I’ve been cooking for so long that I often forget that things I assume are common knowledge are, in fact, not. For example: how to make hot honey. Maybe you’ve never given much thought to the process of making hot honey, especially since it’s become a common condiment at many grocery stores. After all, we buy bottled salad dressings, jarred marinara sauce, and fresh fruit jam, despite the fact that these are all relatively straightforward to make at home. But making your own hot honey has an added benefit: it lets you play with the heat level to suit your tastes. So here’s how you do it.
Hot honey does not really need a precise recipe: you simply simmer honey with some sort of chili pepper, or a chili pepper product, like hot sauce. Choose your own adventure here—you can make a lot of hot honey at once, or just a tiny bit for a single dish. You can use any kind of chilis you’d like, too—fresh, dried, chili flakes—and can use any amount necessary to achieve the desired level of burn. Dice ’em, roast ’em, toast ’em, or char ’em. Feel free to experiment, because the the technique itself is practically foolproof.
If you make it too spicy, just add more honey. Not spicy enough? Add some more chilis and give it a bit more time. This is a recipe you should taste as you go and follow your instincts from there. Once you land on a ratio you like, you’ll wonder why you ever bought the bottled stuff.
1 cup honey
2 minced fresh chili peppers, or 2 tsp. crushed dried chilis, or 2 Tbsp. hot sauce, to start
Mix the honey and chilis in a small saucepan or microwave-safe container and heat until bubbly. Remove from heat, cover, and allow to infuse in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Give the hot honey a taste: if you’d like it to be milder, stir in a little bit more honey, taste, and repeat until you’re happy. If you’d like things spicier, add more chilis, reheat the honey until bubbly, then repeat the infusion/tasting process. Once you’ve found the perfect balance, jot down what you did on a piece of paper or in your notes app so you never forget your own signature hot honey recipe. Store in a jar at room temperature.