This hot honey recipe is easy to make with honey and fresh or dried chilies, the perfect sweet and spicy condiment for biscuits, pizza, and more!
Homemade Hot Honey Recipe
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 hot honey 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 at the grocery store, but it's also fun to make it on your own, and so much fresher.
Let's talk about how to make hot honey at home, shall we?
Hot Honey Ingredients
- Chili Peppers. You can use either fresh hot peppers or dried hot peppers or hot chili flakes to make hot honey. You can use any spicy chili peppers to your preferred heat level.
- Honey. Use your favorite brand. Works with any types of honey.
- Vinegar. I prefer apple cider vinegar for its tangy flavor. Vinegar is optional, but it does help for longer keeping.
How to Make Hot Honey - the Recipe Method
Add the peppers and honey to a small saucepan or pot. Heat to medium low heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes to infuse them with the pepper flavor and heat. You can simmer longer if you'd like. Do not allow the honey to boil.
This recipe works with fresh chili peppers or with hot chili flakes or other dried hot peppers.
Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar (if using). If using fresh peppers, strain the honey into a jar through a fine mesh strainer. If using dried peppers, strain only if desired.
Cool and store in an airtight glass container. Makes 1 cup.
Use as needed. It's wonderfully sweet and spicy.
BOOM! Your hot honey is ready to serve! It's very easy to make. I love easy. Go and make yourself some spicy honey! I know you want to.
Recipe Notes & Tips
You can also make hot honey with either dried OR fresh peppers. It works either way. Crushed red pepper flakes are easy to find. I used a combination of crushed chili flakes and fresh pods.
Adjust the Heat Level. You can easily use fewer peppers for a milder infusion, or use hotter peppers to really bring the heat.
Also, consider adding a few splashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Save the Fresh Peppers. It is best to strain out fresh peppers for safe keeping. You can use these hot peppers for deserts or cocktails, as they are essentially "candied" or "honeyed", and quite delicious.
Hot honey made with dried peppers and chili flakes can remain unstrained. The choice is yours if you'd prefer to strain it for a smoother honey.
Best Chili Peppers for Making Hot Honey
However, you can use any type of chili pepper you'd like to make hot 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.
Talk about some heat. Habaneros will give you a good level of heat, though. Be warned.
What To Serve 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 oven fried or baked chicken wings for a pop of sweet heat. Hot honey wings are delicious!
- Seafood. This is my personal favorite. Think of recipes like Hot Honey Salmon or Hot Honey Glazed Shrimp. Drizzle it onto seared scallops or use it as a dipping sauce.
- Vegetables. Grilled, pan seared, roasted, steamed, it doesn't matter.
- Biscuits & Cornbread. Match made in heaven right here. Drizzle on these jalapeno-cheddar biscuits or jalapeno cornbread.
- 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, like my hot honey glazed ham recipe. Or as your very own honey hot sauce.
Storing Hot Honey
Store hot honey in a sealed glass jar or container at room temperature in a cool, dark place. A pantry is ideal. It will last 3 months or longer this way.
You can store it in the refrigerator, but it may become crystalized. If this happens, gently warm the hot honey in a water bath or in the microwave to loose it up.
Hot honey made with fresh peppers is more perishable, and should be stored in the refrigerator. Hot honey made with dried peppers can be stored in a cool, dry place in an airtight container for 3 months or longer.
That's it, my friends! I hope you enjoy your spicy hot honey. Go ahead and whip up a batch and fill some bottles. They make great gifts, too.
I love this stuff. 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
- 2-3 tablespoons hot chili flakes (or use crushed dried chilies, or 1-2 fresh hot chilies, sliced)
- 1 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar (optional)
- Add the peppers and honey to a small pot. Heat and simmer for 1-2 minutes to infuse them with the pepper flavor and heat. Do not allow the honey to boil.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar (if using). If using fresh peppers, strain the honey into a jar. If using dried peppers, strain only if desired.
- Cool and store in an airtight glass container. Makes 1 cup.
NOTE: This recipe was updated on 11/3/23 to include new information, photos, and video. It was originally published on 4/8/19.