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Does Sriracha Go Bad and How to Store It?

Sriracha is an incredibly popular spicy chili-based sauce with great flavor that is enjoyed the world over. But it is a bit different from many other hot sauces out there. While other popular sauces are vinegar-based such as Frank’s Red Hot, Sriracha only has a small amount. Given the low amount of vinegar, you might wonder how long Sriracha lasts once opened, and the best way to store it.

Sriracha doesn’t go bad for a very long time. If opened and stored in the fridge, it can last up to two years. Sriracha is resilient to bacteria due to vinegar, capsaicin in the peppers, and the added preservatives that make up the iconic hot sauce.

Today we will be talking about all things regarding Sriracha shelf life and how to store it. Since this is such a popular hot sauce, this info can be useful for many of you out there. If you would like to learn more, we encourage you to keep on reading!

Bowl of red Sriracha hot sauce
Photo by Martiapunts

How Long Does Sriracha Last Before Expiring?

Like many hot sauces, Sriracha has a long shelf life, albeit shorter than hot sauces such as tabasco, but long enough to where most people won’t have an issue using it up before it goes bad. The shelf life will heavily depend on how you store it.

UnopenedBest buy date plus two years
In the fridgeTwo years
Room temperature away from sunlightSix – nine months
Room temperature in sunlightOne – four months

Room Temperature on the Countertop

Leaving Sriracha on the countertop is a popular way to store it, and luckily, most Sriracha lovers will find that this is a perfectly safe method if you dislike cold hot sauce.

You can leave opened Sriracha on a countertop for up to nine months before the flavor might start tasting off.

Room Temperature Exposed to Sunlight

When storing anything that isn’t in the refrigerator or freezer, the rule of thumb is to keep it away from sunlight.

While it is difficult to pin down exactly how fast Sriracha’s flavor starts to change when exposed to sunlight, we have found that Sriracha that is exposed to sunlight is good for anywhere between one to four months, depending on how hot the weather is. If your kitchen is bright and sunny, then it is best to store your Sriracha in a pantry or any location that does not receive sunlight.

In the Fridge

Storing Sriracha in the fridge is the best option if you want to preserve the hot sauce’s flavor for as long as possible. The cold does a great job of warding off bacteria, and so the tasty sauce can enjoy a significantly longer shelf life of up to 2 years when stored in a refrigerator. If you don’t mind cold Sriracha, then this is the recommended method for the longest shelf life.

Why Does Sriracha Darken Over Time?

You may have noticed that when keeping a bottle of Sriracha around for an extended period of time that it starts to darken. Is this an indicator of spoilage? Simply put, no! Sriracha darkens over time because the chili peppers themselves that make up the sauce darken over time. It is a perfectly natural process, and contrary to visual appearances, it doesn’t affect the sauce’s overall quality.

Does Sriracha Darken Quicker When Opened?

One opened and exposed to the air, you’ll notice that your Sriracha sauce will start to darken over time. The more you use it, and the more time it is exposed to the air, the darker it will become.

Does Sriracha Darken Quicker When Left at Room Temperature?

Sriracha does darken more quickly at room temperature. The cold temperature of the fridge helps preserve both the flavor and appearance of the hot sauce. So, if you would like your Sriracha to stay its vibrant red color longer, we suggest keeping it in the fridge.

Does Sriracha Darken Quicker When Refrigerated?

Refrigerating Sriracha is the best method of preserving the sauce’s color and flavor. Keep in mind that darker Sriracha is not an indicator of how it will taste; rather, it is strictly a visual thing caused by the peppers themselves.

Why Does Sriracha Last So Long?

Sriracha lasts a long time because its ingredients are resilient to bacterial growth. The main contributors to this are the chili peppers and the distilled vinegar.

Sriracha is different from many other hot sauces. It contains less vinegar than Frank’s Red Hot or Tabasco, both of which are considered vinegar-based hot sauces. Because vinegar is so effective in fighting off bacteria, these vinegar-based hot sauces can last for a longer period of time than Sriracha.

Check out the video below to see how Sriracha is made.

How to Tell if Your Sriracha Is Expired

Seeing Sriracha expire is quite a rare sight, at least in our household! It’s usually gone way before we ear the expiration date. When talking about the shelf-life of Sriracha, it is more about when the flavor starts to change rather than when it becomes dangerous or spoiled to eat.

In fact, many Sriracha enthusiasts will point out that you can essentially age the hot sauce like wine to make it spicier than it originally is. Once the hot sauce starts approaching four to six months old since opening and kept at room temperature, the flavor will start to slightly change, but you’ll notice that it is spicier than the last time you had it (we assume if you are leaving Sriracha around that long that you had a decent break from it!).

Sriracha that is fully “expired” will have essentially lost its great flavor, and most people are not going to want to eat it when it has turned dark and doesn’t taste very nice. In short, you’ll definitely know when you won’t want to consume it anymore.

Is It Okay to Eat Expired Sriracha?

It is technically okay to eat expired Sriracha provided that you don’t see mold growing, and it doesn’t look and taste bad. But as we pointed out above, it’s not going to taste very good. If you are truly desperate and expired Sriracha is the only thing in your house that can add spice to your meal, then that is completely up to you at that point. But we would recommend simply buying a new bottle and using it within the time window where it tastes delicious.

Closing Thoughts

Sriracha is a very reliable condiment in that it is both tasty and lasts for a long time whether you are storing it at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Generally, Sriracha disappears so fast that you likely won’t have any issue with it losing its flavor over time. But if you are wondering if your Sriracha is okay to eat, then if it has been stored under two years in the refrigerator or up to six to eight months at room temperature away from sunlight, then it should be fine to eat. If you haven’t touched the Sriracha for a while, always make sure it smells, looks, and tastes okay before squirting it over your meal, just to be sure it hasn’t gone bad.