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Hot Honey Is the Single Best Ingredient You Can Add to Your Pantry This Time of Year

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Credit: Ghazalle Badiozamani; Food Styling: Pearl Jones

I was helping a friend clear out a restaurant that had just closed. He had kindly called to see if I wanted any kitchen supplies, and I was gratefully making a little pile of half sheet pans, parchment paper, and industrial-sized tongs when I spied a large unopened squirt bottle of Mike’s Hot Honey. Oh, hello.

Credit: Katie Workman

What is Mike’s Hot Honey? Just a condiment that changed my world. Made in Brooklyn, launched in 2010, Mike’s Hot Honey is simply honey infused with Brazilian chilies. I have long known that chilies and honey are excellent partners. (I often include the combo of honey and hot sauce in my recipes, from stir-fries to dressings.) But honey with the heat smacked right into the sweetness? One taste, and I was hooked. My only sadness (and ever-so-slight embarrassment) was that I had missed nine years of hot honey. But I am now making up for lost time.

Buy: Mike’s Hot Honey, $8.50 for 12 ounces

Credit: Carrie Crow

It’s been popular in certain types of restaurants for years — the founder, Mike, actually developed it in 2004 when he was working at a pizzeria and started drizzling it on the pies. Customers wanted to know if they could buy some to take home, and Mike realized he was on to something. The restaurant I found it in was a fried chicken joint, and anyone who’s ever had honey on their fried chicken knows what a stellar combo that is. 

The level of heat is perfect — a soft, slow burn that doesn’t overpower — and the honey is sweet and delicious. And while hot honey is amazing in all sorts of ways all year long, there is something even more about it magical about it right now, as the temps out side really drop and the holidays approach. (It also makes a great gift!)

Fun Ways to Use Hot Honey

And for the Holidays

Sriracha-Honey Chicken Tenders

Katie Workman

Contributor

Katie Workman is the author of two cookbooks. She is also the founding editor in chief of Cookstr.com; a regular contributor to NPR; and a columnist for the Associated Press and Eating Well magazine. She lives with her husband and two children in NYC.

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