Whether you like your hot sauce mild or lava-level spicy, there’s no denying that it’s a versatile condiment that can add flavor and heat to just about any dish. If you’re a fan of making your own hot sauce at home, or if you have a collection of your favorite craft hot sauces that you can’t get enough of, you might be wondering how to store hot sauce so it keeps its potency.
Which is exactly what we’re going to cover today!
From finding out if hot sauce will freeze, to knowing the best way to store hot sauce and much more.
Here’s everything you need to know about freezing and storing hot sauce, so it will be ready to give your next meal a boost of flavor AND HEAT.
Will Hot Sauce Freeze
The simple answer to this question is: yes, hot sauce will freeze! Whether you’re freezing store-bought or homemade hot sauce, it will remain safe to consume after being frozen and thawed.
However, there are a few things you should keep in mind when freezing hot sauce. For starters, it’s important to make sure that your hot sauce is stored in an airtight container before placing it in the freezer. This will help to prevent freezer burn, which can cause the flavor and texture of hot sauce to change.
Another thing to keep in mind is that freezing and thawing hot sauce can cause it to separate. This is especially true for homemade hot sauce, which doesn’t contain any stabilizers. However, this separation is perfectly normal and can be easily fixed by simply shaking or stirring the hot sauce before using it.
How to Freeze Hot Sauce
Freezing is a great way to extend the shelf life of many different types of foods. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind if you decide to freeze your sauce.
If you have a sealed freezer-safe container of hot sauce already then you can just place it in the freezer and you’re good to go.
On the other hand, if you’ve already opened it or are concerned about your container blowing up, then there are a couple of steps you’ll want to follow:
Step One – Decant Sauce: When storing sauces, keep in mind that water expands. Place the sauce in a container that’s just a bit larger than the volume of sauce you’re keeping. Allow an inch or two more headroom above the water line. Because water gets bigger when it warms up, this is necessary.
Step Two – Seal Properly: Make sure to squeeze out the excess air from the container before you seal it, this will help keep the hot sauce fresh.
Step Three – Freeze It: Place the container in the freezer after it has been completely sealed and is ready to use. Check back on the sauce in approximately two hours to see if it has expanded and burst from the container.
How Long Does Hot Sauce Last?
If you’re asking yourself how long does hot sauce last… well it all just depends. Is it open? Is it in the pantry or the fridge… depending on a number of factors will determine the lifespan of your hot sauce?
Here are a couple of guidelines for the lifespan of hot sauce.
How Long Will Opened Hot Sauce Last
Though hot sauce takes longer to go bad than other food items because of the vinegar and chilies, it is still important to check the best-by date.
Consider refrigerating your hot sauce after opening it to keep it fresh as long as possible, however, you can still store it in your pantry.
Hot sauce that has been opened and stored in the refrigerator can last 2 years or even longer. Whereas opened hot sauce kept in the pantry will last around 3 to 6 months.
How Long Will Unopened Hot Sauce Last
Unopened hot sauce can be stored on your pantry shelf for at least 2 to 3 years. On the bottom of most hot sauces, you’ll find a “best by” date. This isn’t an expiration date in and of itself; rather, it’s intended to offer an indication as to how long the hot sauce will retain its quality. After this point, the taste and spiciness of the sauce are likely to have decreased significantly.
How Long Will Frozen Hot Sauce Last
If you choose to freeze your hot sauce, it should retain its potency for approximately one year. However, it’s not really worth it as it can last just as long in your fridge.
Freezing your hot sauce can alter the texture of the sauce somewhat. You should be able to reintegrate it by stirring, but the final product will ultimately be determined by the ingredients and consistency of your hot sauce.
The longer the hot sauce is frozen, the more it deteriorates in quality. It’s also critical to keep the hot sauce airtight, whether it’s in a container or a plastic bag.
Signs Your Hot Sauce Has Gone Bad
It’s important to know how to tell if the hot sauce has gone bad. After all, you don’t want to be eating spoiled food. Here are a few indications that your hot sauce is no longer good:
– The color of the sauce has changed significantly
– The sauce has developed mold
– The sauce smells sour or otherwise unpleasant
If you notice that your hot sauce is darkening and separating, it’s not spoiling necessarily, but the quality is going down.
Storing Hot Sauce
So there you have it, everything you need to know about how to store hot sauce so it keeps its kick. When stored properly, both commercial and homemade sauces can last for months in either the freezer or fridge and for a few years if unopened.
Hot sauce has a fairly long shelf life both opened and unopened and freezing it doesn’t extend its life much longer than leaving it in the fridge, so for many, it just doesn’t make sense.
If you do decide to freeze your hot sauce, just remember not to overfill containers (to prevent freezer burn and leaks), use vessels with tight-fitting lids (to prevent evaporation), and allow frozen sauces time to thaw overnight in the fridge before using them.