Smoked Honey Butter

Discussion in 'Other' started by GaryHibbert, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★


    ***My apologies to the Moderators, but I have no idea where this should have been posted.   Please feel free to move it to the proper location.***



    Smoked Honey Butter

    Now before I start, I have to admit that I had never heard of honey butter.  Apple butter, yes.  But not honey butter.  Somehow my buddy Clint and I got on the topic of spreads for different kinds of desert loaves—pretty much your normal conversation for a couple of log haulers each struggling to get 88000 pounds of logs out of the bush in the spring weather---and he mentioned how much he loved honey butter. 

    I thought about it for a few weeks, trying to decide if smoked honey butter had possibilities.  Finally I decided that it probably did.

    After a bunch of research on the subject (I could find lots of info on smoked butter and smoked honey, but nothing on smoked honey butter),  I figured, why let a trifle like no information stop me.

    So, last Sunday evening I took a pound of butter out of the freezer and let it sit overnight to come to room temperature.  Monday I measured out the honey.  My research had indicated roughly a 50/50 mix of honey and real butter, so, at a conversion factor of 10.67 fluid ounces of honey to the pound, I obviously needed 10.67 ounces of honey to mix with the 1 pound of butter.  Just to make things easier (my measuring cup was in 1 fluid ounce increments) I poured 11 ounces of honey into a shallow foil pan.  I had originally planned to use a foil pie plate, as the sides are lower, but all my foil pie plates had small pinholes in the bottom—not really all that great for keeping honey INSIDE the pan.

    I fired up the AMNPS with about half a row of apple pellets, and preheated the MES 30 to 100* F—just enough heat to get a good convection through the smoker—and put the honey on the second rack position.

    My plan was a 4 hour smoke. 

    Naturally, about ½ hour in, my neighbor dropped by for some help with his non-functioning electric gate opener.  So off we went.  When I arrived back home at the 4 hour mark, the AMNPS had burned out.  Unfortunately, I have no idea if it had just burned out, or if the fairly brisk wind had speeded things along.

    When I brought the pan of honey inside, there was a distinct lack of smoke aroma.  I covered the pan tightly with foil, let it sit overnight and checked the honey again in the morning.  I had this exact same problem when I smoked some Hungarian Paprika, but after a couple of weeks in a sealed container, it came out perfect.  I hoped the honey would too, but figured that, if necessary, I would simply return it to the MES for another round of smoke.

    Well, the next morning showed no improvement in the honey.  So, try again.  This time I mixed the honey and butter together with our old handheld electric mixer.  I thought that possibly the butter would help take on some smoke.  When I went out to refill the AMNPS, I found the ashes from the first go-round had retained the shape of the pellets perfectly—a pretty good indication that the pellets had flashed into flame and burned very rapidly.  Small wonder the honey lacked smoke aroma and taste.

    I had cut down the pan and filled it and a pie plate (found one with no holes) with the honey butter


    When the AMNPS was smoking well, the honey/butter went into the MES

    No heat this time since the last thing I needed was melted butter.  I let the mixture smoke for about 2 hours and then brought the pans inside.  This time there was a noticeable smoke aroma.

    Naturally, I had to taste the finished product as I was filling two jars.  The smell was fantastic, but the taste was harsh.  After filling the jars, the small amount of leftover honey butter went into a dish and sat uncovered overnight.

    Part of my breakfast every morning consists of a raisin bran muffin Miss Linda bakes for me, with added cinnamon and vanilla.  I couldn’t think of a better test for my smoked honey butter, so I spread the muffin generously with the mix.

    The taste was fantastic.  I found the first bite still a bit harsh, but by bite number two everything was great--sweet, smoky goodness.  What little information I could find on honey butter recommended using unsalted butter, but as I prefer a sweet/salty taste, I just used regular butter.

    Since I’ll be giving the big half of the smoked honey butter to my buddy Clint and his family, I’ll be forced to make a second batch.  LOL.  The next time, I’m going to use orange instead of apple in the AMNPS.  I think the orange will complement the honey butter a lot better.  I also plan to increase the honey content—it simply needed more sweetness.  And, lastly, I’ll mix the honey and butter before smoking—that seemed to work better, and lent a nice color to the butter.

    Unfortunately, after one taste, Miss Linda’s response was “Nope.  I don’t like this at all.”  Oh well, I guess she’ll have to eat her strawberry jam and leave all the smoked honey butter for me.

    The next morning, I again spread the honey/butter generously on my bran muffin.  The difference from the previous morning was a much mellower finished product.  It just might be that the honey/butter, like cheese, has to mellow for a bit.  I’m not sure, but I do plan to leave the two full jars rest in the fridge for at least a week.

    Well, it’s Saturday morning.  The butter has had 5 days to mellow and it is fantastic.  It has a mild smoke aroma and has mellowed way beyond my expectations, leaving a pleasant smoky aftertaste.  I’m VERY pleased.  Now I just have to get Miss Linda to try another taste.

    Thanks for looking.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2017
  2. SmokinAl

    SmokinAl Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    That looks & sounds awesome Gary!


  3. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    ​Thanks Al.  This stuff is really good.  Just needs more honey, and I will be trying other pellets.

    After just a few days it really mellowed out.

  4. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I am going to give this a try,why were you worried about the butter melting,if in was in a tray? points for thinking outside the box

  5. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Gotta love honey butter spread. Best thing on a biscuit! Smoked would certainly take it to another level.

    Orange sounds like a good wood choice. I wonder how chili pepper pellets would do. Little heat and sweet thing.
  6. crankybuzzard

    crankybuzzard Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very ingenious, great write up, and great end results!

    Points for this one!
  7. stickyfingers

    stickyfingers Smoking Fanatic

    This is a must try! Thanks for sharing! Points to you!
  8. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Hey Richie.  If the butter had melted, the texture would be off when it hardened again. 

    I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy it.

    Thanks for the point.

  9. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    ​I never even thought about chili pepper pellets--and I happened to see some of Todd's last week.  Just a guess as I've never used those pellets, but I think it should be good

  10. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    ​Thanks Charlie, and thanks for the point. 

    I'm really enjoying the honey butter.

  11. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    ​Thanks sF and thanks for the point.

    If you like lots of honey, then I would definitely add more honey than a 50/50 mix.

  12. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Gary I did this today not much color on the butter,going to recheck tomorrow.

    Thanks Richie
  13. amlong88

    amlong88 Meat Mopper

    That's an awesome idea. We love honey butter with scones. The kind you would get at the fair. Have to try this out.
  14. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Gary Thank You


    I put a little Orange zest in it,it taste fantastic
  15. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    It's really worth a try AM. Ive already eaten most of my share of what I smoked.

  16. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Glad you like it Richie. That's a great idea--addin a bit of orange zest. I'm just about ready to smoke some more and I'm gonna try your idea. Thanks.

    Did you use equal portions of honey and butter or increase the amount of honey??

  17. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Second Try

    Well i FINALLY found time to give Smoked Honey butter a second try.

    Yesterday I took a pound of butter (salted) out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This afternoon I started doing the prep work.

    Since I felt that the last batch wasn't sweet enough, I increased the amount of honey by 50%. To the one pound of butter I added 2 cups (16 fluid ounces) of honey. I again used the old electric mixer to blend the ingredients tohether.

    When thoroughly blended, I spread the mixture out in a variety of aluminum pie plates and moved them out to the MES.

    I wasn't fully pleased with the apple wood, so this time I loaded up the AMNPS with orange pellets.

    The honey butter was then cold smoked for two hours.

    I brought everything inside, put it all back in the bowl, and thoroughly mixed it to get the smoke flavor even through the entire batch.

    When that was done, I formed 3 rolls in plastic wrap (one went into the fridge, 2 in the freezer). What was deliberately left over went into a dish and into the cupboard for immediate use.

    Naturally I was forced to do a quality control check. A "goodly amount" was slathered on a banana/choc chip muffin. It was FANTASTIC!! Just the perfect amount of sweetness. The orange wood gave it a deliciously light smokey flavor and aroma.

    It was far and away a huge improvement over my first attempt. This one is a KEEPER.

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
    tropics likes this.
  18. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Gary sorry I missed your question I used 10 oz butter 8 oz Honey

    I still have some of mine left

    Glad the Orange helped 


  19. GaryHibbert

    GaryHibbert Smoking Guru OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Well it turns out a 1.5/1 mix of honey and butter is just too much honey. When it has sat for a while some of the honey separates out. Next time I'll try 25% less honey.

    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  20. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    When we have made it we typically use 1/3 cup honey per pound of butter. Seems to be the (ready for it) sweet spot we like.

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