What happens if you eat expired BBQ sauce? 

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “What happens if you eat expired BBQ sauce?” methods to detect spoilage, storage, and techniques to prepare the sauce at home.

What happens if you eat expired BBQ sauce?

If you eat BBQ sauce after the expiry date, nothing would happen. It is safe to consume BBQ sauce even after consuming it past its expiry date. This is because BBQ sauce has a best by date and not a use-by date.

BBQ sauce though might not taste as fresh and flavorful after it is consumed past its best by date.

How to detect spoilage in BBQ sauce?

  • If the BBQ sauce has a foul odor after you open its lid, it is likely to be spoilt. It would be better to throw it away.
  • Observe whether there is bacterial growth in the sauce. If you observe signs of mold growth, stop consuming them.
  • If you observe a change in the color of the sauce, it is best to discard it. The sauce would turn darker over time.
  • If you observe a change in the texture of the sauce, you can discard the sauce. The sauce could become thicker over time. It might also not taste as good as before.
  • If you observe liquid separating from the sauce that would be another indicator of spoilage.
  • If you are unable to observe or smell any change in the BBQ sauce, taste the sauce. If it does not taste fine, throw it away.

It is also important to note that the quality of BBQ sauce would reduce over time. It is better to use it up as soon as possible to experience the best flavor.

How to store BBQ sauce?

It is better to use up the BBQ sauce after 4-6 months of opening the sauce.

  • Store unopened BBQ sauce in a dry and cool place.
  • Store the sauce in the fridge, once it is opened.
  • If you are planning to use up the sauce within one or two weeks, you can keep the sauce at room temperature and it won’t be an issue.
  • If you are using a spoon to scoop out the sauce, use a clean one to avoid contamination. Avoid using dirty containers to store the sauce.
  • Place the sauce in an airtight sealed container.

What is the shelf-life of BBQ sauce?

BBQ sauce usually comes with a best-by date. This provides you with a rough estimate of how long the sauce would remain of superior quality.

BBQ sauce contains preservatives including vinegar and sugar. This would help in prolonging its shelf-life past its best-by date.

Opened BBQ sauce would last at least 5-6 months in the fridge. The shelf-life of homemade sauce though would be considerably lower.

BBQ sauceFridgePantry
BBQ sauce (opened)4-6 months__
BBQ sauce (unopened)__> 6 months
Homemade BBQ sauce7-12 days__
Canned BBQ sauce__9-12 months

Your sauce might last longer than the time listed above though the quality might deteriorate over a while.

Can you freeze BBQ sauce?

BBQ sauce lasts for a long time with refrigeration, so there is no actual requirement to freeze it. Homemade BBQ sauce though has a reduced shelf-life. You can choose to can the homemade sauce or you can freeze it if you feel canning takes up too much of your time.

Frozen BBQ sauce can last for 5-6 months.

How can leftover BBQ sauce be stored?

You can store leftover BBQ sauce in the fridge and it would last for approximately 3-5 days. The leftovers can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. 

If you do not plan on consuming the leftovers anytime soon, you can freeze them. This would prolong the shelf-life to approximately 2-3 months.

Avoid putting the BBQ sauce into its original bottle after it has been taken out because this can accelerate the spoilage of the sauce.

Other FAQs on BBQ sauce that you might be interested in.

How to prepare BBQ sauce at home?


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp stone house seasoning


  • Place a saucepan over medium heat. Add ketchup, hot sauce, lemon juice, honey, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and stone house seasoning over the saucepan. Mix well.
  • Serve it instantly or store them in airtight containers to use the BBQ sauce for later use.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “What happens if you eat expired BBQ sauce?” methods to detect spoilage, storage, and techniques to prepare the sauce at home.