Does Mustard Need to be Refrigerated After Opening? (FACTS)

Does mustard need to be refrigerated after opening? OH NO, you left your mustard out overnight after hosting an exhausting get together. What should you do? Do you toss it out or toss it back in the fridge? What would you say if we told you not to do either?

You don’t have to store mustard in the refrigerator after opening it. In fact, many people prefer this tangy condiment at room temperature. And that is perfectly fine. It is safe and will still offer plenty of flavors.

Now that you know everything you have been told about mustard care is a lie. Take a look at the article below for more information you can actually count on. From how long it is good for to where it should be kept. 

What’s Mustard and How To Use?

Ah, mustard! A delightful condiment that adds a zing of flavor to countless dishes. So, what exactly is mustard? Well, mustard is a versatile paste made from the seeds of the mustard plant, scientifically known as Brassica juncea or Sinapis alba. It comes in various forms, such as yellow mustard, Dijon mustard, spicy brown mustard, and whole grain mustard.

NutrientYellow MustardDijon MustardSpicy Brown MustardWhole Grain Mustard
Fat (g)0.310.51.5
Protein (g)
Carbs (g)
Fiber (g)
Sodium (mg)120180150200
Please keep in mind that the values provided are approximate and may vary slightly depending on the brand or homemade preparation of the mustard. It’s always a good idea to refer to the nutrition label on the specific product for the most accurate information.

Using mustard is like adding a touch of magic to your culinary adventures.

Here are a few ways you can enjoy this flavorful condiment:

  1. Sandwiches: Add mustard for a tangy kick.
  2. BBQ: Use as a marinade or glaze for grilled meats and veggies.
  3. Salads: Whisk into dressings to liven up your greens.
  4. Secret Ingredient: Enhance stews, soups, and sauces with mustard.
  5. Pretzel Dip: Pair mustard with soft pretzels for a flavor explosion.

How to Store Mustard

Whether you prefer a little Dejon or you are an old fashion yellow mustard kind of person, storing it is simple. The only decision to make is how you personally prefer the product when squeezing it onto your plate. 

Storage MethodUnopened MustardOpened Mustard (Not Refrigerated)Opened Mustard (Refrigerated)
LocationPantry shelfPantry or kitchen table/countertopRefrigerator
TemperatureCool, dry spotDry space away from sunlight and heatCold temperature
Shelf LifeUp to 5 years2-3 months6-8 months
Flavor and FreshnessMaintainedMay notice a difference in tastePreserved
Other ConsiderationsAvoid direct sunlightKeep in a dry spaceN/A
Remember, the specific shelf life and flavor preservation may vary depending on the quality and type of mustard. Always check for signs of spoilage or changes in texture and taste before consuming.

Storing Unopened Mustard

Unopened mustard can be shoved right onto a pantry shelf. It doesn’t need any refrigeration and will last for years (up to 5) in the right conditions. The best place to put it is in a cool, dry spot, avoiding any direct sunlight.

Opened Mustard, Not Refrigerated

Opened mustard can also be placed in the pantry. Or, you can leave it on your kitchen table or countertop. Doing so will not harm you in any way. Actually, take a look around next time you eat out. Restaurants don’t store their mustard in the fridge, so why should you?

If you do choose to leave your mustard out, make sure it is in a dry space, away from direct sunlight and high temps. We keep ours next to our canisters with coffee, flour, and sugar. 

Opened mustard that is not refrigerated will last 2-3 months before you start noticing a difference in the taste. 

Opened Mustard Refrigerated

If you prefer putting your mustard in the fridge. Maybe it makes you feel more comfortable, a little more at ease? You will be happy to hear that it preserves the condiment for even longer. Yep, refrigerated mustard will stay fresh almost three times as long as leaving it out. 

Cold mustard keeps its strong, tangy flavor for 6-8 months after you open it if you leave it in the fridge. 

What to Do If Your Mustard Dries Out

One of the issues people face when leaving their mustard out is that it dries up. Dried mustard is difficult to spread and use. Luckily, there is a way to soften this delicious condiment, so don’t toss it out right away. 

Just Add Vinegar

The best way to soften dried mustard is by adding a teaspoon of vinegar. It is that simple. Mustard already contains tons of vinegar as is. So adding an extra spoonful won’t change the flavor. The acid in this product will soften the dried mustard and take it back to its original texture.

Don’t Add Too Much

Adding vinegar is the best way to fix dried out mustard. However, adding too much will only dilute the condiment, making it taste terrible and unusable. If a teaspoon or two doesn’t do the trick, you need a new jar. 

How to Tell Your Mustard Has Gone Bad

Does mustard even go bad? Technically no, mustard will not spoil. Most types of mustard don’t have any ingredients in them that can “go bad.” But, after a long period of time, mustard can start losing its flavor and texture. 

If you leave your mustard out on the table for more than a few months, you’ll notice a change. That mix of spicey, tangy, subtly sweet flavor will begin to dull down. 

You will also start to see a change in texture. Sometimes, especially in containers not properly sealed, mustard will dry out. Other times, the ingredients will begin to separate. 

If you notice a layer of liquid forming on the top of your mustard, simply stir it up. A good stir will give you back the natural consistency we all love.

When To Toss Your Mustard Out

We already talked about throwing away mustard that lost its flavor. We also mentioned how sometimes there is no way to save the condiment once it dries out. Now it’s time to talk about mold. 

Although the vinegar and lemon juice in mustard will preserve it, it won’t stop mold from growing in some cases. Check your mustard often for signs of irregularities in color and texture

The Expiration Date

Many people throw out perfectly good food simply because of the date on its label. What they don’t know is this date doesn’t necessarily mean the product has gone bad. Honestly, the expiration date is more of a shelf-life date. Meaning that stores must pull it from their shelves by that time. 

When stored properly, mustard will last for years past the “expiration date.” 


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Does Mustard Need to Be Refrigerated?

Thankfully, your refrigerators can gain a little extra space if you currently keep your mustard there. Mustard does not have to be refrigerated, even after it is opened and used. 

Keep this article handy. This way, the next time you have concerns regarding the condition of your opened mustard, you can reference back. It’s also a good way to prove the facts to those non-believers. 

Up Next: what condiments do not need to be refrigerated after opening

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