Hot Sauce Shelf Life: How Long Does Hot Sauce Last?

Hot sauce is made from the chili peppers, it is also known as chili sauce and vinegar and chili peppers are the main ingredients and is used as a condiment or for seasoning.  They are both popularly used as a preserving agent. The capsaicin in chili peppers and the high acid in vinegar keep the bacterial growth at bay. This is a reason why an older bottle of hot sauce is less likely to make you sick than any other condiment or seasoning that has been kept past its expiration date. The added ingredients, however, make the hot sauce have a variety of unique flavors but increase the chances that it can turn bad. Hot sauce along with added fruits or vegetables needs to be refrigerated. As long as the hot sauce bottle is properly stored, an opened bottle can be kept easily for up to three years. Unopened bottles have a longer shelf life.  

Purchasing Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is a condiment that is used to enhance the flavor of some meals. But one should be careful when it comes to purchasing it; as such flavoring might ruin a meal. Many of these hot sauce products are also loaded with extra sodium fat and sugar beyond health limits. It is important to keep in mind some shopping tips before purchasing hot sauce. Look for reduced sodium or no salt added versions, usually hot sauce is often high in sodium, but a little hot sauce also goes a long way. Make sure to test your spice tolerance before you purchase a bottle to enhance the spice flavor of your next meal.

Storing Hot Sauce

When it comes to storing hot sauce, most bottles can be kept in the pantry even if their seal has been broken. However, it is important to check the bottle for instructions regarding its storage. As hot sauce already contains vinegar and capsaicin as preservatives, it isn’t imperative to store as instructed. It is important to clean the cap and avoid crust formation around it as bacteria can begin to grow. If you are unsure whether the hot sauce is still good, it is better not to use it. Also be aware that the quality of the hot sauce will deteriorate once it has reached its best before the date on the bottle.

Handling Hot Sauce

Using  hot sauce can be an important part of your meal however it can also cause sweating, fiery mouth and a flushed face,  and it is important to develop a tolerance for it. Start with eating a small amount of hot sauce with fewer amounts of capsaicin making it less likely you’ll have too much spice. Drink something ice-cold to quench the immediate fire; milk is suggested as water can increase the duration of the flavor in your mouth. Eat food that has high levels of starch content as starch absorbs capsaicin to reduce the intensity of the heat. Remember to build your tolerance slowly.  

Cooking with Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is loaded with antioxidants such as A and C vitamins, making it healthy and can help lower risk of some diseases. Vitamin C helps in the production of collagen that is required to heal the wounds while vitamin A is essential as it imparts nutritional value to the food. There are many ways hot sauce can be incorporated into foods while cooking. The taste of vinaigrette can be enhanced by adding hot sauce to the mixture of oil and vinegar. Hot sauce is also used for chicken dressing or in dips.