Does barbecue sauce go bad?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “does barbecue sauce go bad?”, how to store the sauce, for how long, and other queries related to this topic.

Does barbecue sauce go bad? 

Yes, barbecue sauce does go bad. In addition, it has an expiration day written on the bottle, which means that it can go bad and does not last forever especially when it is inappropriately stored.

Moreover, during production, many additives and ingredients are added to make the barbecue sauce. These ingredients increase the shelf life of the product.

Generally, you can store your unopened bottle of barbecue sauce for one to two years, or simply read the food label and check the expiration date of the product.

Why does barbecue sauce go bad?

Usually, the main ingredients of homemade and natural barbecue sauce are tomato paste, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, spices, and many more ingredients. Its expiration day will be less than the one that contains a lot of additives and chemicals.

Natural ingredients can spoil easily. However, inappropriate storage of the sauce can facilitate its deterioration. Once the bottle is opened, it needs to be stored in an appropriate place and a well-sealed container because exposing it to light and heat can accelerate the ingredients’ oxidation.

Ingredients breakdown will allow bacteria and mold to proliferate.

How to tell if barbecue sauce has spoiled?

Few signs that indicate that your barbecue sauce has spoiled. The most obvious sign is the bacteria and mold growth at the surface of your sauce or the edge of the container. However, if you open the bottle and you notice that the sauce has a funny smell, consider throwing it. Moreover, any change in the sauce texture is a bad sign. Also, if you notice that the sauce has two phases, a liquid phase at the top of the jar and a thicker phase at the bottom do not use it.

Furthermore, you might notice that the color of the sauce is getting darker than before, this is a sign that your sauce is starting to deteriorate.

In case, you did not notice any of the previously listed signs or your sauce does not show any of them, taste it if you found that its taste has changed throw it away. However, tasting it will not harm you.

How long does barbecue sauce last? 

Many factors affect the shelf life of the barbecue sauce. If your barbecue sauce is homemade, it can not be stored for a long time, its shelf time is 1 week in the refrigerator. However, if you want to preserve it for longer than 1 week, consider putting it in a can, like this you can preserve it for 9 to 12 months.

Moreover, store-bought barbecue sauce that contains additives has a long expiration date, this date is mentioned on the bottle. Most of the manufacturers mention on their bottles “better before”, so consuming your opened barbecue sauce after the date stated will not affect your health but the quality of the product will not be the best.

Furthermore, to preserve your opened barbecue sauce for a longer time, consider storing it in the refrigerator. In the fridge, it can sit for 6 to 7 months. 

Does barbecue sauce need to be refrigerated?

Yes, if you do not want to throw your barbecue sauce and waste food think about refrigerating your sauce. As mentioned above, the time the sauce can sit in the fridge depends on its source. 

However, putting the barbecue sauce in your pantry or at room temperature is fine but it will accelerate its deterioration and will alter its organoleptic characteristics.

How to store barbecue sauce?

As long as your barbecue sauce bottle or jar is unopened and well-sealed and its packaging is unharmed, you can keep it in your pantry at room temperature. However, once you open your sauce, put it in the refrigerator. Refrigerating the barbecue sauce will expand its shelf life and will preserve its taste and flavor.

Moreover, if the sauce comes in a jar use a clean spoon or knife to get from it. Also, if you are using this sauce to garnish your meat or chicken make sure to not use the same knife to cut your raw meat and to get from the sauce since bacteria in raw meat can get into it causing foodborne illness and contamination.

Other FAQs about Sauces that you may be interested in.

Does fish sauce expire?

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Does hoisin sauce go bad?

Does jarred pasta sauce expire?


In this brief guide, we discussed the following question, “does barbecue sauce go bad?”, how to store the sauce, for how long, and other queries related to this topic.

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