Guide for Cooking with Honey

honey dipper in a jar of honey

If you want an ingredient that is versatile and hugely popular in sweet and/or savory recipes and dishes then honey is what you’re after.

Honey is used extensively all over the globe and in vast cultures. It is naturally healthy and nutritious. It is often seen as a healthier and more natural sweetener than table sugar but there are so many more things and ways to use this awesome ingredient!

If you want to be cool and authentic when creating dishes that call for honey, make sure to use and TELL EVERYONE it is made with “local” or “native” honey.

Different Types of Honey

There are an eye-opening number the types of honey available.  So, when you’re cooking with honey it’s good to know the different types, properties, and grades.

Single Flower Honey:

Also called “specialist” and “monofloral” honey.  These kinds of honey are made by bees that feed mainly on species of plant and/or flower).  They tend to have a more delicate flavor and are lighter in color than other types of honey.  Examples would be:  Acacia Honey, Orange Blossom, and Scottish Heather Honey.

The flavors are so delicate that the best use for these single-flower kinds of honey are towards the end of the cooking time or raw. If over-heated, too much of the flavor will be lost.

There are some types of single-flower honey that are darker in color and richer in flavor, like Eucalyptus honey and Chestnut honey.  These types of honey are better at keeping texture and flavor so they are best used with more robust flavors and ingredients, such as marinating meat.

Multiflora Honey:

Also called polyfloral…these are kinds of honey that are made when bees feed on different plants and flowers and, therefore, gather a variety of different nectars.

Some of the more popular types of polyfloral honey are Wildflower Honeyy and alpine floral honey.  These also have a small floral fragrance to the honey.

Comb Honey:

Honey straight from the comb is honey that hasn’t been processed yet and is, usually, a much more nutritious way to consume.  It is best to use this comb honey in its raw form.

Honey that’s Good Enough to Use

Most recipes that call for honey are going to be okay with a typical mixture of the kinds of honey that we just talked about.  In this way, honey gatherers can provide consistency, color, and taste that they’re after by combining the types of characteristics they choose.

Cooking with Honey

You’ll want to make sure that when cooking with honey, you do so on low to medium, slow cooking recipes.  Honey can burn and lose flavor (or gain a bitter flavor) at higher temperatures.

When using honey as a replacement sweetener, keep in mind that honey is actually sweeter than refined or granulated table sugar.  It’s a great practice to use 1 part honey to replace a 1.25 measurement of sugar.

Honey is awesome! It actually keeps cakes and cookies on the moister side.  While this may call for slightly longer cooking time, it will also ensure that your baked creations stay fresher and moist longer.

Honey Storage and Measuring

  • Check this hack out for measuring honey accurately:  Insert a measuring spoon or cup into boiling first (very briefly). This helps the honey to slide off and on the spoon and this ensures more accurate measurement.
  • When weighing honey, first place the empty vessel on the scale and weight that first.    Then add the honey for more accurate weight measurement.
  • Honey can last for several years.  Keep in an airtight jar inside of a cool, dark place.

Recommended Honey for Cooking

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You can do so much with honey!  It’s versatile, sweet, and readily available.  People have been keeping bees and gathering honey for thousands of years…it’s only natural that you use honey and even cultivate it yourself.


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