a long time.

  12. 5 stars
    I never imagined honey mixing with spice could be a thing that could be delicious especially while adding habaneros. Of course now that I think about it, I did have honey fried chicken in Korea but I think a kick of spice from your recipe would have done wonders to improve the taste.

    1. Michael Hultquist - Chili Pepper Madness

      Thanks, Nyasha. It’s definitely a great combo!

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