Tabasco sauce is a brilliant condiment for folks who like their food extra spicy. Prepared from special tabasco peppers, it is by far the most popular kind of hot sauce used all around the globe. But does tabasco sauce need to be refrigerated? It’s a question that you may well be asking yourself. Read on to discover more about this flavorful seasoning.
What is Tabasco Sauce?
Tabasco sauce is a patented hot sauce created by an American company, Tabasco. The original creator was Edmund Mcllhenny who developed the formula 150 years ago. It is composed of just 3 ingredients, vinegar, salt, and peppers. These components are put through a special fermentation process to create the sauce.
How Long Does Tabasco Last?
A little bit of this spicy condiment goes a long way. You may, therefore, have the bottle sitting on your kitchen counter for a long time, perhaps several years. You can make the most of it as the product has a shelf life of 5 years.
The acetic acid in the vinegar as well as the peppers act as natural preservatives. These ingredients hinder the growth of any bacteria or mold that usually cause food to go bad.
Is Tabasco Sauce Healthy?
The sauce does not carry much nutritional value. It does not contain a substantial amount of important vitamins or minerals. However, it is still a healthy product for weight watchers as there are zero calories in the condiment. This fat-free hot sauce can be used in diet recipes.
At the same time, tabasco sauce can also promote weight loss. Peppers are known for effectively speeding up the body’s metabolism, the process that burns your calories. Therefore, the sauce can be very useful for a healthy diet plan aimed at losing weight.
Does Tabasco Sauce Need to be Refrigerated?
According to the manufacturer’s instructions, the bottle needs to be stored under cool and dry conditions. Avoid putting it in a place with a high humidity content. It is also important that the sauce is not exposed to direct sunlight. If you follow these instructions, there is no need to refrigerate the bottle after it has been opened.
The color of the sauce usually changes with time. It turns darker and the sauce starts to appear brownish. However, this is only due to the natural process of oxidation. The color change is not due to the product going bad. Putting the sauce in the refrigerator will slow down this process. You may be able to preserve the color of the sauce for longer.
This means, that although refrigerating the sauce is not a requirement, it does keep the product better preserved.
Can Tabasco Sauce Go Bad? How to Tell if it is Bad?
As the ingredients of the hot sauce are natural preservatives, it is unlikely for the product to go bad. However, improper storage may cause the sauce to spoil. Look for the following signs to know if the condiment is not fit for use anymore.
- When the sauce starts to smell pungent, it is time to discard the bottle
- Spoiled products may develop a bad taste. This is a definite sign that it is no longer safe to consume the hot sauce
- Be wary of any changes in the texture of the sauce. If the product has separated or has become too watery, it is time to buy a new bottle
- On rare occasions, you might notice the formation of a furry substance under or near the cap. This is the development of fungus that renders the product completely unsafe to consume
How to Store Tabasco Sauce Properly?
You can make your Tabasco sauce last for years if you store it properly. Here are a few simple tips to ensure your hot sauce doesn’t go bad.
Make sure that you close the lid tightly each time after opening the bottle. A loose lid can make way for bacteria to enter the sauce.
- Protect the condiment from moisture as it may result in fungal growth.
- Close the lid as soon as you have finished using the sauce. If the bottle sits lidless for too long, contaminants in the air will have plenty of time to spoil its contents.
- Use the sauce right out of the bottle. If you have poured out the condiment in a bowl, do not put back the leftover sauce back in the bottle as that would certainly result in contamination.
- Always keep the bottle in a cool place free of moisture. This can be your pantry or a dry cabinet in your kitchen.
- Once you have opened the bottle, you may store it in the refrigerator even though it is not an absolute requirement.
Can You Freeze Tabasco Sauce?
Since there are natural preservatives in hot sauce, it can be stored at room temperature. It may also be refrigerated as the low temperature will slow down any bacterial growth. However, freezing the sauce is not at all necessary.
If you are still paranoid about the product going bad, freezing it will not cause any harm. Just take it out of the freezer a few hours before you need to use it so that it can be thawed properly.
The Risk of Consuming an Expired Tabasco Sauce
The manufacturers of Tabasco sauce have put an expiry date on the bottle, making it usable for up to 5 years. However, the sauce can be used way beyond this period. Your hot sauce will still be safe after 10 years until and unless it begins to smell and taste bad. This indicates that the product has finally gone bad.
Tabasco sauce changes color over a period of time. The darkish hue, however, does not make it unsafe for consumption. This is merely a result of natural oxidation. So, if your sauce looks dark brown after a few years of having it in your pantry, you can still use it without the fear of falling ill.
On the other hand, if you consume sauce that has actually gone bad due to bacterial or fungal growth, you will be at risk of getting food poisoning. Just look for signs of spoilage instead of the expiry date before putting the sauce in your food.
Tabasco sauce is an amazing condiment that enhances the flavor of your food and has an astoundingly long shelf life. It will be fit for use if you keep it at room temperature. It may also be refrigerated to further extend its life.