Does BBQ Sauce Go Bad?

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Last updatedLast updated: April 11, 2021
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BBQ sauce comprises of tomato paste, mayonnaise, vinegar and other ingredients. It is sweet, and you can introduce it to a variety of foodstuffs like chicken wings, pork, beef, burgers, and vegetable dishes when grilling.

And whether you buy it in small or large quantities or make it at home, you’ll find yourself worrying how long your sauce will last.

There are also people that open their sauces but don’t use them immediately. Others go for days, then remember they have a BBQ sauce in their fridge and start wondering if they can use it again.

The reality is, your BBQ sauce will go bad if you don’t take certain precautions when storing it.

There’s a lot you should learn about the shelf life and storage of BBQ sauce, but in this guide, we will cover the main things you should keep in mind any time you’re handling the sauce.

How do I know if my BBQ sauce went bad?

Your BBQ sauce can go bad, and you should be able to tell when it’s not safe for consumption.

The first step to know if your BBQ is safe to consume is to confirm the expiry date on the bottle. If it’s past the date, then toss it away.

Does BBQ Sauce Go Bad?

Next, consider the BBQ’s smell. If you open the jar and the odor is unpleasant, then your sauce is spoiled. However, if you get a bottle from a supermarket and notice a slightly fermented smell, your BBQ is fine, and you can confirm if it’s fresh through tasting.

If you’ve not used your BBQ sauce for days, you should start looking for signs of bacterial growth in the container. If you find any growth in the jar, you’ll also notice a significant change in the color.

Lastly, factor in the texture of your sauce. If your BBQ sauce stays for long and the texture is way thicker than usual, that’s a sign it’s going bad. And here’s where the expiry date might come in again.

How long does BBQ sauce last?

Though BBQ sauce has lots of self-preservatives from vinegar, sugar, salt, etc., and you can assume that it will last for ages. You’re mistaken.

Many factors determine the duration that your BBQ sauce will last, like the brands and ingredients used. Talking about ingredients, it’s essential to follow the right recipes when making your homemade BBQ.

And you can follow some of the tips from books like the Barbeque Sauces by Steven Raichlen. He covers the secret weapons of making sauces, rubs and marinades.

To know if your BBQ is safe for consumption, you’ll have to look at the “consume by” date to know the period that you can enjoy your BBQ full nutritional flavors. This date is often estimated, so your sauce can get spoilt a few days before or after the date.

But if you use a good cook book and preserve the sauce well with the right additives like citrus, it can last longer than the expected date.

There are several ways of storing BBQ sauce, whether it’s opened or unopened. But the best way so far is to keep it in the fridge.

For now, let’s discuss how long your sauce can last if you store it in your fridge and leave it outside.

In the fridge

Experts say your BBQ sauces can last up to 7 months if stored properly in the fridge.

The only problem is, there can be a minor/significant change in the taste or color when the sauce goes past the expiry dates. Remember that this is for sauces that have been manufactured by reputable companies.

Your homemade BBQ sauces won’t last a long time even if you store them in the best conditions, like using airtight containers and so on. Experts say it lasts for a week or less if you store it in the fridge.

If left out

If your BBQ Sauce is unopened and you leave it outside, it can last for up to 9 months or the best by date. If you open it, it will be suitable for consumption for up to 2 to 4 weeks.

But again, this will depend on the brand, ingredients, and storage conditions as mentioned.

Even if your BBQ has not reached its expiry date, check for signs of spoilage before consumption.

If you leave your homemade BBQ in the open, it can last for a week or less, depending on how you store it.

Overall, the BBQ sauce that you open reduces in quality if you leave it outside for long.

How to store BBQ sauce: Our recommendations

It’s possible to store both your opened and unopened BBQ sauce just like the other sauces.

Like we discussed earlier, the best storage option is your fridge, but we have others like the pantry or your kitchen cabinet or cupboard.

For unopened BBQ sauce, you can leave it in your fridge. The good thing is, the lid is sealed so no bacteria can penetrate.

But if you open your BBQ sauce, ensure you leave it at room temperature if you’ll use it within two weeks. If not, store it in your fridge to keep it bacteria-free. The sauce will last for at most two weeks.

Final thoughts

We’ve covered all the key things you need to know about BBQ Sauces.

If you don’t prefer to consume your BBQ, you can store it for later in your cupboard, fridge, and kitchen cabinets.

However, the duration it will last depends on the storage conditions, ingredients, and the “consume by” date indicated on the container.

It’s good to buy BBQ in small amounts so that you don’t leave it for later as that can affect its overall taste and quality.

But if you prefer to do so, this guide has everything you need.

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