Barbecue Sauce is a condiment that is often used as a marinade or topping for meat. This meat, commonly chicken or ribs, is often cooked on a barbecue. Once the meat is reaching the required internal temperature, the sauce can be smothered on. There are many different varieties of BBQ sauce available in stores, but they are commonly made of vinegar, tomato paste, spices, and a type of sweetener.
Image used under Creative Commons from John Liu
Often times, BBQ sauce is sold in large tubs and can be found spending a lot of time open while sitting in the refrigerator. Especially if bought just before the barbecuing season has ended. As the weather starts to warm up, this can lead you wondering if that sauce, from last season, is still good to be used. No reason to throw away the sauce if it is still good and usable. Here are some tips on telling if your sauce has gone bad, and how to prolong the life of it.
Does BBQ sauce go bad?
The short answer to your question is yes, BBQ sauce does eventually go bad. How fast the sauce will go bad, well, that can only be determined on a case to case basis. Some barbecue sauces will go bad faster, while others can last much longer. This depends on the ingredients and how it’s made. Proper storage of this condiment is what will allow the sauce to last as long as possible.
A good way to determine if the sauce is still good is by looking at the best by date. Since this type of condiment comes with a best by date, rather than a sell by date, it is usually okay to use past this date. As long as the sauce can pass the taste and smell tests, it could still be used 6-12 months after the date. Again, this is on a case to case basis. If you at any moment question the quality of the sauce, it is best to throw it away, rather than risk any foodborne illnesses.
How to tell if your BBQ sauce has gone bad?
Once you see that your BBQ sauce has gone past its sell by date, it is best to inspect the sauce for signs of bacterial growth. If you see any fuzzy growing mold in it, throw it away immediately. The sauce has gone pasts its usefulness.
The next thing to do is smell it. If the sauce smells off, or doesn’t have the same scent as when you first opened it don’t use it. Once you use your senses of sight and smell, its best to taste a bit of it. Throw away any BBQ sauce that has an off taste, as this means it has started to go bad.
How to properly store BBQ sauce
Proper storage, of BBQ sauce, will depend on if the bottle has been open or not. An unopened bottle of BBQ sauce can be stored in a dark, cool pantry. It can also be placed in the refrigerator, which will slow the growth of bacteria.
An open bottle of BBQ sauce has to be stored in the refrigerator. Every time you use it, put it back into the refrigerator immediately. This will keep it fresh longer, and slow the potential growth of bacteria.
When using the sauce, proper handling of it is vital for prolonging its life. Avoid contaminating it with any potential bacteria. Keep the cover on, when not using it. Avoid putting utensils in it that have touched anything else. Always use clean utensils for each condiment. When working with raw meat always wash your hands, this will help you avoid potentially contaminating the sauce.
Proper food storage is important in preventing a foodborne illness. Knowing when something has started to go bad and when to avoid using it, is just as important. Most products come with a shelf life, determined by a number of factors. A major determining factor is proper storage; this is the only way to ensure that the product will last in good condition. If you are unsure if your BBQ sauce has gone bad, it is best to stay on the safe side and avoid using it.