Does Hot Sauce Need to be Refrigerated?

Your favorite hot sauce gives your meal an extra burst of flavor. Chicken wings, pizza, pasta, and even just plain popcorn taste great with hot sauce.

We have so many different hot sauce flavors to choose from that we can have one each day of the week. 

In addition to whether to store hot sauce in the fridge or the pantry, another question that often arises relates to how long you should store it for.

There are a lot of different kinds of hot sauce out there, so here is a look at whether it is safe to store hot sauce in the cupboard. 

So, does hot sauce need to be refrigerated? You will need to know what kind of hot sauce you use and the amount of time you usually take to eat an entire bottle. Hot sauces that are low in sugar and high in vinegar, and you’ll consume them within two months, will usually keep in the pantry. 

Find out how to stash your favorite sauces by reading on.

A Couple Notes on Hot Sauce Freshness

Ensure your sauce hasn’t gone bad before you pour it over your meal. A few things you can do to tell if your sauce is still safe to eat are listed below.

Natural darkening occurs in hot sauce over time. As long as the sauces do not go bad, the darkening will not affect their flavor. 

It is always safer to throw away a bottle of hot sauce that has developed a strange, unidentified smell instead of opening a new bottle of it when it is no longer vinegary, spicy.

A quick smell test is a safe bet, especially when the sauce is a few months old. 

Check that there is no mold on your sauce or on the lid to make sure it’s not spoiled.

It is recommended to throw your sauce away if it has dark spots or white, green, or blue mold. 

The top of the bottle may also develop a crust when you use the hot sauce.

Make sure you wipe down your bottle every once in a while with a paper towel to prevent bacteria from colonizing and growing. 

There should be no signs of spoilage in your sauce, so you shouldn’t get sick. 

Does My Hot Sauce Go In the Fridge? Brand By Brand

There is a wide range of storage recommendations based on the ingredients. So let’s take a look inside some favorites.

1. Tabasco Original Red Sauce

There are many different kinds of hot sauce available on the market, but the Tabasco brand is one of the most recognizable and most commonly used.

With only three ingredients, Aged Red Tabasco Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, and Sea Salt, and no pepper solids, there is very little to it.

The pantry can be stored without going bad for several months after opening, as sugar and other ingredients can promote bacterial growth.

After each use, make sure the container is tightly sealed and that it is not placed in direct sunlight. 

It is a good idea to store your hot sauce in the refrigerator if you want to preserve the color and texture.

Keep in the pantry for a couple of months and it will not go bad or become unsafe to eat. 

Certain Tabasco sauces, such as Sweet and Spicy Sauce and Habenaro Pepper Sauce, should be refrigerated once opened. These sauces contain higher amounts of sugars and fruit purees that may feed germs and cause the sauces to spoil quickly.

Final Verdict: In the pantry, it should last several months. Refrigeration will ensure the best quality and longevity.

2. Frank’s Red Hot Sauce

There is no doubt Frank’s Red Hot Sauce is one of the most popular and tasty hot sauces in North America. Other ingredients include salt, water, salted garlic powder, distilled vinegar, and aged cayenne red pepper. 

Although this hot sauce won’t need to be refrigerated to prevent spoilage, Frank’s suggests keeping it in the fridge to ensure a more intense flavor.

As long as it is properly sealed and kept out of direct sunlight, it can be stored in a pantry until the best before date. 

You can also keep the sauce in the fridge for several weeks after its best before date.

As with the room temperature or chilled hot sauce question, it depends on how fast you consume a bottle. 

Some of their other hot sauces need to be refrigerated after opening in order to avoid spoilage.

Once you receive Frank’s Red Hot Sriracha Sauce or Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Chili Sauce, make sure you refrigerate or freeze them upon opening. 

Final Verdict: Safe to store in the pantry. Store in the fridge to preserve freshness. 

3. Cholula Hot Sauce

If you want a taste profile that differs slightly from Tabasco and Frank’s hot sauce, Chulula hot sauce is a great choice. There is a combination of arbol and piquin peppers, as well as salt and vinegar, plus garlic and some additional spices. 

Family recipes are handed down from generation to generation in Mexico. Hot sauces named after North America’s oldest inhabited cities honor their Mexican roots. 

As you may have noticed, Cholula hot sauce does not contain sugar, so it can be stored in the pantry.

For best flavor and freshness, consume the bottle within six months of opening it. 

Keeping this sauce in the fridge will help it keep its color and taste for longer. If you intend to consume the entire bottle within six months, you can store it either in or out of the fridge. 

For our other excellent hot sauce flavors such as Sweet Habanero, Chili Lime, and Bold Jalapeno, we recommend you keep them in the fridge from the moment they are opened.

Due to their sugar content, these flavors are more prone to spoiling. 

Final Verdict: Holula hot sauce can be stored for six months in the pantry after it has been opened. Keep the product refrigerated if you want it to last longer. 

4. TRUFF Hot Sauce

In my opinion, this is a top-notch hot sauce for those who are looking for something more sophisticated.

Even the TRUFF bottles look stylish and expensive, which raises the bar when it comes to quality and taste.

Ingredients include red chili peppers, vinegar, organic sugar, garlic, salt, black truffle, organic agave nectar, olive oil infused with black truffle essence, lycopene and glycerin (for color), organic cumin, and xanthan gum.

There are two main types of sweeteners in this sauce, organic sugar and agave nectar.

Keeping this hot sauce refrigerated after opening is recommended because sugar can feed bacteria that lead to food spoilage. As there are no preservatives used, the company recommends refrigeration.

Additionally, there is a white truffle hot sauce that includes coriander instead of black truffles. It must be refrigerated after opening, just like the sauce above.

The company sells full-size and mini bottles of its hot sauce, making them convenient to carry around! 

Final Verdict: Make sure the TRUFF hot sauce stays cool in the fridge.

5. Tapatio Hot Sauce

Originally created in 1971, Frank’s Red Hot Sauce has grown to be about as popular as Tabasco’s Original Red Sauce and Frank’s Red Hot Sauce.

From hot sauce newbies to pepper aficionados, everyone loves this mild hot sauce with a piquant flavor. 

It contains water, red peppers, salt, spices, garlic, acetic acid, xanthan gum, sodium benzoate, and acetic acid as a preservative.

Despite not having the same types of peppers, the sauce is mildly spiced thanks to the red peppers. 

With this knowledge under your belt, you probably can tell from the ingredient list that this hot sauce can be stored in the pantry since it doesn’t require refrigeration. 

By adding sodium benzoate as a preservative, this sauce is also more shelf-stable than some of its competitors. It will be safe to eat straight from the cupboard so long as it is sealed well and kept away from direct sunlight. 

Also, according to the manufacturer, you do not have to refrigerate it, but you can do so if you wish, and the flavor will not be affected in any way.

Whether you tend to use food quickly or not, refrigeration may be an option if you want to preserve the freshness for a longer time. 

Final Verdict: The tapato suce can be stored in the cupboard without risk of spoiling. 

6. Homemade Hot Sauce

Since there are so many different styles and ways to make your own hot sauce, deciding whether to store it in the fridge can be a bit tricky.

You will need to refrigerate the recipe if it contains sugar. If it does contain sugar, you should definitely keep it in the refrigerator. 

Whenever I make my own hot sauce, I tend to be cautious. The fact that commercial hot sauce is made under food-safe conditions and is packaged in sanitized bottles and jars reduces the chance of contamination. 

You probably don’t have a completely sterile environment when you create sauces at home.

The cooking process allows a large variety of bacteria to enter the sauce. Sauces can become spoiled when unintentional additions are made. 

Hot sauce can be canned only after sterilization and proper canning has been done.

Generally, if you seal your hot sauce well, it can stay shelf-stable for a year or so. Although it is safe to store it in the fridge once opened, it is still best to keep it in the fridge for extra security. 

It takes longer for a product to spoil in the refrigerator because chilled products slow down the growth of bacteria.

Refrigeration is going to be the best bet for your homemade sauce. 

Final Verdict: To ensure that your homemade sauce stays fresh and safe, place it in the refrigerator as opposed to a sterile setting such as a hot sauce plant. 

Does Chili Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?

Chipotle sauce tends to use the entire pepper and sometimes include extra ingredients like sugar as opposed to most hot sauces, which tend to be thin, liquidy.

Sriracha and Thai sweet chili sauce are just a couple of the most common types of chili sauce you might recognize. 

Does Sriracha Chili Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?

The majority of the ingredients in sriracha-style chili sauce, like chilies, garlic, vinegar, and salt, are resistant to bacterial growth, so it doesn’t need to be stored in the fridge.

Bacteria are responsible for spoiling and making food unfit for consumption.

It will be fine as long as it’s tightly sealed and kept in a cool, dry place. Find out how to store Sriracha here.

You can extend the shelf life of hot sauces if you keep them in the fridge. In the pantry, chili sauce needs to be refrigerated for about three weeks to stay at peak freshness.

When you store it in the refrigerator, it will remain fresh for another six to nine months. 

Thus, storing chili sauce in the refrigerator or the pantry depends on the amount of space you have in your kitchen and how quickly you plan to use it.

Does Thai Sweet Chili Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?

There is a difference between Thai sweet chili sauce and its counterparts because Thai sweet chili sauce contains a higher amount of sugar, which gives it the spicy-sweet taste that is so mouthwatering.

Sugar promotes bacteria growth and can lead to spoilage, making your sauce unfit for consumption. 

Whenever you prepare Thai sweet chili-style sauce, you should store it sealed in the refrigerator to avoid the sauce going bad.

Keeping it properly sealed and stored in the fridge will keep it for up to one year. Make sure it does not contain mold before you eat it. 

Final Thoughts

You can add hot sauce to your meals to make them more delicious. It is important to store your hot sauce correctly so that it remains fresh for longer and does not go bad. 

When storing your hot sauce, err on the side of caution and store it in the fridge if it contains sugars or if you made it from scratch. Then, you’re able to keep it for several months in the pantry. 

Hot sauces will certainly enhance your meal and awaken your taste buds no matter what you choose.

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