Does Tabasco Sauce Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

logo by Editorial Staff | Updated on June 22nd, 2022

Is it possible for Tabasco sauce to spoil? Tabasco sauce may be stored properly for up to ten years. Here’s how to know if it’s gone wrong.

The short version is that Tabasco sauce keeps for at least 5 years, whether refrigerated or stored at room temperature in the pantry, sealed or unopened.

Tabasco Sauce

What exactly is Tabasco?

Mcllhenny Company of Avery Island, southern Louisiana, manufactures this kind of spicy sauce. It’s created with salt, vinegar, and Tabasco peppers. Other flavors in this line include original e sauce, sirracha, habanero, and others. The product is sold in over 195 countries and is available in 25 languages.

Tabasco has a heat-acid-salt flavor with an earthiness. It’s a spicy sauce that has been fermented. It gets its name from the peppers used to prepare the sauce, and because it is fiery, only a drop or two will suffice to spice up your food. It is reported that the peppers are fermented in a barrel for three years before being removed to be flavored and salted.

What is the origin of Tabasco and how was it created?

Tabasco, like many cuisines and meals in the world, has a far longer history than you may assume. The first thing you should know about Tabasco sauce is that the peppers used to make it are from South America.

Also, Tabasco was not the brand’s original name. Tabasco red pepper was the name given to the sauce by the firm that manufactured it.

McIlhenny, the sauce’s originator, was familiar with the Deep South, thus he marketed the sauce mostly in New Orleans. Once he obtained a contract, he had to locate an acceptable bottle to keep the sauce in and distribute it to grocery shops and marketplaces around the country. This occurrence resulted in the unusual design of Tabasco sauce bottles. He had to utilize leftover cologne bottles obtained from a glass and bottle source in New Orleans.

Although it is uncertain whether the unusual form of the container helped to promote the sauce, Tabasco became a popular spicy sauce anyway. It is now a well-known hot sauce brand that can be bought in most grocery shops.

How Long Does Tabasco Last?

Original Tabasco (unopened)Best-by + 1+ years 
Original Tabasco (opened)6 months1+ years
Flavored Tabasco (unopened)Best-by + 1+ years 
Flavored Tabasco (opened)3 – 6 months9+ months

The shelf life of Tabasco varies according on the flavor and ranges from 12 to 24 months. But, regardless of whatever one you pick, Tabasco easily outlasts the written date.

Once opened, the sauce should keep its quality at least until the indicated date, if not much later.

Unfortunately, there’s no way of knowing how long your Tabasco will hold its quality after the expiration date on the label. One thing is certain: you should plan in months, not years.

Does Tabasco sauce go bad?

So, like all other food items, Tabasco sauce goes bad after a certain amount of time, but the good news is that Tabasco sauce has a long shelf life, so you don’t have to worry about Tabasco sauce going bad because you have a long time to use it before it starts to lose its flavor, freshness, and quality.

When Tabasco sauce turns bad, you will notice a difference in its fragrance, taste, and appearance.

What is the shelf life of Tabasco sauce?

Tabasco sauce original

Once opened, commercially bottled, store-bought original Tabasco sauce has a shelf life of around 5 years in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

An unopened bottle of original Tabasco sauce, on the other hand, may easily survive 5-10 years if stored in a cold, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat.

Tabasco sauce with a flavoring

Once opened, commercially bottled, store-bought flavored Tabasco sauce has a shelf life of around 18-24 months in the fridge at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

An unopened bottle of Tabasco sauce, on the other hand, may be stored in a cold, dry, and dark corner of your pantry away from direct sunlight and heat for up to 18-24 months or even longer.

It is important to note that these are only the anticipated shelf lives of Tabasco sauce, and Tabasco sauce may stay much longer if properly stored.

Is it okay to consume Tabasco sauce after the best-before date?

The “best by” or “best before” date printed on the bottle of Tabasco sauce relates to the quality rather than the safety of the sauce, therefore Tabasco sauce does not necessarily go bad immediately after the best before date. It is the period when Tabasco is at its greatest quality and taste, but you may still use Tabasco that is past this date as long as it was properly preserved and there is no leaking or mold in the bottle of Tabasco sauce.

How to Tell If Your Tabasco Sauce Is Bad

As previously said, Tabasco sauce will not spoil soon, but its quality will deteriorate with time. As a result, if it has been sitting for too long, especially if it has been improperly preserved, always inspect it before using it.


The most important thing is to keep external contamination at bay. As a result, check to see if the cap is properly secured to see if moisture, air, or bugs have entered the bottle and destroyed the goods.


It is not uncommon for sauces containing emulsifiers to split over time. That doesn’t indicate the sauce is bad, and the problem can be solved by shaking the bottle.


An strange and unpleasant Tabasco sauce odor indicates organic development within the container. Depending on the odor kind, trust your intuition and determine whether to utilize it for cooking or discard it.

If there is no mold development, you can generally use the sauce without concern, even if it is not fully pleasant. Keep in mind that Tabasco sauce that has been stored for an extended period of time will no longer smell fresh, despite the fact that it is still safe to use.


Tabasco sauce darkens naturally as it matures, although this has no effect on its taste or quality. Unfortunately, intense sunshine will hasten the process and render it worthless much sooner.

So, a dark red or brownish hue is typical for aged sauce and should not be a cause for concern. If you like your product to remain intact, you may avoid discoloration by storing it in the refrigerator, away from light.


When the quality of the sauce deteriorates, the texture becomes clumpy. That is an indication that the goods is no longer fresh.


Tabasco sauce will remain edible for many years, although its quality will deteriorate. The degree of alteration will be determined by the Tabasco variety. Whether you’re not sure what’s causing it, try it and see if it’s as tasty as it should be. Any bad flavor indicates that it should be discarded straight away.


The appearance of little black specks on the surface of the sauce indicates that you must discard this product immediately. In this state, it is not appetizing and may be detrimental to your health. Keep in mind that mold development might cause gas to be produced, resulting in the bottle exploding.

Tabasco Sauce Storage

Tabasco sauces may be stored in the same manner as any other spicy sauce. Consider the following storing strategies to extend the life of your sauce.

Storage Suggestions

  • Unopened sauce bottles should be stored in a dark, cold area, such as a kitchen cupboard.
  • Refrigerate an opened Tabasco bottle with the top well secured for best effects. If you reside in a hot and humid climate, always keep an opened bottle in the refrigerator.
  • The finer Tabasco sauces (including fruits and vegetables) should always be refrigerated.
  • Try to keep the crusting on the opening of the bottle to a minimum since it permits bacteria to proliferate. After each usage, wipe away any excess with a paper towel.
  • To get the most out of the flavors and minimize separation difficulties, shake the bottle before each use. The larger particles will naturally settle to the bottom of the bottle.

Is Tabasco Sauce Freezable?

I don’t think anyone freezes Tabasco sauce since it lasts so long. Because the preservatives in this food will keep it secure from deterioration for years, there is no need to store it in this manner.

Homemade Tabasco sauce is a unique flavor. You may place it in an airtight container and keep it in the freezer as needed. There is no evidence on how long it will stay flavorful if stored at low temperatures for an extended period of time, however it is quite likely that it will be edible after thawing.


Tabasco may be stored unopened for up to ten years or more since the vinegar and peppers in it function as preservatives.

When Tabasco sauces are opened, they get a deeper color and flavor than the initial flavors and color. To help preserve the finest quality of Tabasco, keep it refrigerated once opened. For quality reasons, you can discard any Tabasco sauce that has lost its taste.


Editorial Staff

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