Does Sweet Chili Sauce Need to be Refrigerated? Does It Go Bad?

Does Sweet Chili Sauce Need to be Refrigerated

Supposing you have visited a restaurant and found a table without a sauce. This could bring out mixed ideas on whether the hotel owner is serious or not. It is because sauces add flavour to different types of food. Due to the nature of the movement and usage of the sauce, one may wonder why the restaurant owners hardly bother to refrigerate.

The question arises, “Does sweet chili sauce need to be refrigerated? This question could bring up mixed reactions, but the bottom line lies in one’s preference in terms of usage, ingredients, and the type of sauce.

This article will elaborate more on this and help one to make a solid decision on whether to refrigerate or not.

What is Sweet Chili Sauce?

Sweet chili sauce is also referred to as the nam chim kai in Thailand. It is a popular chili sauce condiment mainly used in Malaysia, Thai, and Afghan. Its taste could be either hot, sweet or a combination of both. Some of the ingredients used to make this sauce include red chili pepper, vinegar, rice wine fish sauce, and at times, refined sugar or honey or a sweetening fruit that can be perfect for its preparation.

It is easy to prepare sauce so long as you have ingredients available. If you love doing things by yourself, this sauce is among the easiest to prepare. However, it is also available for sale in the stores. If you do not have time for its preparation, you need not worry. Just buy it, and it is ready for use.

Does Sweet Chilli Sauce Need to Be Refrigerated?

To decide on the refrigeration of the sweet chili sauce, one needs to ask; Is it homemade or commercially bought? Has the container been sealed, or is it open?

Generally, a commercially bought sweet chili sauce has preservatives that make it stay longer. You do not have to refrigerate it so long as it remains unopened. Storing in a pantry, where the aeration is cool and dry, will be sufficient to retain its freshness for long.

However, considering that a homemade sweet chili sauce does not have preservatives, it would be sufficient to have it refrigerated as soon as preparation is complete. However, there are possible exceptions to this; for instance, when the chili sauce made at home contains vinegar, then its PH should be sufficient to preserve it for some time so long as the jar is completely sealed.

But on the same note, if unsure of its longevity when not refrigerated, the advice is; to refrigerate it always.

Also read: Does Sriracha Sauce Need to Be Refrigerated? Does It Go Bad?

Does Sweet Chili Sauce Go Bad in the Fridge?

Storing the sweet chili sauce in the fridge is meant to extend its shelf life. When buying the bottle, there is the sell-by date information which is an assurance that the chili is okay until then. However, one can still use it even after the date so long it is continuously and adequately stored in the fridge. But if you assess and find that the sauce has some unfamiliar look, smell, or taste, these are signs of spoilage, and even though it was in the fridge it should not be used.

Sweet Chili SauceCommercially MadeHome Made
Pantry12-18 months1 week in an airtight container
Refrigerated1 year after Opening90 Days

How Do You Make Chili Sauce Last Longer?

This depends on whether the hot sauce is commercial or homemade. When it comes to commercially made sauce, it can last for years even without refrigerating it. This is because it has a low enough PH that gives it the boost to be stored for long under room temperature. Therefore, if unopened, the assurance is that it will take many years.

However, it is essential to refrigerate it if opened because it can preserve the contents and take longer before it goes bad. Of course, the manufacturer’s instructions are also informative, and it’s wise to check on them before refrigerating.

When it comes to homemade sweet chili sauce, store it well in a tightly closed container and refrigerate it if you want to preserve it for a more extended period. Also, ensure that the jar used to store the sauce is clean and sterilized to avoid any case of contamination, and this can take as long as 3 months from the date it was prepared.

What Happens if You Eat Expired Chilli Sauce?

It’s possible that when you eat an expired chili sauce, you could be eating unhealthily. You may not note it, but there could be mould or dangerous yeast, which is harmful to your health and can cause stomach upset or food poisoning. Much as it is not a good experience; there are no long-term effects relating to the effects.

Also read: Does Soy Sauce Have To Be Refrigerated? Does It Go Bad?

Does Sweet Chili Sauce Go Bad?

Sweet chili sauce, just like any other condiment, has a chance of going bad. However, it depends on the preservatives used and the ingredients. In most cases, the commercially made sweet chili contains vinegar and chile peppers which are natural preservatives. It can take many years, especially if unopened thought can still take as long as one year before it goes bad when opened.

However, if the sauce contains fruit flavours, the chance is that it’s possible to go bad at a faster rate and hence ought to be refrigerated.

In the case of homemade, the rate of going bad is even higher and should be refrigerated immediately to give it a longer shelf life,

How Do You Store Sweet Chilli Sauce?

Now, sweet chili sauce has low Ph and gives one the chance to store in dark, cool, and dry temperatures, possibly in a pantry, for a long time without going bad.

Surprisingly, bacteria hardly thrive in such conditions such that even when opened, you do not have to refrigerate the sauce, yet it can take a year or more without going bad.

On the same note, always store homemade chili sauce in a refrigerator to increase its long life and freshness.

Can You Freeze Sweet Chili Sauce?

Of course, yes, you can freeze chili sauce, more so for the homemade. You only need to ensure the storage jars are clean, and when you need to use them, pull out one, thaw it, and will be ready for use.


Storing sweet chili sauce has added advantages, such as it may thicken and become a desirable sauce for some applications. In any case, the sauce will return to normality when under room temperature.

On the other hand, refrigerating the sauce could stop the process of fermentation and enable you to obtain desirable fermentation levels.

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