Can Tapatio go bad? (+3 Ways to tell)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can Tapatio go bad?”, and how long does Topatio last?

Can Tapatio go bad?

Yes, Topatio can go bad. Tapatio sauce comes with a printed best-by date. To enjoy Tapatio sauce in its prime quality, It is recommended to use Topatio use within 2 years of its production. Herbs in oil and garlic in the Topatiio sauce limit the shelf-life of the sauce. They are the first to go bad when the sauce is spoiled. 

How long does Topatio last?

An unopened bottle of Tapatio sauce will stay good for about 2 years. While an opened bottle of Tapatio sauce will preserve its freshness only for 3-6 months. Tapatio sauce is likely to lose its flavor and intensity much more quickly than it can go bad. 

The best-by date printed on the label is a close estimation of the time in which you can enjoy Tapatio sauce in its peak quality. The sauce can lose its flavor before this date under improper storage conditions.

In the pantry In the fridge 
Hot sauce (unopened)Best-by + 2 years 
Hot sauce (opened)3-6 months 2 years 

How to tell If Topatio is bad?

  • If you notice mold growth over the surface of the sauce in the form of black spots, It has gone bad and needs to be immediately discarded. Consuming a spoiled bottle of Tapatio will cause food poisoning. 
  • If the Tapatio sauce gives off a strange smell, discard it right away. 
  • If the Toaptio sauce has been sitting for too long in the storage, It does not taste the same. It tastes dull and drab and can be discarded for quality purposes.

How to store Tapatio sauce?

The composition of hot sauce varies with the brand but one thing remains constant that is the Chilli peppers. You should store Tapatio sauce the same way you store Tobasco and Sriracha sauce

As long as the bottle of the Tapatio sauce is unopened, It can be stored in the pantry or in a kitchen cabinet. The general rule of thumb is to keep it somewhere dark, dry, and cool away from direct sunlight or heat from the stovetop. 

Moreover, the temperature of the storage area should be steady because temperature fluctuations wild deteriorate the quality of the sauce. 

Once the bottle is opened, It should always be kept in the fridge. Refrain from placing it in the door of the fridge that suffers the most temperature fluctuations. Make sure the cap or lid is tightly shut after each use. 

Wipe clean the area around the cap of the Tapatio bottle to prevent the sauce from drying. These dried flakes fall into the sauce and contaminate it.

To make any sauce including the Tapatio sauce last longer, refrain from finger dipping or dipping your fries directly into the sauce. 

Similarly, do not put the leftover sauce back into the bottle. This is a direct way of introducing contaminants into the bulk of the sauce.

How to dilute hot sauce?

What is the base of your hot sauce?

Most of the sauces including the hot sauce are vinegar-based. On the other hand, others like Secret Aardvark consist of a tomato base. To dilute the sauce, add more of these base ingredients. 

However, never add tomatoes to tabasco sauce, instead, add acid in the form of cider vinegar, white vinegar, salt, or limes as per taste. Similarly, for Secret Aardvark, add more tomatoes and carrots. For Asian-style hot sauces, tapioca or cornstarch are good options to neutralize the heat.

Where is the heat coming from?

Black pepper/pepeprcorns 

The active compound of black pepper that is responsible for most of its heat is piperine. It is an alkaloid and water won’t help reduce its spiciness. Instead, cook with beer, wine, or a stronger spirit like Vodka. Besides, broth, due to the fat, can also help counter its heat.

Hot pepeprs/capsaicin 

Capsaicin is popular for its heat which cannot be nullified with water as effectively as milk or other fats like butter, olive oil, or broth. The heat of capsaicin can also be canceled by simmering the sauce on low flame. 

In this case, consistency is important. It will also concentrate on the overall flavors. When simmering extremely hot sauce, let the steam vent out, or else you will end up with itchy eyes due to the steam.


This compound is present in garlic and onions and causes the eyes to tear up. It does not contribute to the spiciness but it stings. Allicin can be neutralized with some alcohol or a fatty ingredient.


In this article, we answered the question “Can Tapatio go bad?”, and how long does Topatio last?


Hot Sauce 101: Shelf Life, Spoilage, and Storage

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