If you’re a sriracha fan, we don’t have to tell you that there’s a shortage of rooster sauce going on. If you’re a diehard fan, you might be grabbing up every bottle you see on the shelves. Or, maybe you started stockpiling sriracha when you heard a shortage was coming.
If that’s the case, short of starting a black market hot sauce business for other sriracha lovers, you’re going to need to use all of that spicy goodness up before it expires.
Yes, sriracha can go bad—like most other things, it eventually expires. So, how do you know if yours is still good?
How Long Does Sriracha Last?
Aside from very specific chilis, sriracha contains vinegar, which can help to keep bacteria at bay. It’s also made with sorbate and sodium bisulfite—both meant as preservatives for the hot sauce that keep it from expiring quickly.
However, sriracha doesn’t last forever.
While it doesn’t need to be refrigerated, you can extend the life of an open sriracha bottle by keeping it in the fridge, where it can last up to two years. In the pantry or on a shelf, an open bottle can safely be stored for about six months.
Does Sriracha Go Bad?
Because sriracha can expire, one of the best ways to determine if yours is still good is simply to check out the stamped expiration date on the bottle. But, even if it’s past that date, it might still be good. There are a few tell-tale signs to look out for to determine if your sriracha has gone bad.
First, it will naturally get darker over time. That’s normal, and it’s due to the chili peppers in the sauce. But, it should always maintain its red color. If your sriracha starts to look brown, it’s time to throw it away.
Additionally, if you notice that the sauce has started to separate—either in the bottle or when you squeeze it, it’s gone bad. It should remain an emulsified substance that’s thin enough to squeeze. If you notice two separate textures or it’s started to get extremely thick, break out another bottle.
How Do You Store Sriracha?
Again, sriracha can be safely stored in the refrigerator or pantry once it’s opened. If you tend to use it for just about every meal, you can even keep it out on your counter or table. Before you open a bottle, it can be safely stored at room temperature in a cupboard or pantry, and it won’t impact how quickly it expires or goes bad.
Hopefully, the sriracha shortage will be over soon, and you won’t have to worry about your stockpile going bad. In the meantime, pay attention to expiration dates on your bottles, and even closer attention to some of the common signs that your sriracha has expired. Other than that, keep enjoying it on your pizza, eggs, fries, and everything in between!