Does Sriracha Go Bad? (And How Long Can It Last)

Does Sriracha Go Bad

Sriracha is a spicy sauce made from chili peppers and vinegar.  It started as a Thai and Vietnamese condiment made by Huy Fong Foods and has progressed as a popular condiment for just about anything.  Fans of this sauce put it on their eggs, sandwiches, pizza, burgers, and just about everything else to add some zings.  There are also sriracha mayo and snack foods.  Original sriracha is also called “rooster sauce” due to the picture printed on the label.

With its combination of chilis and vinegar, unopened sriracha does have a shelf life of 24 months after the date printed on the label.  Opened sriracha sauce’s shelf life depends largely on storage methods. That is, whether you keep it in the fridge or the pantry, how well the opening is kept clean, and whether you kept the cap sealed.

Let’s talk about how you can make that sriracha last for a long while with proper storage techniques and how to tell if that old bottle of sriracha should be replaced.  We’ll give you some alternatives to traditional sriracha that will add zing, including organic sriracha, sambal oelek, cayenne pepper spice, and more.

Does Sriracha Go Bad Over Time?

The combination of peppers, vinegar, and salt ensures a long shelf-life as these are natural preservatives.  The capsaicin from the chili peppers is an anti-microbial that slows down spoilage.  Sriracha’s shelf life is largely dependent on how you treat it.

Unopened sriracha needs to be kept in a cool, dry place.  Heat will cause separation, mold, and a breakdown of the flavors.  Opened sriracha is at risk of contamination from bacteria, molds in the air, heat, and odors.  If you wipe the rim or cap of spills, seal it tightly, and store it in the refrigerator, you can enjoy that bottle for up to two years.

Does Long Does Sriracha Last?

An unopened bottle of sriracha should last for at least 24 months past the date printed on the label.  If the bottle is opened and stored in the refrigerator, the sauce has a good possibility of lasting up to 24 months as well.  If the sriracha is stored in the pantry, its shelf life is around nine months—all of these time periods depending on how it is stored.

How Long Does Homemade Sriracha Last?

Homemade sriracha is pretty easy to make but has a few steps.

  1. Puree jalapeno and serrano peppers; add garlic, brown sugar, salt, and water.
  2. Ferment the mixture for 3-5 days until it bubbles.
  3. Blend this mixture with vinegar and boil the mixture until it is thick.
  4. Bottle it up and store it.

Homemade sriracha should last four to six months stored in the refrigerator.

How Can you Tell if Sriracha Has Gone Bad?

  • If the container has damage and appears swollen, leaked, or dented, do not use the bottle. There may be a build-up of gases, and the container may explode, causing a mess or even hurting you.
  • Mold may start to grow on the surface of the sauce or around the cap
  • Sriracha might develop a fermented smell, which indicates that it is not optimal and should be tossed.
  • The sauce might change texture – separate or become clumpy. Shake it to see if it comes back together.  If it still looks strange, toss it.
  • Taste a drop of the sriracha on your fingertip. If you are a fan, you should be able to detect a change in flavor.  In that case, dump the bottle and get a new one.
  • Sriracha might change color as chili peppers can darken over time to a darker red or brown shade. This is not a sign of spoilage but check for the other signs of it going bad.

How to Properly Store Sriracha

  1. An unopened bottle of sriracha should be stored in the pantry in a cool, dry, and dark place. Do not store it near the stove, as heat will degrade the sauce.  Steady temperatures will extend the life of the sauce.
  2. An opened bottle of sriracha can be stored in the pantry or in the refrigerator. If stored in the pantry, make sure it is cooler in temperature and is kept tightly sealed.  If stored in the pantry, it will have a shorter shelf-life, which might be fine if you use it rather quickly.
  3. When storing sriracha in the refrigerator, make sure the cap is tightly sealed, so it does not pick up the bacteria, molds, or odors of other items in the fridge. Sriracha stored in the refrigerator lasts more than twice as long as sriracha stored in the cabinet.
  4. If you use sriracha as a dipping sauce, do not ever pour the

Can you Get Sick from Eating Old Sriracha?

Old sriracha will lose its flavor but will not be harmful if you eat it.  If the sriracha has some of the indications of spoilage mentioned above, such as mold, a disagreeable smell, or an odd texture, you should discard it.  While the ingredients in the sauce won’t make you sick, we offer no guarantees on unknown contaminants.  At that point, some people could develop food poisoning.  Better safe than sorry!

Alternatives to Sriracha

Our alternatives include organic sriracha, Tabasco sriracha, and a host of other sauces that can be used interchangeably.  Your choice might depend on how hot you would like your condiment and whether the choice complements your dish.

Fix Hot Sauce, Sriracha Hot Sauce – Organic, Gourmet, Red Chili Peppers, Spicy & Bold Flavor, Non-GMO – Great in Vietnamese Pho, Ramen - Signature Flavor, 10 Ounce Squeeze BottleFix Sriracha Hot Sauce

Made with all-natural, non-GMO, organic ingredients, this is a healthier alternative to the original sriracha.  It uses organic red chili peppers, garlic, sea salt, cane sugar, and rice vinegar.  It’s got less sodium and sugar than the original sriracha, but the same texture and kick to be used on everything from eggs to burgers.

TABASCO Sriracha Sauce 20 oz (2 Pack)Tabasco Sriracha Sauce

If you like Tabasco, you might want to try their sriracha sauce.  It is made with jalapeno peppers, vinegar, sugar, salt, garlic, and Tabasco sauce.  Its texture is thicker than original Tabasco and great for recipes, dips, or add to anything to create a kick.

Huy Fong, Sambal Oelek Chili Paste, 18 OzHuy Fong Sambal Oelek

From the same manufacturer as sriracha, sambal oelek is very similar in texture and taste.  It has a thicker texture with more of a chili flavor and less garlic.  This is an Indonesian sauce, whereas sriracha is based out of Thailand.

Frank’s RedHot Sauce

Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Keto Friendly), 12 fl oz

Often used on chicken wings, Frank’s uses cayenne pepper as its base.  It is a more liquid substitute and is milder than sriracha.  You can use Frank’s much the same way as sriracha, adding heat to your dishes.  Frank’s also makes a seasoning blend in powder/spice form for a different option.

Casablanca Market Spicy Hot Moroccan Harissa

Casablanca Market Harissa Gourmet Hot Sauce –Harissa Sauce – Moroccan North African Spice Best Hot Sauce Gift Harissa Seasoning – Harissa Spice Red Hot Sauce – Harissa Paste Hot Sauces (10.5oz) Harissa is a hot chili paste with origins in Tunisia.  It has less vinegar and chili flavors than sriracha and more spices.  It is thicker and less tangy but can be used in much the same way as sriracha – as a marinade, dipping sauce, or added to your favorite dish for a Moroccan flair.

Fisherman’s Kitchen Bang Bang Sauce

Fisherman's Kitchen Bang Bang Sauce (2 Pack) You can make homemade bang bang sauce using mayonnaise and whatever hot sauce you have sitting around.  This adds zing to your foods and cuts the heat.  This packaged version has chili, onions, and paprika in a mayonnaise substitute.

Cholula Hot Sauce

Cholula Original Hot Sauce, 64 fl oz - One 64 Fluid Ounce Bulk Container of Hot Sauce with Mexican Peppers and Signature Spice Blend, Perfect with Tacos, Eggs, Wings, Chicken and More Often mentioned as a substitute for sriracha, Cholula is made from chipotle, arbol, and Piquin peppers and a spice blend.  It is gluten-free, kosher, and vegan.  It is also low-sodium and just a versatile as sriracha.  There is a smoky flavor with some heat.  It can be used in sauces, dressings, marinades, dips, and meat seasonings.  It’s more used in Mexican dishes than Thai, but it can add that pop.

Simply Organic Cayenne Pepper

Simply Organic Cayenne Pepper 2.89 oz The easiest way to add heat to dishes is with cayenne pepper.  Sriracha’s main ingredient is cayenne peppers, so this will have a similar flavor profile.  Cayenne pepper has 35,000 Scoville heat units compared to 1,000 – 2,500 for sriracha so use it sparingly.

Related Questions

Does Sriracha have Sugar?

Sugar is one of the ingredients in this hot sauce.  It gives it a unique flavor when combined with the chili peppers and other ingredients.  Sriracha is healthy in terms of calories – only 14 per serving.  Those who are looking to cut back on sodium or carbohydrates might be concerned about the amount of sugar in the sauce.  While there are sauces that are lower in sodium, eating small amounts of sriracha is just fine for most people.

How Spicy is Sriracha?

Hot sauces are rated on a Scoville scale.  Sriracha has 1,000 – 2,500 SHU (Scoville heat units), which is pretty mild.  By comparison, a bell pepper ranks at 0-100 SHU, a jalapeno pepper ranks at 2,500 – 10,000 SHU, Tabasco is rated at 2,500 – 5,000 SHU, and a habanero pepper itself is rated at 350,000 SHU.  The hottest peppers on earth (and pepper spray) rank up to and over 3 million SHU.

Is Sriracha Gluten-Free?

There are no gluten-containing ingredients in Sriracha.  Highly sensitive people should look for the gluten-free label as with anything else.   The original sriracha produced by Huy Fong Foods has confirmed that all of its ingredients are gluten-free.

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Choosing Nutrition Team

Here at Choosing Nutrition, our goal is to help people with making smarter food choices. Whether you're wondering about vegan, keto, paleo, or other diets, we'll help you determine which options fit your nutritional lifestyle. Our staff is composed of registered dieticians, nutritionists, and health-conscious individuals.

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