Note: We Want The Sauce is reader supported. If you make a purchase through a link on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission - at no extra cost to you. This includes links to Amazon.

Does Hoisin Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?

Hoisin sauce is great and all; but one common problem we all run into at some point or other is how we should store it. Must it be kept in the fridge or can it be kept elsewhere? Here is what you want to know.

So, does hoisin sauce need to be refrigerated? You do not need to refrigerate hoisin sauce – either before, or after opening the bottle. However, refrigeration can help to extend the shelf life and help retain the flavor for longer – especially once the bottle has been opened.

In truth – there is no definitive answer.

You can, or you can choose not to.

That’s the crux of it.

And it all depends really on how long you intend to keep the bottle.

That is if it came in one.

Otherwise, if you made it from scratch then you may need to transfer your hoisin sauce to one.

That is if you intend on keeping it.

But that’s another topic altogether.

What you need to know is that a closed and airtight container of hoisin sauce lasts a long time.

As we shall soon see in the following sections.

Should Hoisin Sauce Be Refrigerated After Opening?

Whether you decide to refrigerate hoisin sauce after opening the bottle is a matter of preference. It’s not necessary, but it can extend how long the sauce lasts.

So, refrgierating the sauce is generally advisable here.

But it does not come without consideration.

Hoisin sauce generally thickens in the refirgerator; so you do need to remember to remove it before you intend to use it.

Otherwise, it may not have the right consistency and texture the sauce is known for, and is generally enjoyed.

So really, whether you decide to refrigerate your sauce depends on how you intend on using it, when, and how long you want to keep your bottle for.

What Happens If You Don’t Refrigerate Hoisin Sauce

What happens to hoisin sauce if it is not refrigerated generally depends on whether the bottle is open, or the sauce is exposed to air in any way. Typically, a sealed bottle should not degrade in any way (if stored appropritaely) – an open bottle on the other hand, may begin to lose flavor over time.

Of course, this has a lot to do with the brand, ingredients in the recipe, and how you do decide to store it.

Are we talking about a store brand, or a hoisin sauce made from scratch?

Are we talking about leaving it out on the side, or sealed and stored away in a cool, dry area?

As you can see there are various factors invovled here.

That being said, so long as it is appropriately stored, hoisin sauce can last several months to several years unrefrigerated.

At least in terms of optimal flavor.

Does Hoisin Go Bad?

Hoisin sauce cannot really go bad – it can however, detiroriate in quality over time depending on how it is stored.

We only have to look at the ingredients of this particular sauce to find out why this is.

The primary ingredients are:

Soybeans, fennel, red chili peppers and garlic.

Now of course, this can vary a bit depending on the recipe or the brand.

But nevertheless, this is the core of the sauce.

None of which really go off.

Plus, most sauce include some form of preservative – sometimes natural, which is designed to prevent the sauce from spoiling.

So much so that most, if not all brands of hoisin sauce come with a Best Before Date.

Not a use by date, but a recommendation of when the sauce is best.

You could generally eat the sauce beyond this date – but it may not be as flavoursome or as you had expected.

And thats the key here.

The sauce will get to the point where it is no longer as enjoyable.

It’s not spoiled per se, but its ‘bad’ in the sense that its not quite as good as it was.

How Do You Know Hoisin Sauce Is Bad?

You can tell hoisin sauce has gone bad by the look, smell, and potential taste of the sauce.

In reality, it can be a little tricky to identify.

This is because it does not spoil like some other foods or condiments.

Although, if the sauce is cross-contaminated, i.e. other food or something else gets into the bottle, then mold may begin to grow.

In that case its easily identifiable.

And you should absolutely throw the sauce away before attempting to taste.

Other visual things to look out for include a change to the consitency of the sauce (within reason). Seperation is perhaps one of the key changes to look out for.

Remember, refrigeration may cause the sauce to thicken and this does not mean the sauce has gone bad.

If nothing looks visually off with the hoisin sauce, then do go for the smell test.

If you notice any sourness, or distinct change, then it could indicate the sauce is beyond its best.

Lastly, if it looks and smells okay, you may want to attempt trying a little bit.

If you notice its a little sour, or not quite as flavoursome as it was before, then it could be time to throw it away and get another bottle.

Now this is subjective.

Some people may not enjoy the taste, others may not even notice.

Nevertheless, if in doubt do replace it.


So whether to refrigerate your hoisin sauce or not.

Well, if you are looking to keep the sauce for some time – and you have already opened the bottle, it is probably best to.

Just consider that for future use you may need to get it out a little early.

But if the bottle is still sealed, or you do not intending on keeping it for long, then do feel free to keep it out the fridge.

Just be sure to keep it in a dry place out of direct sunlight.

Wondering what other sauces need to be kept refrigerated? Check out my following guides below: