What Is Hot Honey And How Do You Use It?

There are those of us who aren't keen on having their flavors cross set borders, and to those of us who are like that, sweet ought to stay sweet, and spicy should sit in its own silo. But every now and then you get a pairing that just makes your tastebuds zing — if you only give it a chance — and one of those is hot honey.

Before you ask, hot honey isn't about pouring the ooey, gooey, golden stuff into a bowl or pan and then warming it up. Hot honey is most definitely a thing and you can either find it at the grocery pre-made, or you assemble the ingredients to make it yourself. (Honey seems to have has lots of health benefits anyway.)

While hot honey may have been around for a while in some parts of the world, it took a guy named Mike Kurtz to discover the condiment while he was trying to discover himself during a study abroad trip to Brazil in 2003.  Kurtz was on a hiking trip to Bahia when he was offered local honey with submerged chili peppers as an add-on for his pizza. ""I drizzled the honey on the pizza, and it was a revelation," Kurtz reveals (via Taste).

Hot honey can be made at home

The hot honey trend has been around for a while now — so much so that while it took Kurtz a while to get the idea off the ground (it wasn't until 2010 that he started bottling his hot honey), different iterations of hot honey now exist (via Today). But even presently, there are still just two ways to enjoy hot honey — by going to the grocery and saving yourself a bit of effort by picking up a branded jar, or by using your favorite honey brand and making the condiment yourself. 

If all you're looking for is the offspring of a union between sweet and spicy, picking up a jar of your favorite honey, and adding a proportional amount of hot sauce will be enough to get you started. But because honey flavors depend on where they are harvested (via Lurie Garden), you will likely find that the hot honey you make at home will taste anywhere from slightly to very different from the branded, pre-made version you enjoy. The upside is that if you experiment, you could well find the sweet spot between saving money and finding a blend you can replicate in your own kitchen and which you can use on everything from savories like short ribs to sweets and cheeses. Fun fact: we hear hot honey takes fried chicken to a whole new level.