Some people add a splash of sriracha to any food, from breakfast scrambles and avocado toast to meaty dishes served in the evening.
If you are not one of these people, you may not know what to do with a half-full bottle of sriracha that has been sitting in your fridge for months.
How long does sriracha last? An unopened bottle of sriracha lasts up to 24 months past the printed date, provided proper storage conditions. An opened bottle of sriracha stored in the fridge has a shelf life of 24 months. Sriracha stored in the pantry will last for around 9 months.
If you are a sriracha lover, read on to learn how to store this condiment properly, how to make it keep better, and what are the signs of bad sriracha.
Does Sriracha Go Bad?
Sriracha is a popular favorite for all kinds of foods, including burrito bowls, eggs, and steak. It even made our list for the absolute best ramen condiments! So it’s no wonder we wish it could last forever.
But unfortunately, like all other condiments, sriracha is perishable. Improper storage conditions can make sriracha go bad rather easily. So long as you store the sauce properly, you will benefit from its long shelf life.
Sriracha is made of chiles and distilled vinegar. While there are other additives in the commercially manufactured sauce that improve its shelf life, vinegar itself is a natural preservative.
Vinegar is acetic. It kills the microbes that contribute to food spoilage. Vinegar, in conjunction with the added preservatives in the sauce, give this sauce a pretty long shelf life.
But there is a problem almost all sriracha users encounter. This sauce comes in big bottles. As it is a moderately hot sauce, people typically use a small amount of it to top their food.
Those who don’t use this red sauce very often end up with a nearly full bottle of sriracha they don’t know what to do with.
How to Store Sriracha?
If you have been missing out on this hot sauce and have just gotten into using it, you may be wondering how to store it properly for the maximum shelf life and flavor.
In a word, you should store a bottle of sriracha like the rest of your condiments, either in the fridge or in the pantry.
An unopened bottle of sriracha does not need to be refrigerated. Thanks to the airtight packaging and the preservatives in the sauce, sriracha is shelf-stable. With this being said, there are three rules you should follow.
Firstly, you should keep the bottle of sriracha away from heat. Keep in away from direct sunlight, as well as heat sources like the oven or the stovetop.
Secondly, keep it somewhere dark, away from light. Sriracha comes in transparent bottles. Natural light will quickly get through and deteriorate it.
And lastly, make sure to store the condiment in a room where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate. You can certainly keep the sauce in a cupboard.
However, not in one close to the stovetop, as the steam from cooking results in temperature fluctuations that eventually cause the sauce to go bad sooner than it should.
So, keep your unopened sriracha in the pantry, cupboard, or somewhere cool, dry, and dark. As for an opened bottle of sriracha, you can store it in the fridge. Make sure to tightly seal the cap after each use.
Can Sriracha Be Left Unrefrigerated?
As we have already mentioned, an unopened bottle of sriracha doesn’t need to be refrigerated. Surprisingly enough, you don’t need to refrigerate an opened bottle of sriracha either.
You can store it in the pantry or a kitchen cupboard where it is dry, dark, and most importantly, cool.
It is not recommended to leave sriracha unrefrigerated only when it is too hot where you live and impossible to find a room with a moderately cool temperature.
Also, when leaving the sauce unrefrigerated, make sure the temperature of the storage area is steady. Otherwise, the quality of the sauce will quickly deteriorate.
How Long Does Sriracha Last?
Sriracha has a quite long shelf life. Even if you are someone that rarely uses it but still enjoys having it as a topping option when having dinner, buying a bottle of sriracha is very cost-effective.
The shelf life of this chili sauce is determined by the best-by date printed on the bottle.
However, as we all know by now, this date is simply an estimation of how long the product will maintain its best qualities. If you never go beyond the printed date, then discard the sauce as soon as it is past its best-by date.
But this date means nothing when you don’t store the product properly. So, notwithstanding the date on the packaging, always make sure to store sriracha following the storage rules above.
Store-bought sriracha sauce contains preservatives. These prolong the shelf life of the condiment. An unopened bottle of sriracha lasts up to 24 months past the printed date.
Once you open a bottle of sriracha that is past the date indicated on the packaging, inspect it closely to see if it is still good for consumption.
An opened bottle of sriracha has a shelf life of 24 months if stored in the refrigerator, in a tightly sealed bottle. When stored in the pantry, an opened bottle of sriracha will be good for around 9 months.
If the original bottle of sriracha is damaged, transfer it into another jar or bottle that you can seal tightly and ensure that the flavor and intensity of the sauce don’t deteriorate.
How Long Does Homemade Sriracha Last?
As homemade sriracha sauce doesn’t contain added preservatives, its shelf life is naturally shorter.
While the vinegar is still there as a natural preservative, it is recommended to store homemade sriracha in the fridge. Homemade sriracha will last around 4 to 6 months.
Can You Make Sriracha Last Longer?
You can’t make sriracha last much longer than it already does. However, you can always do the opposite. It is important to know what you can do to get the longest shelf life out of this sauce as well as make it keep better.
First of all, whenever you are using sriracha as a dipping sauce, pour the needed amount into a small bowl. Put the bottle back where you have been storing it.
The rule to follow at all times is that you should never put the leftover sauce back into the bottle. Doing this may result in food particles in the sauce.
These will not only add hints of other flavors into the sauce but also make it deteriorate quicker.
Another thing you can do to keep the flavor of sriracha at its best is to always clean the tip of the bottle. It usually gets crusty with leftover sauce.
Removing the dried sauce from the cap will prevent the dried particles from getting into the sauce and altering the texture.
Can You Freeze Sriracha to Make It Last Longer?
Freezing is the ultimate storage technique that prolongs the shelf life of many products. So, can you freeze sriracha? Yes, you can. Freezing sriracha is safe. But the other question you should ask after this is whether you actually need to.
You don’t need to freeze sriracha, as it lasts long enough stored in the fridge and even in the pantry. Additionally, freezing and defrosting sriracha will thin out the sauce, making it less spicy and flavorful and altering the texture.
Also, you never know when you will crave a splash of sriracha on your food to take it out of the freezer beforehand and let the sauce thaw.
How Do You Know When Sriracha Is Bad?
It is uncommon for sriracha to go bad. What happens to it more often is that the sauce loses its flavor qualities, and when there is nothing that the sauce adds to the dish, you may consider it as having gone bad.
But this doesn’t mean that it is not possible for sriracha to spoil. Left somewhere hot and humid, you will surely witness the signs of bad sriracha.
Here are the signs that indicate that the condiment should be discarded:
- Mold – If there is mold in the sriracha bottle, the sauce needs to go.
- Offputting Smell – If the condiment smells off, it is safe to toss it out. Good sriracha has an appetizing smell with hints of garlic and other spices that may be added to it. By no means should it smell fermented.
- Texture Changes – Last but not least, if you notice texture changes in the sauce, discard it and open a new bottle.
If there are no evident signs of spoilage and the sauce hasn’t been sitting in your fridge or pantry for longer than intended, taste it. If it tastes good, then you can safely add it to your food.
One thing that makes people think that it is time for them to discard the spicy condiment is the color changes. However, it is natural for such chili-based sauces as sriracha to get darker over time.