Like any other condiment, you should know how long barbecue sauce lasts in the fridge. There are a lot of risks if BBQ sauce is left out after opening so you need to store it.
If you store the opened BBQ sauce in the fridge, it can last longer. BBQ sauce does go bad in the fridge but at least it will last longer in there so you can still use it in the future.
It does not matter what type of BBQ sauce you have whether it is just the simple tomato-based BBQ sauce or a vinegar BBQ sauce, it needs to be stored properly.
You can freeze BBQ sauce as well but it is not necessary. What’s important is that you know how long it will take for the BBQ sauce to last in the fridge before it goes bad.
There are proper ways to store it to avoid getting sick from eating old BBQ sauce. Once the BBQ or pizza sauce goes bad in the fridge, it is hard or impossible to restore it to its original quality.
So with this post, I will be talking about the things that could happen when you left an opened BBQ sauce outside for too long and if not opened so you can store it properly.
Does BBQ Sauce Go Bad?
BBQ sauce is one of the best condiments you can use for cooking like mustard and ketchup. It contains a lot of preservatives, especially vinegar BBQ sauces which help it last longer.
It usually contains vinegar, sugar, and even lemon juice. All of these ingredients contain natural preservatives that help maintain the freshness of the BBQ sauce after opening the jar.
Even after opening the bottle of BBQ sauce, it can still last for up to months if you refrigerate it. BBQ sauce needs to be refrigerated after opening it to not go bad too quickly.
The best BBQ sauces like the award-winning Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce can still go bad if not stored properly. If not opened and the seal is still intact, the BBQ sauce might last a little longer.
Homemade BBQ sauce is perfect for making an example. The shelf life of homemade BBQ sauce can be shorter than Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce so you need to store it.
Always check the label on the bottle of the BBQ sauce before using it so you do not get sick from eating BBQ sauce that has been used after the expiration date on the label or the jar.
How Long Does BBQ Sauce Last?
Opened BBQ sauce can last up to nine months if refrigerated, and it can last for a month in the pantry after opening the bottle but you need to always check before using the BBQ sauce.
If not opened and the seal is still good, the BBQ sauce can last longer.
If left out of the fridge, the BBQ sauce should be used to get the best out of it within the month.
If you look up the results for this question, most of the answers would say that BBQ sauce lasts up to 9 months in the fridge. However, I would not suggest making it last this long.
In the 9th month, you will notice signs that the BBQ sauce is too old or expired. Use the BBQ sauce within 6 months to ensure your safety from bacteria and other risks.
If the BBQ sauce has stayed properly stored in the refrigerator for 6 months, you will still get the same good quality from it. After that, you might notice some decline in quality.
BBQ sauce does go bad in the fridge even if you store it properly.
So to still use it and taste the same savory flavors, I recommend using it within 4 months and maybe 9 months only if necessary.
Most BBQ sauce brands like Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce follow the 4-month rule.
That is why it is not uncommon that some still use the BBQ sauce after the expiration date.
How To Tell If BBQ Sauce Is Bad
There are obvious signs that the BBQ sauce has gone bad after opening even if you stored it in the fridge.
Here are the signs to tell if BBQ sauce is bad so you do not get sick.
1. The Date On The Label
you must check the label on the bottle. I practice this on other condiments, even the hot sauce bottle, as I ate expired BBQ sauce once and it wasn’t pleasing at all.
If the opened BBQ sauce has been stored in the fridge for months after the label on the bottle, then it is best if you err on the side of caution and just throw away the BBQ sauce.
2. Visual Signs
bacterial growth is the most obvious sign that the BBQ sauce has gone bad.
You might see some fuzzy objects on the surface of the sauce even with vinegar BBQ sauces.
These are bacteria that have developed over time.
Bacteria grow faster under higher temperatures, that is why BBQ sauce needs to be refrigerated after opening it.
If left out at room temperature, the bacteria will reproduce faster and
These bacteria make you sick from eating old BBQ sauce, so it is best to avoid using BBQ sauce after the expiration date.
3. Texture Changes
it is natural that the BBQ sauce shows a little bit of separation with the liquid and solid ingredients, and this is especially true if the BBQ sauce is made with all-natural ingredients.
However, if you see too much liquid on top and the bottom of the jar contains a dense-looking substance, then the BBQ sauce has certainly gone bad.
This can still happen even if not opened after purchasing it so always check the bottle.
4. Smell And Taste
If the BBQ sauce emits a moldy or fermented smell, it is no longer good.
The smell should give off is something on the sweeter side.
The BBQ sauce might not show any of these signs mentioned above.
This is also how accidentally, I ate expired BBQ sauce.
I ate expired BBQ sauce and immediately felt sick, which did not surprise me.
That is why I am putting this last on the list of signs so that you should only try it if necessary.
Even with BBQ sauce recipes made with natural ingredients and effective preservatives, BBQ sauce does go bad in the fridge and might not show any signs.
So if none of the signs mentioned above are showing on the sauce, then that is the only time you should taste it. The BBQ sauce is safe to use if the flavor is still good.
Trust me, you will know if the BBQ sauce has gone bad or not immediately when you taste it.
How To Store BBQ Sauce Properly
BBQ sauces expire faster if you do not store them properly.
I recommend always using the BBQ sauce so it does not stay stale in the fridge, you can even use it on your dipping sauce for smoked meat.
All the uncooked ingredients can last long, but they should not stay longer than 2 hours outside the fridge once you cook them.
Just allow the BBQ sauce to cool down after cooking it.
Once it cools down to room temperature, you can put the BBQ sauce in a mason jar or an airtight plastic container. Make sure that no liquid can get in or out of the container.
Place the BBQ sauce in the fridge for up to two weeks and then use it for best results.
You might still be asking, “Can you freeze barbecue sauce?” and the answer is yes.
You can freeze barbecue sauce instead of refrigerating it, and this will help the BBQ sauce last longer so you can use it for the incoming months.
You can use a mason jar or an airtight container, but make sure that it is freezer-safe no matter which container you use.
Allow the BBQ sauce to cool down before putting it in the container.
Making sure the container is freezer-safe is important to prevent freezer burns from affecting the quality of the BBQ sauce.
From there, you can then place the container of BBQ sauce in the freezer.
I recommend using it within the first three months to get the same quality from the sauce.
Before using the frozen BBQ sauce, make sure to defrost it in the fridge overnight, and this will thaw the BBQ sauce properly to not affect the cooking process.
You are now ready to make your BBQ sauce recipe and store it properly so you will have great-tasting recipes on your grill in the incoming months!
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