frank's red hot

Does Frank’s Red Hot Expire?

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Frank’s Red Hot sauce is one of the best spicy condiments that can pair with virtually any type of savory food. It has been in production for decades and is considered to be one of the best hot sauces in North America. 

If you have been wondering about the shelf life of this versatile sauce then we have the perfect guide for you!

Does Frank’s Red Hot expire? Yes, just like any other food, Frank’s Red Hot sauce can expire if it is not stored properly. An unopened bottle can last up to the expiration date printed on the back of the bottle but an opened bottle usually only lasts up to 4-6 months, preferably with refrigeration.

Read below to learn more about Frank’s Red Hot sauce, how it’s made, its characteristics, and how to store it the right way!

What is Frank’s Red Hot Sauce?

The original recipe for Frank’s Red Hot was invented in 1920 and unlike other brands that continuously update their recipes to cater to growing markets, Frank’s has kept the original recipe the same which says a lot about the flavor and quality of the sauce!

Frank’s Red Hot Sauce started as a small operation but it didn’t take long for the business to grow into a multimillion empire. The best thing about this hot sauce is that it provides just the right amount of heat and flavor.

Unlike other hot sauces that are usually all about the heat, Frank’s hot sauce is in the sweet spot between delicious and spicy – people love it so much that they prefer to add this condiment over a variety of foods like chips, sandwiches, steaks, vegetables, salads, and much more.

Did you know: The first-ever buffalo wings were served in 1964 with a topping of Frank’s Red Hot – and Dunkin Donuts even made the very first “Hot Donut” using Frank’s Red Hot as a filling and glaze!

Frank’s Red Hot is made using high-quality cayenne pepper which grows from seeds to mature fruit in about 6 months. The secret to Frank’s sauce is the vertical integration of its supply chain. The company uses its own seeds and grows them in select locations.

This level of control ultimately results in a hot sauce that is just the right color, flavor, and heat level.

Once the cayenne peppers reach maturity, they are harvested in large machines that transfer the peppers to a nearby factory. The peppers are initially cleaned with water to remove any debris or dirt and then staff members inspect and discard any peppers that don’t meet the quality standards of the brand.

The selected peppers then go on to a processing plant where they are mixed with seasonings and other ingredients. The mixture is then stored in large vats where they are left to ferment for some time. The fermentation process develops compounds that add to the flavor, color, consistency, and heat of the sauce.

The fermented mixture is then filled in bottles and then sealed to lock in the freshness and quality of the sauce. 

Maintaining Freshness 

Frank’s Red Hot contains aged cayenne red peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt, and garlic powder. You may have noticed that this product doesn’t contain stabilizers or preservatives – so how does the sauce remain fresh?

frank's red hot

Well, there are two reasons for this: the first reason is that it is sealed in an airtight bottle that protects it from oxidization. The second reason is that the vinegar content and the fermented chilies themselves prevent bacterial growth allowing for a slightly longer shelf life even when the bottle is opened.

An unopened bottle of Frank’s can last up to 2 years or until the expiration date, printed on the back of the bottle. Once open, the hot sauce will require refrigeration and will last up to 4-6 months.

According to the company, an opened bottle will last up to the date printed on the bottom or shoulder of the bottle. Refrigeration is also the preferred way to store this sauce as it will help maintain its flavor but the company claims that you can also store it at room temperature if you don’t prefer cold sauce.

Storing Frank’s Red Hot

Since this hot sauce contains natural preservatives, it is relatively shelf stable, even at room temperatures. But if you want maximum quality and flavor then you will have to store the sauce in the fridge after opening it. 

Store the bottle at the back of the fridge at 40F to maintain its temperature. If you keep it near or at the door of the refrigerator then the constant temperature difference when closing and opening the fridge door may cause it to go bad faster. 

Frank’s hot sauce can also be stored at room temperature! The best way to store the sauce is to keep it in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight. This is why we recommend that you store it either in your pantry or any place away from the stove.

Please keep in mind that the steam and heat from the stove can impact the quality of condiments. For example, if you keep the bottle in a cabinet that sits directly (or near) the stove then this may cause enough of a temperature difference to spoil the flavor of the sauce.

In addition to this, storing the sauce at room temperature will also likely limit the sauce’s shelf life! According to the company, if the bottle is stored at room temperature, then it will probably only last until the best-before date printed on the bottle. 

However, if you keep it in the fridge, then the sauce may even last a few weeks longer than the printed date and will still provide a great flavor so long as it is stored properly and does not show any signs of spoilage.

Signs of Spoilage

Frank’s Red Hot can be challenging to inspect given that it has bits and pieces of chili and also a thick consistency but there are a few key signs to look out for:

hot sauce

Change in Appearance 

This is an easy sign to detect. Check around the bottle to see if the sauce has developed any whitish patches. Frank’s Red Hot has a predominately red color but when it goes bad, it may start to grow mold around the bottle. 

Since the bottle is transparent, you will be able to detect this change fairly easily. If you don’t notice any change on the outside, then test the sauce by dipping it over a napkin. Spread it out with your finger to see if the sauce has any bits or pieces with an odd color. 

Change in Texture 

Frank’s Red Hot is neither too thick nor too runny. Its balanced texture allows it to be poured over any type of food and the best part is that it can also adhere to food very easily without dripping.

Once the sauce crosses its expiration date, then it will likely become watery and may even separate. If you notice a layer of water-like substance over the sauce then you should assume that it has gone bad. Do not mix the bottle to reincorporate the mixture! 

Change in Aroma

Frank’s Red Hot has a sweet and spicy aroma. Before pouring the sauce, whiff the bottle and see if you notice any foul odors. If the sauce is contaminated, the bacteria will produce toxins that release a foul odor that should be easy to detect. 

Change in Flavor

The last thing to look out for is a change in flavor. Normally, Frank’s Red Hot has a very delicious flavor but if you notice a reduction in flavor or any sour notes, then this may indicate that the sauce has gone bad.

As explained above, storing the sauce at room temperature may have an impact on its overall flavor, but the flavor notes will remain the same. The heat level may also dip if the bottle isn’t stored properly so this should also hint toward spoilage. 

If you notice any difference in the flavor of the sauce or its intensity, then this would definitively mean that the sauce has gone bad.

We recommend that you inspect the bottle using the first three signs before you go into the final taste test. If the sauce has gone bad, then just spit out the sauce and rinse your mouth.

Related Questions 

Frank’s Red Hot is a popular condiment that is known for its delicious flavor, versatility, and its relatively stable shelf life. Now that you know how to check if it is expired, here are some related questions:

Can You Freeze Frank’s Red Hot?

Yes, you can freeze Frank’s Red Hot in the freezer at 0F but this will severely impact its quality. Freezing may destroy the delicate compounds in the sauce which will permanently alter its characteristics. It is best to store an unopened bottle as it is in the pantry or the fridge after opening it. 

Can You Store Frank’s Red Hot in the Fridge a Few Weeks After Opening It?

Yes, as long as you initially store the bottle away from heat and moisture, you can restore the sauce in the fridge. Make sure that you tightly close the lid of the bottle each time and avoid keeping the bottle out at room temperature once refrigerated. We recommend using it and then storing it back in the fridge.

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