How to Use Maple and Honey in Your Summer Grilling

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When we think of grilling and barbecue, we think of glazes that are robust, tangy, sticky, and sweet. Maple syrup and honey are the perfect ingredients for a touch of sweetness behind the spice.

In place of the typical brown sugar or molasses – maple syrup and honey add richer, more complex flavors and are already in syrup form to add to sauces and marinades. And, of course, using Runamok’s infused, hot, and smoky flavors make it that much easier to kick it up a notch. Here are a few of our favorite recipes for summer grilling that we return to again and again because they are so, so good.


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Grilling Basics

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Maple Onion BBQ Sauce by Runamok
Maple Onion BBQ Sauce

This basic barbecue sauce could not be easier – it’s just ketchup, maple syrup, worcestershire, vinegar, and onions.  It only takes ten minutes to cook and is useful for many cuts of meat or tofu. It is perfect on pork chops but also revs up chicken. Try it with Pecan Wood Smoked Maple for a mildly smoky sauce, Merquen Infused for an extra kick of spice on top of the smokiness, or Sugarmaker’s Cut pure maple syrup.

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Sticky Honey Garlic Chicken

This recipe comes courtesy of Chef Veera Gaul, co-owner of Oil & Vinegar in Greenville, SC, who says: I love grilling chicken – it’s healthy and stress-free, but unless you change up the marinade, rubs or seasoning, it can get pretty boring. Nothing boring about this version though – steeped in an infusion of spicy honey, garlicky mustard, smoky paprika and tangy balsamic, this easy marinade lends tremendous sweet heat flavor to the chicken. Garlicky, spicy, sweet, and slightly smoky, this chicken is mouth-wateringly delicious. Quick, easy and it’ll fly off the platter, so make enough!!

BHill Runamok Spiced Onion Turkey Burger 10 Large
Turkey Burger with Goat Cheese and Onion Jam

This recipe was developed in collaboration with our friends at Blake Hill Preserves who produce award-winning jams and chutneys in Windsor, Vermont. We found many creative ways to pair up our products, starting with this excellent turkey burger, spiced with our Aromatic Bitters and topped with their Onion Jam.

Hot honey grilled shrimp by Runamok
Grilled Shrimp with Hot Honey

Everyone knows that fried chicken with hot honey is the bomb, but we propose that grilled shrimp with hot honey is even better. It is faster and less messy too which makes it a great weeknight meal. Any of the Runamok Hot Honey options are excellent. The Chipotle Morita enhances the smokiness of the grill. The piney flavor of the Szechuan Peppercorn is a nice contrast to the sweetness of the shrimp. And the Chile De Arbol is perfect for anyone who likes their seafood with some kick.

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Toppings to Relish

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Grilling with maple syrup by Runamok Maple
Fennel Hibiscus Chutney

Since our Hibiscus Flower Infused Maple Syrup has a fruity, acidic punch to it I thought I would try it with some grilled lamb and my instincts were right. To use it in a chutney I paired it with sautéed fennel and onions for a sweet and earthy base. This chutney would be great on lamb burgers, chops, or butterflied leg – but here I put it with kabobs.

Grilling with maple syrup by Runamok Maple
Mango Relish with Rum Barrel-Aged Maple

Originally I made this relish for hot dogs or sausages, but we had some left over and it turns out it is just as good on chicken and pork chops. The sweetness of the mango and maple syrup are the perfect foil for the heat of the jalapeno and onion. Try to make it an hour ahead of serving to really let the flavors blend.

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Summertime Sides

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Corn and Bean Salad
Corn and Bean Salad

This is a great make-ahead recipe for summertime when the local corn is ripe. In fact, if the corn is really fresh with great flavor, you can skip the cooking part all together and use raw kernels. I had some lovely dried beans on hand but if you are pressed for time, use canned white or black beans. The maple syrup is not meant to make the dish officially sweet but to accentuate the sweetness of the corn so add as much or little to your personal preference. We like to use Makrut lime-leaf infused or Smoked maple syrup and pair with BBQ chicken or grilled fish.

Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
Fried Brussels Sprouts with a Maple-Cider Glaze

We have built some great relationships with restaurants who use our maple syrup, and one of our favorites is Bluebird Barbecue in Burlington, VT. Their chef, Dan Miele, is a long-time fan of cooking with maple syrup and incorporates ours in both traditional and new ways. One of our favorites is his Brussel Sprouts with Cider-Maple Glaze. A restrained hand with the glaze ensures they are not too overloaded so they can remain crisp, but just tangy and sweet enough to devour the whole bowl.

zaatar saffron roast veggies
Roasted Veggies with Za’Atar and Saffron Honey

This says “roasted” veggies, but the recipe can easily be adapted for summertime grilled veggies  like zucchini, squash, onions, and tomatoes instead. The real star of the show is the za’atar and Saffron Honey seasoning using our latest honey infused with whole saffron threads grown and sourced right here in Vermont! This is an easy weeknight veggie side or main and the  za’atar adds an herbal note that is neatly balanced by the sweet Saffron Honey.

Now that you’re ready to grill, pour yourself a bright refreshing Runamok cocktail (Ginger Mule and Sparkle Tonic are our go-to mixers for summertime) and get cooking!


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