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Old 12-21-2005, 10:08 PM   #1
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Tabasco/Chipotle Sauce/etc.. Shelf life?

Once sauces like this are opened... Whats the best way to store them, and how long do they last?

Also, without being opened, how long do they last? I got a gift pack with a bunch of different sauces in them last Christmas that I still haven't opened... Now I'm not sure if I should just toss it or not...

Your thoughts appreciated!
--ElmoTheDestroyer

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Old 12-22-2005, 03:09 AM   #2
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Look for a use by or best before date on the unopened bottles. If there is no date then they are still good to go.

Most sauces last for a very long time due to either the amounts of a) sugar b) vinegar or c) salt in the sauce, not to mention any articial preservatives. If it looks good (no mould, discolouration etc), smells good (smells as it should smell) and a small amount of it still tastes good then as far as bottled sauces are concerned I would have no qualms still using them.
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:01 AM   #3
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I typically store these kinds of hot sauces in the fridge once opened. There they will usually keep for months, though you should always smell and visially inspect the contents of the bottle if it's been a while since you last used it, just to be on the safe side.

Expirey dates can sometimes be tricky to find (if they are not clear, such as "July 6, 2007", look for a set of numbers that is not the bar code. If you can't spot a date right away, sometimes you can decipher what the "date code" means based on the numbers, and then there are times when there is no indication of the experation. When you buy the condiments see if there is an expirey date on them, if not mark the date on the bottle (label) with a marker or little piece of tape, and use that as a sort of guide. It will at least let you know how long the bottle has been opened for
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:52 AM   #4
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In my experience, the hotter the sauce, the longer it will last. The microbes that feed on (or rot) the food in your fridge seem to stay away from foods that have a high level of capsaicin. Piccolina said it well, use your nose.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:03 AM   #5
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that would be check your hot sauce with your nose like how porcupines make baby porcupines. "very carefully".

i agree with everything said here. hot sauces, because of the capsaicin, salt, and acids like vinegar last a very long time, even left out in a cupboard, but i would store them in a refrigerator, anyway.

unopened from last christmas, so long as they weren't heated or stored in direct sun should be fine. you may want to shake them up a bit first. the pepper solids may have settled out a little from the vinegar solution.
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Old 12-22-2005, 07:59 AM   #6
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I keep hot sauces in a cabinet unless they specifically call for refrigeration. They will last for a long time-no worrys.
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Old 12-22-2005, 08:19 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckytom
that would be check your hot sauce with your nose like how porcupines make baby porcupines. "very carefully".
ROFL Bucky!

Tabasco should last for a long time. I've got one bottle that's a few years old, and it's started to discolor, so I'm replacing it.

Any vinegar-based hot pepper sauce should have a long shelf life.

Unopened bottles with the safety seal intact should also have a long shelf life.
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Old 12-22-2005, 09:34 AM   #8
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When Allen and Andy and everone said ...

I have bottles in the fridge that are at leat 3 years old.

I made my own habernaro sauce (about a quart of it) 2 summers ago so it's going on 2 1/2 and still yummy.

But these are all vinegar-based concoctions.
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:16 AM   #9
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I have a bottle of Tabasco on my desk at work that has been here for about 3 years or so. The color has changed a lot. It is darker and browner than it used to be, but it still tastes exactly the same.
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Old 12-22-2005, 12:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GB
I have a bottle of Tabasco on my desk at work that has been here for about 3 years or so. The color has changed a lot. It is darker and browner than it used to be, but it still tastes exactly the same.
OK GB, what's your secret? How do you get a bottle of Tabasco sauce to last for 3 years???

I can hardly get one to last for 3 DAYS!!! Then it seems like it's just up and vanished. Must evaporate or something....

John
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