Hot sauce is a delicious addition to any food. It goes well with shrimp, chicken, salads, burgers, meatballs, and much more.
This spicy sauce can be prepared with different ingredients, but its base usually consists of chilly peppers, vinegar, and salt.
Hot sauces that are made from different types of chili peppers have different degrees of heat, which are indicated in the famous Scoville Scale. The hottest chili pepper on the scale is the notorious capsaicin.
Hot sauces are highly acidic, which helps preserve them for a long time.
What’s the bottom line?
An unopened bottle of hot sauce can last up to 2 years past the best by date, while an opened bottle of hot sauce tends to last 3 to 6 months after the expiration date.
Usually, hot sauces can be kept at room temperature but keeping them in the fridge will help to maintain them fresh for longer.
Signs Your Hot Sauce Has Gone Bad
Like any other food, hot sauce can develop mold so make sure to check not only the surface of the sauce but also any clumps on the neck of the bottle. If the sauce presents any signs of mold or if it smells or tastes sour or simply bad, then it is time to throw the sauce out.
Hot sauce tends to last a long time after the expiration date but it does start decaying with time. Because it’s made of chili peppers, it is normal for hot sauce to darken after a while, but this doesn’t mean it has gone bad. Even if the sauce begins to separate, it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be eaten anymore, this is just something natural that happens with time.
The expiration date you will find on the bottle is an indication that, until that date arrives, the sauce should keep all its qualities. Hot sauce can be eaten well after the best by date, as long as you check it for any signs of spoilage. If you have doubts and don’t want to try the hot sauce, your best option is to discard it and buy a new bottle.
How To Store Hot Sauce
In general, hot sauce can be stored at room temperature. Hot sauce has a high level of acidity, which helps to preserve it for a long time. So, unless the instructions on the bottle say differently, you can keep your hot sauce in the pantry or a kitchen cabinet even after opening it, as long as it is away from heat and direct sunlight.
Hot sauce can be refrigerated, which will help maintain its quality for longer.
This, of course, applies to store-bought hot sauce. If you decide to make your own hot sauce at home, it should always be kept in the refrigerator, preferably in a container that has an airtight lid.
How Long Does Hot Sauce Last
Hot sauce has a long shelf life, lasting up to 2 years after the expiration date when unopened.
Once the bottle is open, hot sauce usually lasts 3 to 6 months after the expiration date. You can help it maintain its quality for longer if you keep it cold, which means an open bottle of hot sauce can last up to 2 years after the expiration date.
Remember that hot sauce doesn’t tend to spoil easily and that the best by date is usually there to indicate until when the hot sauce should remain fresh and tasty. It’s usually safe to eat hot sauce after the expiration date. Just check for any sign of spoilage before you eat it and you should be fine.
The Verdict On Hot Sauce
Hot sauce doesn’t tend to spoil easily. The best by date is there to indicate until when the hot sauce will keep its best quality. It’s usually safe to eat hot sauce after the expiration date. Just check for any sign of spoilage before you eat it and you should be fine.
Make sure to read the instructions of store-bought hot sauces to know if you should keep them in the pantry or place them directly in the refrigerator.
If you are going to buy some hot sauce soon, you may like to know what some of the best hot sauces available are. There is a huge variety to choose from!