Carla Hall's Top Tip For Honey-Based Barbecue Sauces - Exclusive

"Top Chef" alum and Food Network favorite Carla Hall is the newest ambassador for the National Honey Board and their Honey Saves Hives program, which means she gets the fun job of telling foodie fans about the myriad ways they can start using more honey in the kitchen. In a recent exclusive interview with Tasting Table, Hall told us all about her favorite tricks for using honey in baking, which can be a little challenging given how precise an art baking can be.

Using honey in marinades, sauces, and dressings, however, is a little bit easier — and in some cases, Hall said, you don't even need to use a recipe. Instead, just toss your ingredients together and give it a taste as you go. She explained, "One of the things that I love about honey [is that] it's all about the taste of that particular honey, so I encourage people to put some [honey in their recipes] and then taste it. Then [they can say], 'Oh, this is great,' or 'I need a little more bitter,' or 'I need a little more acid,' or 'I need a little more salt.'"

That said, there's one big tip you're going to need if you craft a honey-based barbecue sauce for your next grill sesh: No matter what else you put in it, don't add your honey-based sauce to your meat beforehand or right when you put it on the grill.

The best time to apply honey-based barbecue sauces

If you add your honey-based barbecue sauce to whatever it is you're grilling too soon, you run the risk of burning the sauce, Carla Hall told us. "You need to cook your meat, because as soon as you put the sweet sauce on, it's going to start to brown," she said, "and you don't want it to brown and char before the meat is actually cooked." As for Hall's personal favorite honey-based barbecue sauce recipe, she also includes ketchup, apple cider vinegar, and "a citrus, like orange or lemon" juice.

Not a fan of barbecue sauce but still want to use more honey when you grill? Hall also recommended making a hot sauce vinaigrette with honey. "In this hot sauce vinaigrette, I use hot sauce, yellow mustard, honey, a little bit of vinegar, and salt and pepper," she explained. Serve the vinaigrette over grilled romaine, radicchio, vegetables, or fish for a flavorful, Hall-approved addition to your meal.

Learn more about the Honey Saves Hives program at