One of the most consumed hot sauces worldwide is Sriracha. Most likely, you have one in your cabinet right now. But does sriracha need to be refrigerated?
The short answer is no, just make sure they are stored in a cool, dry place. Because Sriracha’s ingredients are fairly resistant to bacterial growth—which is what causes food to become unsafe and eventually spoil—you don’t need to refrigerate it.
For more information on sriracha storage, continue reading.
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Ingredients Of Sriracha
Sriracha is fairly easy to make. Here’s a full Sriracha ingredients breakdown, but in short, it contains red jalapeño, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt, along with thickening agents and preservatives. Due to its simplicity, that hot sauce can be stored in a cupboard unopened for months or even years at a time. Sriracha doesn’t need to be chilled, so.
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Does Sriracha Go Bad?
The majority of Sriracha hot sauce’s components, such as chili peppers, vinegar, and salt, are natural preservatives, making it resistant to spoilage. Therefore, despite the fact that the sauce has a date printed on the bottle, it usually lasts months after that date.
However, Sriracha gradually loses flavor over time, and eventually you might become dissatisfied with its taste. Sadly, there is no way to predict with certainty when that will occur.
Huy Fong Foods produces Sriracha using naturally grown chili peppers, which is one quality-related fact worth knowing. That implies that some bottles may be a little hotter than others and that the color may also vary slightly.
However, that doesn’t mean Sriracha can’t become stale. The condiment may spoil if you keep it for an extended period of time in unfavorable storage conditions. Let’s discuss what that might entail.
How Can I Tell If Sriracha Is Bad?
Signs of spoiled Sriracha include:
- Mold or any other organic growth is present. Although moldy Sriracha is uncommon, if yours is, it needs to be thrown out.
- Off aroma. Throw away your Sriracha if it smells rotten or fermented instead of the expected spicy-savory aroma.
- Drastic texture change The sauce is lost if it has completely separated or if you can no longer pour it.
- Bad taste. Try a small bite of food if everything appears to be fine. Your Sriracha will probably be fine in most circumstances. However, if the flavor is inadequate or it simply tastes bad, it should be discarded.
Additionally, exercise common sense when deciding whether to use the condiment.
It is probably best to throw away Sriracha if it is already four or five years past its best-by date. Same thing if your half-opened bottle has been in the pantry for two years.
Or to put it another way, err on the side of caution.
I didn’t say that your Sriracha is bad if it turns dark red or even brown, as you can see. This is due to the fact that darkening doesn’t indicate spoilage in this hot sauce.
Does Sriracha Need To Be Refrigerated?
Even after opening the bottle, Sriracha doesn’t require refrigeration. That’s because the condiment’s ingredients don’t easily go bad and don’t support bacterial growth. It can be kept in a cool, dry location.
In other words, Sriracha isn’t your typical salsa that always needs to be refrigerated after opening.
Having said that, Sriracha is no different from most other hot sauces in that it benefits from refrigeration. It will retain flavor longer and not darken as quickly if you store it in the refrigerator.
The bottom line is that it’s okay to store open Sriracha at room temperature if you plan to finish the bottle within a few months. However, it is preferable to refrigerate it if you plan to keep it in storage for longer than six months.
How Long Does Sriracha Last?
Sriracha has a two-year shelf life and is often still good after the printed expiration date. Once the bottle is opened, it keeps its quality for at least six months at room temperature and longer if refrigerated.
Of course, Sriracha’s quality may not last as long if the bottle has already passed the printed expiration date when you open it. But the likelihood is that it will remain safe well past that date, as I said in the section on spoilage.
How long Sriracha really lasts is hard to say, just like Tabasco and pretty much any other hot sauce. The issue here is that you will more likely discard the condiment because of the degraded quality, not because it has gone bad in a way it’s unsafe to eat. Note that all of the aforementioned times are only approximations and are for the highest quality.
There is a best-by date on the label, but that is only a general indication of how long the sauce will stay fresh. It’s not an “expiration” date and is all about quality, not safety.
You can store Sriracha in the refrigerator to preserve its bright red color. However, it won’t stop the deterioration of your Sriracha. You already have that working for you thanks to the vinegar and chilies.
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