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Fast Food Condiment Packets

Am I the only one who doesn't have the guts to throw them away with the rumpled wrappers? I must have three zip lock bags and a plastic produce container packed with them. Ketchup, mayonnais, mustard, malt vinegar, cocktail sauce, tarter sauce, hot sauce, soy sauce, duck sauce, Chinese mustard, salt, pepper, sugarl.. I think the only thing I don't have is little packets of Hershey's syrup! But maybe soon? So my question is what do you do with yours? Save them or toss 'em?

Maybe I need to write a cookbook:

47 packets of ketchup
16 packets regular mustard
i0 packets Chinese mustard
8 packets duck sauce
11 packets malt vinegar
13 packets sugar

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  1. I put them in with canned goods when there's a food drive.

    1. I have zip lock bags of condiments all over the place. My car, fridge, backpack, beach bag, boat bag, luggage.
      Picked up some Taco Bell Del Inferno hot sauce in southern California recently, but haven't seen it on the east coast yet. Hope to see it out here soon because my kid loves it on McDonalds Cheeseburgers and I'm down to about 15 packs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Infomaniac

        Just checked and Del Inferno hot sauce was from Del Taco and not Taco Bell, and no Del Taco's are on the east coast.

        1. re: Infomaniac

          The kids at work got Taco Bell the other day, and ordered Volcano Tacos with Lava sauce? Maybe that's similar?

      2. I have taken all the chinese ones and mixed them together, equal amounts of duck sauce and soy sauce, and half that of the mustard, tasted it, added some brown sugar, and marinated some chicken and baked it with the sauce and it made a really good teriyaki-style concoction.

        1. I take 'em to work in case the takeout sandwich place only has crap. also while everyone else is scamming leftover meeting sandwiches, I'm swooping in on the Gulden's and Dijon and mayo packets. I can be very picky about which mustard goes on what - we have a lot of hot dog carts that only have the yellow type (which is ok for a dirty water dog) but Chinese mustard on a half-smoke or Kielbasa does it for me.

          I wish Sriracha sold in packets. the bottle(s) I bring in to the office seem to last a month before some idiot tosses it, although I'd like to think someone just steals it.

          I find at home keeping them in a cardboard takeout container like for chinese food works well and always comes in handy late at night when the last and too small splooge of whatever is used.

          they only get tossed when the metallic ones start to rust and ooze - they last longer out of the fridge. At one job the kitchen was big enough to have a communal leftover packet drawer.

          3 Replies
          1. re: hill food

            My local chinese place has sriracha in packets, although for some reason if you get it delivered, they only bring it if you request it.

            1. re: hill food

              At work, I keep my bottle of Sriracha in my desk drawer so no one will touch it.

              1. re: hill food

                Recently received a packet of "sriracha" at a chinese food chain in SLC airport. It was dark red, and the taste made me wonder if it was made of chili powder. Weird stuff.

              2. I usually toss them.

                Here's why (at least anecdotally), the Heinz ketchup in those packets taste different than the ketchup in the Heinz bottles.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ipsedixit

                  there is that, they do taste "old" or at least metallic. but I feel a little guilty about the packaging to product ratio for something that's gonna be tossed if I or others don't use it. I'm happier when a takeout place has the pump containers to minimize waste and with delivery if I'm asked if I need utensils (it is a residence, I do have forks/sticks/whatever - around here it's obvious by the address).

                  1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                    Oooh! I'm so excited to see the Taco Bell Packet Sayings list! I thought it was hilarious when I discovered sayings on the packet.

                    Personally, I have packets of Taco Time Original in the fridge 'cause some disgruntled worker gave me about 30 of them one day. Last time I went, they didn't give me any, so I had enough to make me happy.

                  2. caroline, mix 'em all together, and dip some good gulf shrimp into it!

                    1. Send them to the troops in Iraq.

                      1. Soy sauce I always use, that come with the sushi and they're good for trips ... when I went to a convention and stayed in the hotel I brought bean sprouts with me and cooked them in the kitchenette and then just flavoured the food with soy sauce packages.
                        Other than that I don't really eat out or get any ketchup, mustard..etc.

                        1. At some point I grew tired of the growing mound of condiment packets. I got a ziplock bag (sandwich size) and put in as many as would fit and issued an executive order that if it can't fit in the bag it gets tossed.

                          I feel bad throwing it away but at some point I have to make the decision not to be buried under a pile of unwanted junk!

                          1. I know this is an old thread, but while searching for my recipes to respond to another thread, I found this one. I have two recipes for using condiment packs for a chicken leg

                            Condiment packs usually break down to a teaspoon's worth, so keep them in mind when a recipe calls for a small quantity

                            As you open packets take a small taste to make sure they haven’t gone bad … some of those packets have been in the drawer a loooong time.


                            I was looking at this recipe for tangy chicken legs. I didn’t have ketchup except for packets I squirrel away in a kitchen drawer from fast food meals.

                            Then it occurred to me that a lot of what was in this recipe I had little packets from fast food joints … ta da … a recipe was born. It was VERY tasty.

                            1 cup brewed black coffee (leftover coffee from breakfast)
                            4 packets ketchup
                            1 packet sugar
                            1 packet malt vinegar from H.R. Salt (or any vinegar)
                            1 packet hot Chinese mustard from forgotten Chinese take-out
                            1 packet red pepper flakes from pizza delivery
                            2 packets black pepper from some take out or another
                            1 tablespoon brown sugar (no packets of that … though I could have used pancake syrup … just didn’t have any)
                            1 chicken leg

                            1. Combine first eight ingredients. Bring to a boil.

                            2. Reduce heat, add chicken leg and simmer covered about 45 minutes to an hour. .

                            3. Serve over rice.


                            1 cup apple juice
                            1 packet honey from some coffee joint
                            1 packet malt vinegar from H.R. Salt (or any vinegar)
                            1 packet hot Chinese mustard from forgotten Chinese take-out
                            2 packets of soy sauce from another forgotten Chinese take-out
                            3 dried peppers that came with Chinese takeout
                            2 packets black pepper from some take out or another
                            1 clove minced fresh garlic
                            1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
                            1 chicken leg

                            1. Combine first nine ingredients. Bring to a boil.

                            2. Reduce heat, add chicken leg and simmer covered about 45 minutes to an hour.
                            3. Serve over rice.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: rworange

                              Way to be inventive - and not to mention stretch a buck! I just got hit with both a massive tax bill and a big vet bill. I'm trying to make 'frugal eating' a fun project instead of a dreaded chore. thanks!

                              1. re: rworange

                                This thread should be linked to the other thread...;-)

                                1. re: rworange

                                  this would be brilliant for backpackers! I do keep my packets, but they usually go into lunches; looks like I'll need to take another look.

                                  1. re: rworange

                                    rworange, you are a truly dedicated hound to reproduce those two "recipes" in detail. ;-)).

                                  2. I save them and use them but I don't buy things like ketchup or mustard bc I don't really use them that often, and when I do, I just grab a packet. My mom always used sugar packets when braising meat (chinese style).