Does honey tenderize meat?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does honey tenderize meat?”, what meats work best with a honey marinade, how to make grill-roasted honey-marinated chicken, how to make honey-garlic ribs, and how to make honey steak.

Does honey tenderize meat?

Yes, honey tenderizes meat but only raw honey. Honey contains proteases that break down the protein fibers in meat. 

As a bonus, honey lends a sweet taste and a brown crispy crust to the meat upon searing. The proteases are destroyed by heat so processed honey cannot function as a meat tenderizer. 

What meats work best with a honey marinade? 

Honey works best with meats that have a subtle flavor such as chicken or fish. Boneless pork chops and honey also taste great together. Instead of putting your pork in a dry brine, rub it in the honey marinade. The honey adds to the taste, and texture of the pork. 

How to make Grill-Roasted Honey-Marinated Chicken? 


  • 1 whole chicken (3-1/2 to 4 pounds)
  • 1 cup raw, unfiltered honey
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. In a large mixing bowl, stir the honey, tamari, garlic, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Then mix in the oil until well-combined.
  1. Dab the chicken with paper towels to dry the surface. Then thoroughly coat the chicken in the prepared marinade. Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Instead of a bowl or a plate, your best bet is to put the marinated chicken in a freezer bag. Squeeze out the excess air from the bag before refrigerating. 
  2. Let the refrigerated chicken sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before grilling it.
  1. Preheat your gas grill or ignite a medium-high flame in the charcoal grill. Preheat the pallet grill to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Set the chicken on the preheated grill, such that the legs of the chicken are on the bottom. To keep the chicken in this standing position, you use a vertical roaster or even a half-empty can of beer.
  1. Put the lid on and let the chicken roast for about an hour. Maintain the grill temperature between 350-400 degrees.
  1. When the time is over, stick a hand-held thermometer into the thickest part of the chicken thigh. The minimum safe temperature for chicken is 160 degrees F. 
  1. Take off the chicken from the grill and cover it with foil. Let the chicken rest for about 15-20 minutes.
  1. Carve and serve the chicken with your favorite sides.

How to make Honey-Garlic Ribs? 


  • 4 pounds pork spareribs 
  • ½ cup honey 
  • ¼ cup soy sauce 
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar 
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt 


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  1. Combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, and brown sugar in a mixing bowl. Stir to dissolve sugar and honey. Then mix in the baking soda. When the mixture is all bubbly, turn the ribs into it to coat evenly.
  1. Place the ribs, and meat side up, onto a baking tray lined with foil. Top the ribs with the remaining sauce and some garlic salt.
  1. Bake the ribs in the preheated oven for about an hour. Flip sides after every 20 minutes to cook the meat thoroughly.

Nutrition facts 

Calories 477.1 kcal
Carbohydrates 21.7 g
Cholesterol 120.1 mg
Fat 30.1 g
Fiber 0.1 g
Protein 29.5 g
Saturated fat 11 g
Sodium 929 mg
Sugar 20.8 g

How to make juicy and sweet honey steak? 


  • 1-2 pounds sirloin or flank steak
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 4 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 3/4 cup Vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, whites only, thinly sliced


  1. Trim the fat from the steak and put them into air-tight double bags.
  1. Rub the marinade onto the steak. Seal the bag and put it into the fridge for 4-24 hours. The longer you marinate the steak, the juicer it turns out.
  1. Preheat the grill to high flame. For medium-rare, grill each side for 4-6 minutes. If you are using a gas grill, use a lid to cover the steak.
  1. Let the steak rest for about 5 minutes before slicing it. Serve and enjoy.

Other FAQs about Honey that you may be interested in.

Does honey have fat?

Does honey freeze?

Does honey ferment?


In this article, we answered the question “Does honey tenderize meat?”, what meats work best with a honey marinade, how to make grill-roasted honey-marinated chicken, how to make honey-garlic ribs, and how to make honey steak.

References tenderizer,to%20use%20the%20raw%20variety

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