Sriracha’s Shelf Life: Can It Go Bad or Expire? How To Tell

Hot, hot, hot!

There is a whole world of hot sauce, and Sriracha is one of the cornerstones.

Sriracha isn’t as hot as some other sauces, like Tabasco, which makes it a nice addition to the pantry when you just need a little heat. (*)

With that in mind, one reason you may ask the question, does Sriracha go bad is because you probably won’t use buckets of it in any recipe.

You also probably won’t be cooking with Sriracha daily.

After all, adding spicy things to your recipes is one thing, but you don’t want Sriracha to overwhelm your dishes.

The really good news is Sriracha has a long shelf life when you store Sriracha properly.

Short answer: It can last two years beyond its “best by” date. And it doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

But, Sriracha can go bad at some point, just like any other condiments.

If you have a concern about this hot sauce, this post can help you!

You will learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What is the shelf life of Sriracha?
  • Can Sriracha go bad?
  • How long does it last?
  • How to tell if the Sriracha has gone bad?
  • How to store Sriracha properly?
  • … and a few more related questions about your favorite sauce!

So, read on…

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What is Sriracha Sauce?

image of sriracha sauce

Sriracha comes from Thailand, where it has a long and venerable history.

It is a chili-based sauce, blending hot chili peppers, garlic, salt, vinegar, and sugar.

It’s hard to miss a bottle of Sriracha with its vibrant red color.

You can expect a little tang from the vinegar, sweet notes, and hot, all in one taste.

Sriracha in the Western World

The sauce was popularized in the U.S. by Fong Foods. It’s remarkable that Huy Fong Foods never spent anything on advertising. Yet they sell some 20 million bottles annually.

You can find it in nearly every Thai, Chinese, and Vietnamese restaurant alongside other condiments.

Our research shows that in recent years the popularity of Sriracha sauce soared. Its production ranks 8th among the top ten fastest-growing industries.

Uses for Sriracha

Since a little dab does the trick, check out these uses for Sriracha as a way of using up the lingering bottle in your pantry and ensuring the Sriracha doesn’t go bad.

It’s more versatile in food than you might imagine for your menu.

  • Beverages: Add it to vegetable juice, tomato juice, or Bloody Mary’s
  • Cheese dishes: Try a splash on mac n’ cheese or cheese-based dips. Your food will thank you.
  • Eggs: Scrambled or Deviled, eggs, and Sriracha are a heavenly match
  • Flavoring: Add it to food like burgers or chili
  • Marinade: Use it in buttermilk for preparing deep-fried chicken or in an Asian-fusion style blend
  • Sauces: Some commercial Barbecue sauces feature Sriracha without any necessary additions on your part. Or, blend it plain with melted butter and use it as a dipping sauce for spring rolls.
  • Soup: An ingredient in Vietnamese pho soup. A Manhattan-style chowder would also benefit from adding Sriracha sauce.

So go ahead and get a little adventurous.

We promise it’s not a fussy ingredient. Just go slowly, adding one drop of Sriracha sauce at a time until you like the results.

If you have lingering questions about how long you can keep Sriracha unopened or opened, or how long does Sriracha last before it goes bad, and how to store Sriracha for the best shelf life, read on!

Shelf Life: Does Sriracha Go Bad?

When you’re standing in the supermarket aisle, looking at Sriracha options, there are small bottles and really big ones! This is a good time to ask yourself how much you’ll actually use regularly in your menu.

After all, part of the equation regarding how-long-does-sriracha-last depends greatly on your consumption.

Why does Sriracha last so long?

Can Sriracha go bad? It takes a really long time, much longer than you might expect, greatly surpassing many other sauces.

The capsaicin from chili peppers in Sriracha, along with the vinegar, garlic, and salt act as strong preservatives, fighting microorganisms. They’re so effective that you may not even find an expiration date on your bottle of sauce.

According to the FDA, Sriracha sauce is shelf-stable. It can remain safely stored at room temperature and maintain its quality for an extended period of time before the Sriracha will go bad.

Even opened, a Sriracha bottle doesn’t go bad quickly. It doesn’t even need to be refrigerated (surprise!).

We recommend using this guideline for storage times for the best quality:

  • In the pantry closed (room temperature): 2 years past the “best before” date
  • In the pantry open (kept cool-dry): 6-9 months after opening
  • Refrigerated unopened: 3-5 years
  • In the fridge opened: 2 years

Can you freeze Sriracha sauce?

If you have a large bottle and want to freeze it, you certainly can. But remember this:

Sriracha won’t last any longer in your freezer than in the fridge. So the sauce can go bad in the deep chill just as it might in the refrigerator.

How To Store Bottle of Sriracha Hot Sauce

Like any other commercial food product, there are best storage practices for this hot sauce, so it won’t go bad as quickly as it otherwise might.

1. Pointers for Storing Sriracha:

It’s simple and boils down to these four things:

  • Packaging (seals)
  • Consistent temperature (cool)
  • Keeping it away from the light.
  • Cleanliness

Packaging:

Commercial products come in an airtight container. The cap acts as the first level of

protection for the sauce within.

If the seal on the cap is broken, just put the sauce back on the shelf. You will have no way of knowing when the bottle was opened (or how).

Temperature:

Store your sriracha in a cool area. Sriracha is moody about temperature swings, and it can affect the quality of the taste.

Light:

Also, keeping it away from light ensures the best flavor, and quality, and deters discoloration.

Cleanliness:

Finally, as you use your bottle of Sriracha, check the top before returning it to storage. Make sure it’s tightly sealed

If there are any sauce droplets, clean them up and dry them off first. Otherwise, they leave a crusty residue.

The most common reason for bad Sriracha is airborne contamination coming in from the tip.

2. Our Storage Tips:

  • If your Sriracha shows browning, it is one way to tell if Sriracha is spoiled. Chances are it’s not, but look for other possible signs before consuming it.
  • Shake well: As Sriracha sits, it may settle, creating a less desirable flavor. If you were to taste it in this form, you might think the Sriracha had gone bad.
  • Keep used sauce away from your storage container. Just as with foods like dips, It should never go back into the bottle if you want to avoid the introduction of unhealthy bacteria.
  • Once you’re done with it, put the bottle back in the fridge, tightly sealed, within a reasonable amount of time.

How to tell if Sriracha has gone bad?

Depending on how the hot sauces were stored, there is always the chance of spoilage.

You can consider using the “best by” date, but the shelf life of this condiment is usually far longer.

Signs of spoilage include:

  • A Bloated Bottle. Think of this like fermentation.

The bloated bottle has gas within from heat, causing it to expand. That means opening it could be explosive.

This, alone, is not a reason to discard the sauce. We suggest checking for other indications.

  • Hotter than usual: Bottles of Sriracha get hotter the longer they age. However, if there’s an odd consistency too, caution is warranted.
  • Color changes: Whether it’s in your kitchen cupboard or the fridge, the hot sauce naturally changes over time, losing its bright red hue. So this may not mean it’s spoiled unless other signs of spoilage are present.
  • Dots of mold: These are typically dark brown to black in color.
  • Thicker texture: This is another natural result of aging, but when the Sriracha separates, don’t ignore the potential danger. Separation reduces quality too.
  • Sour smell: Sriracha has a distinct aroma. A sour smell means trouble. Discard it.

Sriracha FAQs

Conclusion

So, Can Sriracha go bad? Thanks to the ingredients in Sriracha, it has a long life, usually past the expiration date.

You probably won’t have to worry about it spoiling. The problem usually comes up when the sauce is stored incorrectly.

If you follow the guidelines we’ve provided, you should be just fine.

image of bottle of sriracha does it go bad

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