Know Before You Use: Does BBQ Sauce Go Bad?

When it comes to condiments that you have at home, BBQ sauce is perhaps one of the most popular. It has a distinct flavor and it is the favorite of many people because of its versatile applications. You can use it for wings, burgers, and vegetables, among others. Given its many uses, it is no longer surprising that many of us has a bottle of this sauce at home.

Does BBQ sauce go bad? If yes, how can you prevent this from happening quickly? If you are asking these questions, keep on reading the rest of this post and we’ll share some valuable insights with you. It pays to be well-informed to know whether the sauce can still be used of if you should just throw it away.

Does BBQ Sauce Go Bad

Similar to the case of other condiments, BBQ sauce can go bad. The shelf life is not infinite. There are, however some factors that will affect the duration before it spoils. The specific brand, manner of storage, and whether it is opened or unopened are just some of the things that will affect such.

Obviously, BBQ sauce will last longer if it is left unopened. With this, if you are not yet ready to use the sauce, refrain from opening the bottle. Once it is opened, it will be prone to penetration of external elements, which, in turn, will speed up spoilage.

One of the main reasons why BBQ sauce goes bad is because it is made using ingredients that can be prone to bacterial growth, and hence, will spoil. Some examples of these ingredients are molasses, sugar, vinegar, and tomato puree.

How to Know if BBQ Sauce has Gone Bad

The first thing that you have to do is to take a look at the expiration or best before date stated in the label. Past this date, however, this does not mean that you can no longer use the sauce. As long as it is unopened, you can use it within six to twelve months if in the pantry. Once it has been opened, on the other hand, use it within a year, as long as it is in the fridge.

You should perform a quick visual inspection of the sauce before it is used to be sure that it is still in good condition. The packaging must still look proper. There should be no dents, leaks, or holes. The cap must be in its right place.

Next, take a look at the color of the BBQ sauce. If it is different from its original color, this is an indication that it has gone bad. Also, it will usually be thicker, or at times, can be watery. Mold may also appear. If it looks too far from its original appearance, this can also be a sign of spoilage.

Smelling the BBQ sauce is also a good way to tell if it is past its prime. Also, do not be afraid to do a quick taste test. Tasting a small amount will not do harm for the body. If the taste and smell is foul, usually rancid, discard the BBQ sauce.

How to Store BBQ Sauce

The key to prolonging the shelf life of BBQ sauce and in retaining its optimal flavor is proper storage. You should pay attention to the way it is handled and kept, making sure that it is away from external elements that would speed up spoilage.

Keep the BBQ sauce in a cool and dry place, such as in the pantry cabinet. This is best if the bottle is unopened. On the other hand, once it is already opened, you have to refrigerate it. Be sure to position it in the fridge in such a way that it is far from raw meat or anything else that possibly has strong smell.

Aside from storage, proper handling is also critical. After every use, put back the cap, make sure it is clean, and close tightly. Also, it is important to avoid using utensils that are dirty or those that have been dipped in anything else to prevent cross contamination.

How to Make your Own BBQ Sauce

Yes, it is convenient to buy a bottle of BBQ sauce. But, for most of us, a bottle can be too big and you may be unable to finish it in one cooking. Also, some would rather prepare their own to achieve the flavor that they want, while also saving a few bucks. All that you have to do is combine different ingredients and achieve a unique flavor.

For a basic BBQ sauce, you can just combine ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, yellow mustard, molasses, tabasco sauce, and black pepper. Mix them in a pan under medium heat.

Do you want something that is unique and flavorful? In the short video below, you will know how to make a mango habanero BBQ sauce, which has the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and tangy:


Does BBQ sauce go bad? If you are still wondering and if you need to be refreshed, here is a summary of the things that we have mentioned above:

  • Like in the case of other condiments, BBQ sauce can go bad. This is because it uses ingredients that can be prone to spoilage, such as sugar and tomato puree.
  • If you want the BBQ sauce to last longer, avoid opening the bottle. If it is unopened and if it is kept in the pantry, it can last for six to twelve months. On the other hand, if it is already opened, it can last for a year provided that it is refrigerated.
  • To know if the BBQ sauce has gone bad, perform a quick visual inspection. Look for changes in color and consistency or the appearance of molds. Also, the smell and taste will probably be rancid if it has gone off.
  • An unopened BBQ sauce is best to be kept in the cabinet or anywhere it is cool and dry. Once it is already opened, on the other hand, it should be refrigerated to prevent the growth of bacteria. The bottle should always be tightly closed.

Did you enjoy reading this guide? Is there anything else that you would like to add? Do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

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