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Must hot sauce be refrigerated?

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Cold sauce doesn't pour or taste quite right.

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  1. I have always refrigerated it, but with the very acidic vinegar-based environ, I doubt it is necessary. You could check the manufacturers website for their recommendations..

    What kind of hot sauce is it?

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kelli2006

      Csigi Salubrious Savina
      Yucateco XXX Hot
      Melinda's Red Savina
      Ass Kickin' Roasted Garlic Hot Sauce

      That sort of thing.

      1. re: aynrandgirl

        No need to refridgerate....before or after opening....all are considered "high acid" foods....

    2. I never refrigerate sambal.

      1. I agree that you don't need to refrigerate the hot sauce to preserve it, generally. However, I wonder about some of the Caribbean hot sauces that contain a fair amount of fruit and Mexican sauces that contain a fair amount of tomatoes (i.e. , chunky tomato hot sauces). They might need refrigeration. My personal experience with high acid sauces, like Tabasco, is that, while you don't need to refrigerate them, they taste better--and closer to the taste of a freshly opened bottle, if you do refrigerate them. By the way, I love your monicker, "Aynrandgirl."

        4 Replies
        1. re: gfr1111

          Tomatoes and almost all "fruits" are "acid foods"....

          1. re: Pollo

            Pollo, if you slice open a tomato and put it out on the counter at room temperature and come back in two weeks, does it rot? Tomatoes are a high acid food, but not high acid enough by themselves to prevent spoilage.

            1. re: gfr1111

              Yes, the tomato will rot at room temperature but there is something else that you are missing and that is "thermal processing"....there is a very specific relation between product pH and the amount of "heat" (time/temperature relation) that needs to be delivered to that product so it does not spoil...provided it is hermetically packaged....some products are even packaged without any heat application ("cold fill") because pH is so low nothing (i.e."bad bugs") will grow in them....

              1. re: gfr1111

                But it'll also rot in the refrigerator.

                I keep mine in the fridge at home but we have a bunch at work that just sit out. I don't think they need the fridge.

          2. Not if you're going to use it up fairly quickly. But all foods will spoil, go off color, or simply lose flavor over time, even in the refrigerator. It will just happen faster if you don't refrigerate (fish sauce may be the exception to this). Haven't you ever seen pale orange Tabasco sauce? It looks like that after sitting opened in a cupboard for a long time. And it tastes terrible too.

            1. Generally speaking, products that need refrigeration will say so on the label somewhere. I'd inspect them closely. Not all hot sauces are made the same way and not all of them contain a level of acid necessary to preserve them once opened. You could, though, refrigerate the sauce, let it come to room temperature before you use it and then pop it back in the fridge afterwards.

              4 Replies
              1. re: ccbweb

                All sauces made in the US (that's the law) will have either enough acid or acid in combination with another preservative so that they will not suport growth of any pathogenic bugs once the product is opened at room temperature. Suggestion/recommendation (on the label) of refridgerated storage is purely from a quality perspective...

                1. re: Pollo

                  Could you point me to the law?

                  I'd also surmise that there is a definition of "hot sauce" that the law would apply to...so some sauces that are hot may not fall under that definition. I'll make sure to check where some sauces I have were manufactured so I know whether it was the US. Globalization affects everything I guess.

                  1. re: ccbweb

                    This site has some info and will also point you to the FDA regulations on hot sauce.

                    http://www.fiery-foods.com/dave/safe_...

                    1. re: ktmoomau

                      Very cool, thank you.

              2. Depends on how quickly you use it. If it's vinegar and/or salt based, it won't spoil. It will go rancid after a while, though, and be less tasty. In my experience, a month or two makes it tastier, but more than a few months makes it rancid.
                If it's like Purecap, though, it's fine. It won't go rancid.
                Something like Asskicking, though, will go rancind quickly.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Thefoodgenius

                  In order to become rancid it has to have fat/oil in it....does "Asskicking" has that much oil?

                  1. re: Thefoodgenius

                    What causes rancidity? Is it bacteria in the air? Or is there something more at work here? It seems to me that even if I don"t open a bottle of (sealed) olive oil for six months, when I do, it has gone rancid, but I'm not even sure of that. Maybe I had opened it and it was just due to exposure to air. So, can I store my olive oil indefinitely (if I don't expose it to light) or not? Can I store my Cholula sauce, or whatever, indefinitely, if unopened, or will it go rancid?

                    1. re: gfr1111

                      Rancidity is the decomposition of fat through oxydation (exposure to oxygen). Oils go rancid faster when exposed to heat and light, so once a bottle of oil is opened it's best to keep it in a cool dark place. This is why some folks keep theirs in the fridge.

                      Only oils go rancid. Cholula doesn't have oil in it does it? If not, then it will not go rancid. Most hot sauces last basically forever.