Unleashing the Sweet and Spicy: The Ultimate Guide to Making Hot Honey

How to make hot honey: A versatile condiment with sweet and spicy flavors

Hot honey has gained popularity in recent years as a versatile condiment with a unique flavor profile. Its sweet and spicy combination adds flavor to a wide range of dishes, from pizza to ice cream to cookies. Making hot honey at home is a fairly simple process that requires only a few ingredients. In this article, we will give you step-by-step instructions on how to make hot honey and explore its many uses.

What is hot honey?

Hot honey is a sweet condiment that is infused with paprika to give it a spicy kick. It combines the flavors of sweetness and heat to create a unique taste sensation. The culinary world has long embraced the combination of sweet and spicy flavors, and hot honey is a prime example of this trend. It adds a delightful twist to both savory and sweet dishes, making it a versatile addition to your pantry.

What is hot honey made from?

To make hot honey, you need two main ingredients: honey and hot peppers. It is best to use high quality pasteurized honey to ensure a smooth and consistent texture. Avoid using raw honey as it tends to crystallize. Also, avoid honey with added flavorings such as ginger, mint, or rosemary.
As for the peppers, you have a variety of options to choose from, depending on your desired level of heat. Some popular choices include chile de arbol, jalapeno, serrano, and habanero peppers, as well as aleppo pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and Sichuan chili peppers. You can use dried or fresh peppers, depending on your preference. If you want to avoid pepper particles in your hot honey, it is a good idea to use larger chunks of pepper to infuse the honey.
In addition to honey and paprika, you can also add vinegar to your hot honey. While this ingredient is optional, it helps balance the sweet and spicy flavors in the sauce. Apple cider vinegar is a popular choice because of its mild acidity, but you can use any vinegar you have on hand.
Another optional ingredient is butter extract, which adds flavor and creates a buttery mouthfeel. It is important to note that butter extract is not real butter and will not affect the shelf life of the hot honey.

How to make hot honey

Making hot honey is a simple process that requires only a few steps. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you make your own hot honey at home:

  1. Ingredients:
    • 1 cup honey
    • 2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes
    • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  2. Combine the honey, pepper flakes, and apple cider vinegar in a saucepan. If you prefer, you can use fresh peppers by cutting up two chiles and adding them to the honey. Deseed the peppers if you want to reduce the heat.
  3. Turn the stove over medium heat and bring the honey mixture to a boil. As the honey boils, its viscous consistency will thin slightly. This is normal.
  4. When the honey reaches a boil, remove from the heat, cover the saucepan, and let stand for about 10 minutes. It is important not to let the honey cool completely as it will thicken and become difficult to strain.
  5. If desired, strain the honey to remove the pepper flakes. This step is optional, as leaving the pepper flakes in the honey can serve as a visual indication that the honey is hot.
  6. Transfer the hot honey to a clean, airtight container for storage. It can be used immediately or saved for future use.

The fastest way to make hot honey

If you’re in the mood for hot honey but don’t have time to make it from scratch, there’s a quick alternative. Here’s a simple recipe to make hot honey in less than a minute with just two ingredients:

  1. Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 4 teaspoons hot sauce
  2. Add the hot sauce to the honey and mix well.
  3. Microwave honey for 30 seconds to warm and enhance flavors.
  4. Stir the honey to ensure the hot sauce is evenly distributed.

This quick method allows you to enjoy the sweet and spicy flavors of hot honey without extensive preparation.

How to store hot honey

To ensure the longevity and quality of your hot honey, proper storage is essential. Here are some tips on how to store hot honey effectively:

  1. Use an airtight container: Store hot honey in a clean, airtight container to prevent exposure to air and moisture, which can affect its texture and flavor.
  2. Store at room temperature: Hot honey is best stored at room temperature. Avoid putting it in the refrigerator, as cool temperatures can change its consistency and make it difficult to pour.
  3. Avoid direct sunlight: Store the container of hot honey in a cool, dark place out of direct sunlight. Sunlight can cause honey to deteriorate and lose its flavor over time.
  4. Check for crystallization: Over time, honey can crystallize and form sugar crystals. If this happens, you can gently heat the honey in a warm water bath to dissolve the crystals and restore its smooth texture.

By following these storage guidelines, you can enjoy your homemade hot honey for several months.

Uses for Hot Honey

Hot honey adds a delicious flavor to many dishes. Here are some creative ways to incorporate hot honey into your culinary adventures:

  1. Pizza Topping: Drizzle hot honey over your favorite pizza for a sweet and savory kick. It pairs well with both traditional and unconventional pizza toppings.
  2. Cheese pairing: Serve hot honey with a cheese board. Its sweetness complements the savory flavors of various cheeses, creating a harmonious balance.
  3. Fried Chicken Glaze: Brush hot honey on fried chicken during the last few minutes of cooking for a sticky, flavorful glaze.
  4. Salad Dressing: Make a unique salad dressing by mixing hot honey with olive oil, vinegar, and a pinch of salt. It adds a delightful heat to your greens.
  5. Ice cream topping: Add a drizzle of hot honey to vanilla ice cream for a contrasting combination of hot and cold, sweet and savory.
  6. Roasted vegetable glaze: Before serving, toss roasted vegetables in hot honey for a caramelized, spicy glaze.
  7. Grilled Meat Marinade: Combine hot honey with soy sauce, garlic, and ginger to make a delicious marinade for grilled meats.
  8. Pancake Syrup: Replace traditional maple syrup with hot honey for a zesty twist on pancakes or waffles.
  9. Sandwich Spread: Spread hot honey on sandwiches or burgers for a burst of flavor.
  10. Cocktail Ingredient: Use hot honey to create unique and spicy cocktails. It pairs well with spirits such as bourbon and tequila.

These are just a few examples of the many ways you can enjoy hot honey. Get creative and experiment with different dishes to discover your favorite combinations.


Hot honey is a versatile condiment that adds a delightful balance of sweetness and heat to a variety of dishes. By infusing honey with paprika and other ingredients, you can create a unique flavor profile that complements both savory and sweet dishes. Making hot honey at home is a simple process that requires just a few ingredients and minimal effort. With the step-by-step instructions provided in this article, you can easily create your own hot honey and explore its many uses in the kitchen. Whether you drizzle it on pizza, use it as a glaze, or incorporate it into your favorite recipes, hot honey is sure to enhance your culinary experiences with its sweet and spicy flavors.


What is hot honey?

Hot honey is a sweet condiment that is infused with paprika to give it a kick of heat. It combines the flavors of sweetness and heat to create a unique taste sensation.

What ingredients do you need to make hot honey?

To make hot honey, you will need honey, hot peppers of your choice, and optional vinegar. The honey acts as the base ingredient, while the peppers provide the heat. Vinegar can be added to balance the flavors.

Can I use different types of peppers to make hot honey?

Yes, you can use a variety of peppers depending on your personal preference and desired level of heat. Popular choices include chile de arbol, jalapeno, serrano, habanero peppers, as well as aleppo pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and Sichuan chili peppers.

How long does it take to make hot honey?

Making hot honey is a quick process that can be completed within 15-20 minutes. Most of the time is spent boiling the honey mixture and allowing it to infuse for maximum flavor.

How do I store hot honey?

It is best to store hot honey in a clean, airtight container at room temperature. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or refrigeration as this can alter its consistency and flavor. Proper storage will help maintain its quality and longevity.

What are some creative uses for hot honey?

Hot honey can be used in a variety of ways, such as a pizza topping, cheese pairing, fried chicken glaze, salad dressing, ice cream topping, roasted vegetable glaze, grilled meat marinade, pancake syrup, sandwich spread, and even as an ingredient in cocktails. Its versatility allows for endless culinary experimentation.