Here’s all about storage, shelf life, and also going bad of hot sauce. After reading this guide, friend will recognize if her is still safe to eat, if you have to refrigerate that after opening, and also how long it lasts.

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Some civilization love warm sauce and cannot get enough of it. Others hate it and never to buy it. And also somewhere in the middle, there’s a third group the people: those who usage it just if a recipe calls because that it.

If that’s you, possibilities are there’s a half-open bottle of warm sauce sit in warehouse for rather some time already. And also whenever you see it, you start thinking: “does warm sauce walk bad?”.

Sounds familiar?

If so, this article is for you. Here’s what us cover below:

Read on.

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Does warm Sauce go Bad?

Properly stored, warm sauce lasts fairly some time, even after opening the bottle. An unopened hot sauce keeps for a pair of years, and it typically lasts for at least 6 months of opening if left in ~ room temperature, or end a year if refrigerated.

Over time, warm sauce degradation in illustration (its color changes), taste, and overall quality. The much longer it sits open, the worse turn off it will certainly be.

That said,hot sauce can go bad. If it’s contaminated with mold spores or various other microorganisms, that might develop an off odor, the taste might change, and also mold can show increase on the surface.

That’s not a typical occurrence, though, because hot sauce generally contains many vinegar and also some chili peppers, both natural preservatives that save the product safe.

Now, if you’re not rather sure if your warm sauce is safe to eat or not, below are some guidelines.

How to Tell if hot Sauce Is Bad?

Signs the spoiled hot sauce include:

Mold.If there’s mold ~ above the surface, or the sauce gives off a moldy smell, it’s excellent for.Off smell.There isn’t one collection smell of warm sauce due to the fact that there are thousands of flavors the end there, however if your smells yeasty, fermented, or turn off in any kind of other way, discard it.Appearance change.Hot sauce darkening and transforming brown is fully normal (more on the in the following section), but any other significant changes are not. If there’s anything that bothers you around the texture or appearance, litter it out.Off taste.If everything seems okay, however the sauce tastes plain bad, discard it for high quality purposes.

Last however not least, if you’re not sure your bottle of warm sauce is still safe to eat, err top top the next of caution. Better safe than sorry.

Tomato sauce with hot peppers, garlic, and also onion

Color Change

Hot sauce typically becomes darker the much longer you save it, and at some point, it turns brown no issue the early stage color. That’s a herbal reaction of chili peppers to the presence of light and air, which heat temperatures can speed up.

(That’s why if girlfriend refrigerate hot sauce after opening, it doesn’t darken as quickly.)

The color readjust isn’t anything to issue about, and the sauce stays okay to use. Yet sometimes, that adjust might result in slight destruction of flavor.

In various other words, when your hot sauce turns brown, you need to taste it you yourself to phone call if it’s still an excellent enough (quality-wise) to eat or not. In most cases, that will proceed to add that extra little of oomph to every little thing food you to water it onto.

The exact same rules use to Tabasco and also many BBQ sauces the are based on chili peppers.

Chicken strips and a spicy chili sauce

How long Does warm Sauce Last?

Hot sauce (unopened)Best by + 1+ years
Hot sauce (opened)6+ months1+ years
Homemade warm sauce (fresh peppers)1 – 3 weeks
Homemade hot sauce (fermented peppers)2 – 3 months
A usual bottle of hot sauce has actually a shelf life that 2 come 3 years and easily keeps because that months past the published date. When you open up the bottle, that keeps high quality for at the very least 6 month if stored at room temperature, and over a year if refrigerated.

Those guidelines are rather conservative, and much more often 보다 not, your warm sauce will save for lot longer.

Unfortunately, there’s no means to tell just how long exactly.

As I stated in the spoilage section, hot sauce keeps top quality for quite a while because vinegar and chili peppers, both an excellent preservatives, do its base. Due to the fact that of that, it’s more about high quality than safety.

If you store your hot sauce well (more on the later), and also it doesn’t show any type of signs of spoilage, the ideal you have the right to do is come taste the to discover if it’s still great enough taste-wise.

If it’s a couple of months past its date, and it tastes great, then go ahead and use it. But if it’s nearing the “expiration” day and already tastes so-so, it’s probably time to open a new bottle.

(Of course, the very first scenario is the norm and the second an outlier.)


Plain hot sauce flavors usually keep quality much better than those more exotic tastes the have acquired popularity in recent years. For example, Original Red Sauce Tabasco retains top quality much longer than other flavors.

Speaking that printed days …

Expiration Date

The date printed top top a warm sauce party is a best-by day that only estimates how long the product must keep optimal quality. It’s through no way an expiration date and also has tiny to carry out with food safety.

That said, most brand recommend utilizing their products before the published date to acquire the best possible quality.

As I described earlier, if your hot sauce appears okay, it need to taste great even if you store it because that a couple of extra month (opened) or year (unopened).

As usual, if you’re no much longer comfortable through the printed date (e.g., it’s 3 years past it), toss it. Once in doubt, throw it out.

Homemade hot Sauce

Homemade warm sauce keeps for about 1 to even 3 weeks if you usage fresh peppers, and for a couple of months if friend ferment her peppers. No matter which alternative you choose, store homemade hot sauce in the fridge.

The above works for most hot sauce recipes out there, but not every one of them. If her doesn’t save on computer that much vinegar however includes some fruits together the base because that the sauce, it’ll most likely last only a couple of days, maybe up come a week.

That’s due to the fact that such warm sauce is much more like a typical salsa (homemade salsa lasts just up come 5 days) than hot sauce loaded through vinegar and also chili peppers.

Bowls of miscellaneous dip sauces


You shouldkeep one unopened party of hot sauce in a cool and also dark place, away from sunlight and sources that heat. The pantry or a room in the kitchen that’s away from the range is a good choice.

Once you open the bottle,keep the sealed tightly once not in use.

As usual, follow suitable food hygiene practices.

I know that occasionally we’re lazy and also prefer come dip our chicken wings or fries straight in the bottle. But, unfortunately, that’s a sure-fire way to deliver contaminants and bacteria right into the container. And that might an outcome in the condiment going poor prematurely.

Also, look because that a crust that often develops on the cap. That have the right to be one area wherein bacteria begin to grow. Plus, a cap v a tardy of dried hot sauce looks really gross.Always clean the cap as soon as it it s okay messy.

Next, let’s talk around whether or no you must refrigerate your warm sauce after opening the bottle.

Does warm Sauce should Be Refrigerated?

Most warm sauces don’t require refrigeration after opened the bottle, however doing so isn’t a bad idea.A party that sit in the fridge rather of a cabinet in ~ room temperature retains freshness and also quality for longer.

Of course, part sauces benefit from refrigeration more than others, and also in some cases, you might even an alert a “refrigerate after opening” brand on the bottle. If that’s the case, you should certainly keep the sauce chilled.

If you check the FAQ sections of various warm sauce producers, most say the same thing.

Speaking of hot sauce brands, let’s talk around the most renowned ones in a bit an ext detail.

Popular Brands

Below you can uncover some simple info top top storage, shelf life, and also spoilage the a few of the most famous hot sauce available. Please note that you won’t find Tabasco or Sriracha there because both deserve different articles.

Frank’s RedHot

According to the FAQ ar on the product’s website, Frank’s RedHot comes v a shelf life that 24 months and maintains great quality because that at the very least a pair of weeks after ~ that day if girlfriend refrigerate it.

Also, unless it’s the Sweet Chili flavor, the sauce doesn’t call for storing in the refrigerator to stay safe and keep quality. That said, if friend refrigerate Frank’s RedHot, the product will continue to be fresh for longer.

Of course, the producer is fairly cautious about their recommendations, and chances are the sauce will stay safe (and tasty) way past the discussed period.


According come the product’s website, Cholula keeps at least until the best-by day printed ~ above the label and retains top quality for around 6 month of opening. If it’s open for more than half a year, but still within the printed date, it’s it s okay to eat but might not taste as an excellent as you’re used to.

Cholula doesn’t need refrigeration after opening, but like other sauces, can benefit from it.

Again, the brand’s referrals are fairly conservative, and an ext often 보다 not, your “expired” Cholula will be it s okay to eat (and taste good), also if it’s much more than a couple of many past that is date.

Louisiana hot Sauce

According come the brand’s website, Louisiana warm Sauce has a shelf life of 5 years from once it’s made and doesn’t call for refrigeration. Together usual, the producer advises come discard any kind of leftover sauce if it has passed the published date.

The factor behind that offered by the brand is the they “cannot guarantee the taste or power of the product.” That way the sauce will likely be perfectly fine, yet the in its entirety flavor might be a little worse than what you’re offered to.

As you have the right to tell, Louisiana warm sauce lasts longer than most other hot sauces (that last about two years), and also like many others, doesn’t require you to keep it in the fridge.

And comparable to other brands, your Louisiana warm sauce should keep well beyond its day if you keep it properly.

Texas Pete

Texas Pete warm sauce comes v a shelf life of a couple of years marked by the “Best supplied By” date printed top top the lid and doesn’t call for refrigeration after opening. Once it overcome the significant date, the top quality of the sauce can not satisfy the firm standard anymore.

Like it’s the instance for various other brands, Texas Pete firm is quite careful in their recommendations. In reality, the sauce will most likely keep way past the printed day if you follow great storage practices.

Also, Texas Pete is one of the couple of brands that educate on their website the the color of the sauce might change after an extensive storage and also that it’s nothing to be concerned about.


Tapatio comes through a suggested shelf life of 2 years and doesn’t call for refrigeration after ~ opening. The course, you have the right to keep that in the refrigerator if you select to.

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What’s update is the the brand plainly states on your website that the mentioned period doesn’t mark an expiration date, and also doesn’t urge you come discard their product if it’s “expired.”

Instead, they inform that Tapatio warm sauce tastes best within 2 years, but it’s approximately you what you will do once the sauce is previous that period.