Honey Do List: Cooking With Honey

Put your bees' honey to good use throughout your cooking repertoire.
Related To:
honey-roasted ham

honey-roasted ham

This honey-roasted ham proves that cooking with honey is yummy.

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

This honey-roasted ham proves that cooking with honey is yummy.

If you’ve been following Kelley Walters’ adventures in beekeeping here on HGTV as I have, you have already glimpsed the magical world of the honeybee and the fusion of art and science necessary to produce the golden elixir coveted by man and cartoon bear alike.

Henry David Thoreau said,“the keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” Ancient Egyptians used it in embalming. Hippocrates wrote of honey as a cure for a range of illnesses and the Ancient Romans applied it to wounds to promote healing.

But I think Winnie the Pooh said it best when he said, “that buzzing-noise means something. If there’s a buzzing noise, somebody’s making a buzzing-noise, and the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee … And the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey….”

“And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it.”

Well said, Pooh.

Honey is an organic sweetener that requires no processing before use. Nearly twice as sweet as granulated cane sugar, it can be used to sweeten tea, flavor your morning oatmeal or transform a biscuit or a piece of toast into a treat that satisfies even the sweetest tooth. 

But the implementation of honey in your kitchen exploits need not stop there. Honey does more than serve as a substitute for plain ol’ sugar. Its distinctive taste and texture can transform food in ways that make it clear why it has been a kitchen staple since … well, since before there were kitchens.


Coating meats or vegetables in honey before baking not only brings an understated sweetness to traditionally savory foods. The thick honey holds well to food surfaces and the sugars will caramelize to create a crisp, brown coating to seal in flavors. Honey baked ham is a holiday tradition, but a glaze of honey and soy sauce applied to salmon may have you rethinking Christmas dinner.


The sticky sweetness of honey feels like an obvious choice for pastries or cakes, but its value in baked goods goes beyond flavor. Honey retains moisture in a way many other sweeteners do not. Flaky, tender and sweet.  Thanks, honey.


Hey, this stuff is sticky! Just the thing when making granola, energy bars or holding delicate cookies together. But as a natural emulsifier, it can be used anywhere a little viscosity will come in handy. Give it a shot when making homemade condiments like ketchup or salad dressing.

Outstanding texture and flavor. All natural. Versatile culinary properties. This stuff has it all! But let us not forget that sugar is sugar and it does carry with it the calories and carbohydrates that come with the territory. My friend the cranky dietician would like me to remind you that honey gets its sweetness from a combination of fructose and glucose. That’s the same stuff from which high fructose corn syrup is made.

What a killjoy.  Go honey!

Keep Reading

Next Up

How to Gather Honey from Beehives

Learn one way to extract honey from your backyard beehives.

Got Bees? Become a Beekeeper

Learn how to get started in beekeeping and reap the rewards.

Bee Season: Inspecting Your Comb

The first reason to examine the comb is to check the overall health of the hive.

Bee Season: 4 Must-Have Tools

In this HGTV feature, learn which beekeeping tools are must-haves for beginner beekeepers.

The Bee-Beauty Connection

Beekeeper Cassandra Lawson heralds the benefits of keeping bees. A number of natural beauty companies are also extoling honey's beauty benefits.

Bee Season: Can Backyard Hives Save the Bees?

Our reluctance to use chemicals on our hives is building a stronger strain of bees.

Bee Season: A Basic Hive Setup

Start your hive hobby off right with this list of what to do first.

Bee Cool: Learn How to Be a Beekeeper

Beekeeping experts share their insider tips.

Animal Diaries: The Bee

Hives and head gear: Take a peek at what constitutes a bee's life.

Whip Up Choucroute in the Slow Cooker

The slow cooker makes preparation for this French-German dish easy.


Island Life

6:30am | 5:30c

Island Life

7am | 6c

Island Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Fixer Upper

8am | 7c

Fixer Upper

9am | 8c

Fixer Upper

10am | 9c

Fixer Upper

11am | 10c

Fixer Upper

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop Atlanta

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

Flip or Flop

8:30pm | 7:30c

Flip or Flop Vegas

9:30pm | 8:30c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Flip or Flop Vegas

12:30am | 11:30c

House Hunters

1am | 12c

Flip or Flop

3:30am | 2:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.