You’ve got a bottle of hot sauce that you are looking to store away. But does it need to go in the fridge? Facing such a dilemma, I spent some time researching to find out. This is what you should do…
So, does hot sauce need to be refrigerated? You do not need to refrigerate hot sauce – either before or after opening the bottle. This is because of the ingredients, which prevent the sauce from spoiling even if it is kept at a warmer temperature. That being said refrigeration can help preserve the flavor of the sauce if you intend on keeping it for an extended period of time.
The thing is; refrigeration is not a must.
It’s actually entirely optional.
Although, for a lot of reasons, it does actually make sense.
Besides, you want your sauce to taste as good as the day you opened it right?
Well, refrigeration can help with that.
Nevertheless, let us take a closer look at those other similarly related questions that you likely have.
Does Hot Sauce Go Bad If Not Refrigerated?
Most brands and recipes of hot sauce will not necessarily go bad if not refrigerated, although the flavor and quality of the sauce can degrade in time – depending on how it is stored.
For the most part, this is not the kind of sauce that really goes off.
This is likely why you will only see a best before date on the label – rather than a use-by date.
And here is why.
Hot sauce typically contains lots of vinegar and salt.
Some brands even throw in some preservatives too, for good measure.
And these ingredients all help to prevent bacteria from getting into and growing in the sauce.
And as such, it doesn’t really spoil.
Within reason of course.
This is assuming the sauce is not cross-contaminated with food.
Nonetheless, pretty much all brands of hot sauce are generally safe from spoiling.
There is a caveat here though.
Not every brand or recipe contains vinegar. Some are more oil-based, for instance.
In those instances, it’s probably best to refrigerate the sauce.
The packaging should let you know if it is required, but if in doubt, stick it in the fridge.
Hot sauce typically lasts between 6 months to 1 year unrefrigerated once the bottle has been opened. If unopened it may be able to last 2 years +.
This is just your average bottle and brand, mind.
It also depends on how the sauce is stored.
Sauce stored out of direct sunlight in a dry place should last longer than if it were to be left out on the side, in direct sunlight, for instance.
Even then, we are talking mere flavor here.
As already discussed, the chances of the sauce actually being unsafe years beyond the best before date are slim, to say the least.
That doesn’t mean it’s not possible, but it’s just unlikely.
How Do You Know Hot Sauce Sauce Has Gone Bad?
The easiest way to tell that hot sauce has indeed gone bad is to check the texture and smell. You should notice that the consistency has changed, perhaps some separation has occurred. Equally, the smell will also have changed.
Of course, there is always the taste test.
But this is generally best left until last.
At least once it’s passed the look and smell test.
Besides, that should give you some pointers.
That being said, as this sauce does not generally spoil, it may very well be the taste that gives it away.
If you are brave enough.
You may notice that it’s just not as flavorsome as it once was, or it tastes slightly sour.
If in doubt, just throw the bottle away and replace it.
Hot sauce is certainly an interesting one.
It doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but it helps to do so.
Just consider that in doing so it may make it a little thicker.
You may even need to wait sometime after before you can get out of the bottle to consume.
Recipe and brand depending, of course.
And then there are preferences.
Cold hot sauce.
Is that something you enjoy?
Or would you prefer it at room temperature?
Then there’s the matter of storage.
Ultimately, the choice is yours.
But preferences aside.
If you intend on using it and replacing it in the next few months – out of the fridge really is fine.
Anything longer, well refrigeration actually just makes sense.
You do not need to refrigerate Louisiana hot sauce, although you can if you wanted to or intend on keeping it for an extended period of time.
You do not need to refrigerate Frank’s Red hot sauce, although the company does actually recommend that you do so after opening the bottle to preserve the flavor.
Wondering what other sauces need to be kept refrigerated? Check out my following guides below:
- Does Tabasco Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
- Does Sriracha Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
- Does Hoisin Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
- Does Teriyaki Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
- Does Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
- Does Tartar Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
- Does Worcestershire Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
Hi there. I’m Jeremy – a passionate food technologist with several decades in the food industry. With a love for sauces, food, and nutrition, I decided to create WeWantTheSauce. Here I share my experience, knowledge, and recommendations; from ingredients and recipes to storage all the way through to nutrition for every sauce imaginable.