Here’s all about storage, shelf life, and going poor of warm sauce. After analysis this guide, friend will understand if yours is still safe to eat, if you must refrigerate the after opening, and also how long it lasts.

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Some world love warm sauce and cannot get enough of it. Others dislike it and also never purchase it. And also somewhere in the middle, there’s a third group that people: those who usage it only if a cooking recipes calls because that it.

If that’s you, possibilities are there’s a half-open bottle of hot sauce sit in storage for fairly some time already. And whenever you view it, you start thinking: “does hot sauce walk bad?”.

Sounds familiar?

If so, this article is because that you. Here’s what we cover below:

Read on.

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Does hot Sauce walk Bad?

Properly stored, hot sauce lasts fairly some time, even after opened the bottle. One unopened warm sauce keeps because that a pair of years, and also it frequently lasts because that at the very least 6 month of opening if left at room temperature, or end a year if refrigerated.

Over time, warm sauce degrades in figure (its shade changes), taste, and also overall quality. The longer it sit open, the worse off it will be.

That said,hot sauce have the right to go bad. If it’s contaminated through mold spores or various other microorganisms, the might develop an off odor, that is taste can change, and also mold could show up on the surface.

That’s no a typical occurrence, though, since hot sauce frequently contains lots of vinegar and also some chili peppers, both organic preservatives that keep the product safe.

Now, if you’re not quite sure if your warm sauce is for sure to eat or not, here are part guidelines.

How to Tell if warm Sauce Is Bad?

Signs that spoiled hot sauce include:

Mold.If there’s mold top top the surface, or the sauce offers off a moldy smell, it’s excellent for.Off smell.There isn’t one set smell of warm sauce due to the fact that there are thousands of flavors the end there, but if yours smells yeasty, fermented, or turn off in any other way, discard it.Appearance change.Hot sauce darkening and transforming brown is completely normal (more on that in the following section), but any type of other significant changes space not. If there’s anything that bothers you about the texture or appearance, throw it out.Off taste.If every little thing seems okay, but the sauce tastes level bad, discard the for high quality purposes.

Last yet not least, if you’re not sure your bottle of hot sauce is still safe to eat, err ~ above the side of caution. Far better safe 보다 sorry.

Tomato sauce with warm peppers, garlic, and also onion

Color Change

Hot sauce commonly becomes darker the much longer you save it, and at part point, it transforms brown no issue the early stage color. That’s a natural reaction of chili peppers come the presence of light and also air, which warm temperatures deserve to speed up.

(That’s why if girlfriend refrigerate warm sauce ~ opening, it doesn’t darken together quickly.)

The color readjust isn’t something to worry about, and the sauce remains okay to use. Yet sometimes, that change might an outcome in slight destruction of flavor.

In various other words, as soon as your warm sauce turns brown, you need to taste it yourself to phone call if it’s still great enough (quality-wise) come eat or not. In many cases, it will continue to add that extra little of oomph to everything food you to water it onto.

The very same rules apply to Tabasco and also many BBQ sauces the are based upon chili peppers.

Chicken strips and also 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 warm sauce (fermented peppers)2 – 3 months
A typical bottle of hot sauce has actually a shelf life the 2 come 3 years and easily keeps because that months past the printed date. As soon as you open the bottle, it keeps top 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 an ext often than not, your hot sauce will store for lot longer.

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

As I mentioned in the spoilage section, hot sauce keeps quality for fairly a while because vinegar and also chili peppers, both great preservatives, make its base. Since of that, it’s much more about quality than safety.

If you store your hot sauce fine (more on that later), and also it doesn’t show any signs the spoilage, the best you can do is to taste it to discover if it’s still an excellent enough taste-wise.

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

(Of course, the very first scenario is the norm and the 2nd an outlier.)


Plain warm sauce seasonings usually store quality far better than those an ext exotic tastes the have gained popularity in recent years. For example, Original Red Sauce Tabasco retains high quality much longer than other flavors.

Speaking that printed dates …

Expiration Date

The date printed ~ above a warm sauce party is a best-by day that only approximates how lengthy the product should keep optimal quality. It’s through no means an expiration date and also has small to perform with food safety.

That said, most brand recommend making use of their products prior to the published date to gain the best possible quality.

As I described earlier, if your warm sauce seems okay, it should taste great even if you store it for a pair of extra months (opened) or year (unopened).

As usual, if you’re no 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 hot sauce keeps for around 1 to also 3 weeks if you usage fresh peppers, and for a couple of months if girlfriend ferment your peppers. No matter which option you choose, save homemade warm sauce in the fridge.

The over works for most warm sauce recipes the end there, but not all of them. If her doesn’t save that much vinegar however includes part fruits as the base because that the sauce, it’ll more than likely last just a couple of days, possibly up come a week.

That’s since such warm sauce is an ext like a usual salsa (homemade salsa lasts only up come 5 days) than warm sauce loaded with vinegar and also chili peppers.

Bowls of assorted dip sauces


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

Once you open the bottle,keep that sealed tightly as soon as not in use.

As usual, follow ideal food hygiene practices.

I understand that sometimes we’re lazy and prefer come dip ours chicken wing or fries straight in the bottle. But, unfortunately, that’s a sure-fire way to transfer contaminants and also bacteria into the container. And that might an outcome in the condiment going bad prematurely.

Also, look for a crust that often develops on the cap. That can be an area whereby bacteria begin to grow. Plus, a cap v a tardy of dried warm sauce looks yes, really gross.Always clean the cap once it gets messy.

Next, let’s talk around whether or no you have to refrigerate your hot sauce after opening the bottle.

Does warm Sauce must Be Refrigerated?

Most warm sauces don’t call for refrigeration after opened the bottle, but doing therefore isn’t a negative idea.A bottle that sits in the fridge rather of a cabinet in ~ room temperature retains freshness and quality because that longer.

Of course, some sauces advantage from refrigeration an ext than others, and in part cases, you could even notification a “refrigerate after ~ opening” brand on the bottle. If that’s the case, friend should certainly keep the sauce chilled.

If you inspect the FAQ sections of various hot sauce producers, most say the exact same thing.

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

Popular Brands

Below you can find some basic info on storage, shelf life, and spoilage of a few of the most renowned hot sauces available. Please note that friend won’t discover Tabasco or Sriracha there because both deserve different articles.

Frank’s RedHot

According to the FAQ section on the product’s website, Frank’s RedHot comes through a shelf life of 24 months and also 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 need storing in the fridge to continue to be safe and keep quality. That said, if you refrigerate Frank’s RedHot, the product will continue to be fresh because that longer.

Of course, the producer is fairly cautious around their recommendations, and chances room the sauce will stay safe (and tasty) method past the discussed period.


According come the product’s website, Cholula keeps at least until the best-by day printed top top the label and also retains top quality for about 6 month of opening. If it’s open up for more than half a year, however still in ~ the printed date, it’s it s okay to eat yet might no taste as an excellent as you’re offered to.

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

Again, the brand’s recommendations are quite conservative, and more often 보다 not, her “expired” Cholula will be it s okay to eat (and taste good), even if it’s more than a pair of most past that date.

Louisiana hot Sauce

According to the brand’s website, Louisiana hot Sauce has actually a shelf life of 5 years from as soon as it’s made and also doesn’t need refrigeration. As usual, the producer advises come discard any leftover sauce if it has actually passed the published date.

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

As you can tell, Louisiana warm sauce lasts much longer than many other warm sauces (that last about two years), and like most others, doesn’t call for you to save it in the fridge.

And comparable to other brands, your Louisiana hot sauce should keep well past its day if you save it properly.

Texas Pete

Texas Pete hot sauce comes with a shelf life that a pair of years significant by the “Best offered By” day printed on the lid and doesn’t need refrigeration after ~ opening. Once it overcome the marked date, the top quality of the sauce might not fulfill the agency standard anymore.

Like it’s the case for other brands, Texas Pete agency is quite cautious in their recommendations. In reality, the sauce will most likely keep means past the printed day if you follow an excellent storage practices.

Also, Texas Pete is one of the couple of brands that inform on their website that the color of the sauce might adjust after an extensive storage and also that it’s nothing come be worried about.


Tapatio comes with a suggested shelf life of two years and doesn’t call for refrigeration after ~ opening. The course, you deserve to keep it in the refrigerator if you pick to.

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

Instead, they inform that Tapatio hot sauce tastes ideal within 2 years, however it’s approximately you what you will certainly do when the sauce is past that period.