You have invited some friends over for dinner and you can’t wait to make your specialty for them. As you’re gathering all the ingredients, you come across an almost used up tabasco sauce which is the finishing touch in your specialty. Before using it, a thought crosses your mind – does tabasco sauce go bad?
Tabasco sauce is a famous hot sauce made from tabasco peppers, salt and vinegar. It is used in many meals because of its unique and strong taste, but the question is – how long can it last?
To make sure whether your tabasco sauce is out of date, we’ve examined this topic in detail to provide you with all the answers you need. In this article, we will introduce you to a simple procedure on how to check if your tabasco sauce has expired as well as a couple of useful tips that you should know about this product.
Does Tabasco Sauce Go Bad?
The answer to your question is YES – tabasco sauce does go bad after some time, but this depends on the kind of tabasco sauce you have in your kitchen.
In order to understand the reasons behind this fact, you should be familiar with the shelf life of both the original and flavored tabasco sauce.
An unopened bottle of original tabasco sauce is good as long as it is stored in the kitchen pantry. Like this, it can last between 5-10 years. An opened bottle should be kept in a refrigerated space and that way, it will have the same shelf life.
An unopened bottle of flavored tabasco sauce should be also kept in the pantry but the shelf life is a little shorter. This kind of sauce lasts between 18-24 months. When opened, just like with the original, move it into the refrigerator in order to preserve its shelf life.
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What Is Tabasco Sauce?
Today, tabasco sauce is known as one of the most popular hot sauces. It is made from tabasco peppers, salt and distilled vinegar. Some meals like pizza, chicken wings and fried rice are unimaginable without this ingredient. This sauce is famous for its unique aroma and flavor. It was first produced in 1868 on Avery Island by Edmund McIlhenny. The primary location of its production hasn’t changed till this day and the process is pretty much the same.
Tabasco sauce got its name after the tabasco peppers it is made from. Although these peppers are still grown on Avery Island, the production has expanded significantly and now there are tabasco growers all across Latin America.
Currently, the sauce is regularly distributed and sold in over 160 countries of the world and the label on the bottle is translated into 22 different languages.
Let’s take a look at the 7 most popular uses of tabasco sauce:
- It is very useful for making other sauces like barbecue and chipotle sauce.
- It is the key ingredient in Bloody Mary cocktails. (Bloody because of the color of the sauce)
- It is used to season foods like pizza, sandwiches or burgers.
- It is the finishing touch in grilled peppers and feta cheese salad.
- It is very famous in the Mexican cuisine with dishes like tacos and nachos.
- Corn, cheese or guacamole can be spiced up with tabasco sauce.
- It is sometimes added to both hot and cold soups.
Original Vs. Flavored Tabasco Sauce
Although this sauce is widely used in the kitchen, there is a slight difference between the original and flavored tabasco sauce.
An original tabasco sauce is made just from tabasco peppers, distilled vinegar and salt. This is the perfect ingredient for those who want to keep it simple and traditional.
Thanks to the expansion and success this sauce has achieved, you are now offered with 12 different flavored tabasco sauces suited just for your taste.
Food&Wine gives us the 12 sauces ranked:
- Garlic Pepper
- Family Reserve
- Roasted Pepper
- Sweet and Spicy
- Green Pepper
- Raspberry Chipotle
Tabasco sauce maker McIlhenny Company states that tabasco sauce has an ethnically diverse market and a worldwide appeal.
As the population in America becomes more diverse, the ethnic food will be even more successful. Although the competition is fierce, McIlhenny believes that there will always be people who will acknowledge the quality of their sauce.
The top export market for tabasco sauce is Japan, where about 100,000 bottles are sold every year. Asians most commonly use this sauce with pasta or pizza.
In Europe, Norwegians have significantly boosted the consumption of this sauce with pizza with a highest per capita consumption- beating even Italy!
How To Check If Tabasco Sauce Has Expired?
As long as your tabasco sauce is kept in the right conditions, it will remain usable. However, there is always a slight possibility that you forgot to check the bottle and that the expiration date might have passed.
Seconds before using the sauce, you might ask yourself – has my tabasco sauce expired? Nobody wants to use an expired sauce in their meals so here are some helpful tips on how to check if your tabasco sauce has expired or not.
Thanks to eHow, all you have to do is follow these 3 steps in order to check if your tabasco sauce has expired:
- Look at the date code because each bottle is marked with a date code to identify the production date. If you see for example 051215, this means that this bottle was produced on May 12th 2015.
- Pay attention whether you are looking at an original or flavored sauce. The original can last 5-10 years and flavored can last 18-24 months.
- Compare the date code on the bottle against the shelf life of the bottle. If the production date extends the shelf one, it has expired.
How To Store Tabasco Sauce?
Since this sauce is an important ingredient in many meals, you should know how to properly store it. The case with tabasco sauce is that you should know the difference when storing an opened and an unopened bottle.
An unopened bottle of tabasco sauce, regardless of the flavor, should be stored in the pantry. It is important that it is kept in a dark place, away from any sunlight, moisture and extreme temperatures.
An opened bottle, on the other hand, should be moved immediately to the refrigerator in order to preserve its flavor. Keeping your hot sauce refrigerated helps it maintain the color it had when you first opened the bottle.
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Does Tabasco Sauce Go Bad – Conclusion
So far, we have walked you through some of the most important points regarding tabasco sauce. After reading this article, you will be familiarized with what tabasco sauce is, how to store it and how to tell if it has expired. While an unopened bottle can last from 5 to 10 years in the pantry, an opened one lasts from 18 to 24 months in the refrigerator.
Tabasco sauce has expanded its production and now you can choose between 12 different flavors. It is an unavoidable ingredient in many meals like nachos, tacos, pizza, etc.
In order to check if your tabasco sauce has expired, all you have to do is follow 3 simple steps: check the date code on the bottle, pay attention whether it is flavored or just the original sauce and compare the date code with the shelf life.
When it comes to storing tabasco sauce, an unopened bottle of tabasco sauce goes in the kitchen pantry and an opened bottle goes in the refrigerator in order to preserve its flavor and color.
Now that you know everything that you need to know about tabasco sauce, don’t waste the good taste!