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  #1  
Old 05-19-2008, 06:34 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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Does hot sauce go bad?

I often buy ingrdients to try in a recipe and use only a little of the bottle, saving the rest for later. I have this bottle of "Firey Louisiana Hot Sauce" that I bought long ago - about 10 years ago, I guess, used a little of, didn't refrigerate, and hadn't thought of until coming across an interesting recipe today. Is it bad? Even if it won't make me sick, has it lost its potency/flavor or has being closed tightly preserved that even after so long?
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2008, 06:48 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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In my experience, hot sauce doesn't go rancid and doesn't lose its heat, but it does lose its flavor. For some of the potent watery-consistency ones like Tabasco this wouldn't be much of a concern, but for the more saucelike ones like Sriracha (aka rooster sauce), they lose some of their color and the other-than-burny flavors. Also the condensation from the fridge tends to thin them out.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:58 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Crap. I bought some Habenero sauces when I was in Mexico about ten years ago. When I used the green sauce my dogs would not come within 2 feet of a chili bowl. Last year I threw them out because I had them so long.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:01 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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I have a fair size collection of hot sauces, collected over the years. I've found that they tend to seperate, as well as lose their distinct flavors. Past about 3 years, chuck it and buy a fresh bottle. Of course, if you can't use up a bottle in three years, you ain't tryin'!
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  #5  
Old 05-19-2008, 07:04 PM
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I've found that hot sauces, over time, do in fact lose heat. They just don't seem to pack the same punch. At any rate, they are chock full of preservatives. I don't think I've ingested a hot sauce that was ten years old, but I doubt it would make you sick. It may be so bland, however, that it wouldn't be worth eating anyway.
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  #6  
Old 05-19-2008, 07:13 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is online now
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When hot sauce goes bad, it becomes all... fresh and minty.
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  #7  
Old 05-19-2008, 07:20 PM
eldowan eldowan is offline
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I want to say many hot sauces ( I know tabasco) the main ingredienct are peppers, vinegar, and salt.

I'm betting that they wouldn't go *bad* but maybe just not so tasty, as the above poster has said.
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  #8  
Old 05-19-2008, 07:50 PM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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IME, if a bottle of Tabasco has been in the fridge for so long that it's gone from the original bright red that matches the bottle cap to a pale tan, it's pretty bland. Between the vinegar and salt, there's really not much worry about spoilage.

Something like chili oil, OTOH, can last a long time in the fridge and not lose a significant level of kick. The oil can go rancid if it's left in a warm area for a long time, but against the capsaicin, it might be difficult to tell.
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  #9  
Old 05-19-2008, 09:26 PM
jasonh300 jasonh300 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords
IME, if a bottle of Tabasco has been in the fridge for so long that it's gone from the original bright red that matches the bottle cap to a pale tan, it's pretty bland. Between the vinegar and salt, there's really not much worry about spoilage.
I've noticed that Tabasco turns to tan or brown after about a year, even it it's unopened and kept out of the light, but IME, refrigerating Tabasco ruins it almost immediately. I'm not sure why, but I consume a lot of Tabasco and a bottle accidentally got put in the fridge and it never tasted right again.
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  #10  
Old 05-19-2008, 09:32 PM
GameHat GameHat is offline
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The taste does go kind of wonky. The high levels of vinegar in the stuff though (acetic acid, really) does seem to keep nasty bugs from growing in it.
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  #11  
Old 05-19-2008, 09:40 PM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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I have rarely had a bottle of hot sauce last long enough to be in any danger of going bad. Those that do generally were not very good hot sauces.

::pours another 1/4 teaspoon of Blair's Mega Death onto NY-deli fried egg on roll with bacon and cheddar cheese::
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  #12  
Old 05-19-2008, 10:20 PM
Hi, Neighbor! Hi, Neighbor! is offline
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Many of you have been mentioning keeping hot sauce in the fridge. All my sauces are in the cupboard along with seasonings and spices. Is it best to keep them cold?
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  #13  
Old 05-19-2008, 10:22 PM
lizardling lizardling is offline
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If there's mold in it, it's gone off. I had a jar of rooster sauce that did that.
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  #14  
Old 05-19-2008, 10:51 PM
MadTheSwine MadTheSwine is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3
I have rarely had a bottle of hot sauce last long enough to be in any danger of going bad. Those that do generally were not very good hot sauces.

:ours another 1/4 teaspoon of Blair's Mega Death onto NY-deli fried egg on roll with bacon and cheddar cheese::
I get 10 or 15 bottles for xmas every year and the same for my BD, which is in May,I always end up buying more to get me by.
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  #15  
Old 05-19-2008, 10:52 PM
elelle elelle is offline
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As said just a bit above, how can you have a bottle of hot sauce that lasts long enough to get bad???? From my life in MSPI/LA, you just ain't eating right.
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  #16  
Old 05-19-2008, 10:55 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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I had a Tabasco bottle spontaneously explode on a restaurant table next to me. To be fair, it was sitting in the sunlight.

Speckled hot sauce everywhere.
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  #17  
Old 05-19-2008, 11:14 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?
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  #18  
Old 05-19-2008, 11:16 PM
Musicat Musicat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?
Ever been to Mexico, son?
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  #19  
Old 05-19-2008, 11:24 PM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?
In Lousiana (where I'm originally from), it's always on the table like ketchup and gets use about as liberally. It's common to use on eggs in the morning, for instance. I still keep a few varieties of hot sauce on hand and put them on practically anything.
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  #20  
Old 05-20-2008, 12:28 AM
lizardling lizardling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat
Ever been to Mexico, son?
Or to Asia. Hot will raise you there.

(Here in Seattle, they don't believe in hot sauce. Even the "habanero" sauce at one fine Mexican dining establishment was what I'd call 'medium', not 'shitfire'. But then, I'm SE Asian + Texas raised)

I blame the incident of the mold on a suspicious fridge that has since been liberally scrubbed with Clorox.

Back to the questions that have been asked -- I've always kept my condiments in the fridge as my mother does. And when eating home food (read: Asian), the hot sauce gets sprinkled on top or globbed onto the side to dip forkfuls into.
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  #21  
Old 05-20-2008, 12:41 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?
Condiment. Ingredient. Lubricant. Whatever. I put hot sauce on ice cream, for Ghu's sake.

Crystal Sauce gets shaken on crackers for a snack. Pickapeppa gets poured on cream cheese as a dip. Death Sauce gets slathered on meats. There is a sauce for every mood. Everything goes better with capsaicin.
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  #22  
Old 05-20-2008, 12:49 AM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?
It's not even just a "South" thing. Around here, lots of ethnic restaurants will have an array of heat on the table - different flavors of Tabasco, Crystal, Cholula, chili oil, Sriracha, home-made salsas, etc. (We have a lot of eths, and it seems like most of them like it hot!)
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2008, 12:50 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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If you've grown up with it, or if you become addicted to to later in life, it starts to seem like food doesn't have any taste if it doesn't have some kind of heat.
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  #24  
Old 05-20-2008, 01:08 AM
ToeJam ToeJam is offline
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I'd say Yes.
Because I've had the little packets of Taco Bell Hot/Mild/Fire Sauce for so long those things have gone rancid before.

It's not "real" hot sauce. But still, I was impressed that the little packets went bad. Though it took like several years and all, but still.
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  #25  
Old 05-20-2008, 01:56 AM
Santo Rugger Santo Rugger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic
If you've grown up with it, or if you become addicted to to later in life, it starts to seem like food doesn't have any taste if it doesn't have some kind of heat.
I was thinking this same thought the other day. I'm wondering if I've ruined my tastebuds for good.

Case in point:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?
My mom got mad at me at dinner tonight because I took the inside cap out of the garlic habanero sauce at the restaurant. In other words, yes.
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  #26  
Old 05-20-2008, 02:15 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat
Ever been to Mexico, son?
No, that's why I'm asking.
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  #27  
Old 05-20-2008, 02:20 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diogenes the Cynic
If you've grown up with it, or if you become addicted to to later in life, it starts to seem like food doesn't have any taste if it doesn't have some kind of heat.
interesting - I would have thought that if you put hot sauce on everything, everything starts to taste the same.
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  #28  
Old 05-20-2008, 05:42 AM
AHunter3 AHunter3 is offline
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Naah, it's like salt, it brings out the natural flavors of the food.

And in hot weather, it kicks your taste buds and wakes them up so that you can taste. And paradoxically cuts a hole in the "damn, the weather is hot today" sensation and lets you cool off.
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  #29  
Old 05-20-2008, 06:26 AM
Lissla Lissar Lissla Lissar is offline
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Northern Piper, I'm a Canadian, and I am firmly attached to my bottle of Sriracha. It's wonderful stuff on almost everything.
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  #30  
Old 05-20-2008, 10:01 AM
TheLoadedDog TheLoadedDog is offline
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Never been able to keep a bottle long enough to find out.

I love anything hot. It's hard because people think you're a wanker when you say that, but years of living in a Vietnamese household pretty much iron-plated my tastebuds. I don't do the macho stuff some SE Asian guys do (ostentatiously eating whole extra hot chillies) but I've been known to take a small swig of Tabasco while I'm cooking - just for the pleasure of the taste. Tabasco has a lovely and unique flavour, but it ain't hot. I use Sriracha for most stuff because it has a unique ability to blend well in both Asian and Western food (I use it in Italian cooking), but that's not 'hot' either. If I need more heat, I'll just add finely sliced fresh chilli to the mix of whatever it is.
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  #31  
Old 05-20-2008, 10:06 AM
silenus silenus is offline
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There's a hot sauce thread over here people might want to consult.
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  #32  
Old 05-20-2008, 10:06 AM
bump bump is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?

Generally, yeah, it's a sort of all-purpose condiment.

I've eaten it on the usual Cajun/Creole dishes, some Mexican food (tacos primarily), and with some Asian dishes.

Beyond the places you'd expect it to be eaten, I frequently eat it on:
  • Pizza
  • Vegetable soup
  • Pot roast
  • Barbecue
  • Fried Chicken
  • Sandwiches
  • Fried shrimp
  • Various and sundry other dishes I'm not remembering at the moment.
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  #33  
Old 05-20-2008, 10:36 AM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Musicat
Ever been to Mexico, son?
The USA has vastly, vastly more choices and variety of hot sauces than Mexico ever has. And we probably have more of a hot sauce culture than Mexico does. If you want to talk about fresh salsas, though, well, that's a different thing.

Anyway, I'm from the north. If there's no fresh salsa available, I'll use hot sauce on most anything that needs seasoning. Of course that's a habit I picked up when I was in the military where (a) nothing's seasoned, and (b) there's lot more southern culture than northern culture in the military.
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  #34  
Old 05-20-2008, 10:44 AM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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Originally Posted by lizardling
Here in Seattle, they don't believe in hot sauce.
Have you met the man?
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  #35  
Old 05-20-2008, 11:15 AM
Diogenes the Cynic Diogenes the Cynic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bump
Generally, yeah, it's a sort of all-purpose condiment.

I've eaten it on the usual Cajun/Creole dishes, some Mexican food (tacos primarily), and with some Asian dishes.

Beyond the places you'd expect it to be eaten, I frequently eat it on:
  • Pizza
  • Vegetable soup
  • Pot roast
  • Barbecue
  • Fried Chicken
  • Sandwiches
  • Fried shrimp
  • Various and sundry other dishes I'm not remembering at the moment.
Spaghetti, mac and cheese, burgers, ramen noodles. There's a hot sauce for anything. I like sriracha on hotdogs.
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  #36  
Old 05-20-2008, 11:45 AM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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I had an encounter with a bottle of funny tasting Tabasco that had gone a real funny orange brown color that caused massive evacuations of all digestive systems about an hour after eating it, but that could have been the double bacon pizza too.
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  #37  
Old 05-20-2008, 01:38 PM
Iggins Iggins is offline
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Originally Posted by Cervaise
Have you met the man?
You can't handle the man!

(I was the only one in my group who would try it... )
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  #38  
Old 05-20-2008, 01:42 PM
Cervaise Cervaise is offline
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I asked for extra. Everybody in my group laughed at me, and I did cry a bit, but I ate the whole thing.
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  #39  
Old 05-20-2008, 02:08 PM
cornflakes cornflakes is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lizardling
But then, I'm SE Asian + Texas raised....
Few here have stronger credentials in their area of expertise.
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  #40  
Old 05-20-2008, 02:38 PM
butler1850 butler1850 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bump

Beyond the places you'd expect it to be eaten, I frequently eat it on:
Add macaroni & cheese to this list. It's amazing there.

Even northerners can get good hot sauces now, you just have to look around a little. Of course, I make my own as well as buying interesting bottles, so it's a bit of an obsession at my house.
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  #41  
Old 05-20-2008, 03:14 PM
Angel of the Lord Angel of the Lord is offline
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My dad's used ten-year old bottles of Louisiana Hot Sauce when making gumbo, with no ill effects.

My mom, however, once got *amazingly* violently ill off of ten year-old horseradish.
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  #42  
Old 05-20-2008, 05:21 PM
eldowan eldowan is offline
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gotpasswords: Cholula.
Diogenes the Cynic: Sriracha.

Are there any two other sauces that are nearly so good?

You both seem to eat well, and tasty. Kudos to your tastebuds.
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  #43  
Old 05-20-2008, 06:16 PM
lizardling lizardling is offline
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Originally Posted by cornflakes
Few here have stronger credentials in their area of expertise.
Hey, cool. I finally have Doper cred for *something*.
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  #44  
Old 05-20-2008, 06:20 PM
lizardling lizardling is offline
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Originally Posted by Cervaise
Have you met the man?
I have not, mainly because I generally don't gravitate toward meat as my first choice (but when I do, I want the thing still mooing on my plate. Go figure. I'm a split personality there, I guess).
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  #45  
Old 05-20-2008, 06:42 PM
jasonh300 jasonh300 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?
In Louisiana, it goes on EVERYTHING! In the recipe and then again at the table.
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  #46  
Old 05-20-2008, 09:48 PM
Balthisar Balthisar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by butler1850
Even northerners can get good hot sauces now, you just have to look around a little.
Huh? Just go to any supermarket. Even something as lowbrow as Kroger has about 30 different hot sauces. They even have bona fide Chalula and El Yucateco.
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  #47  
Old 05-20-2008, 10:11 PM
stockton stockton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonzomax
Crap. I bought some Habenero sauces when I was in Mexico about ten years ago. When I used the green sauce my dogs would not come within 2 feet of a chili bowl. Last year I threw them out because I had them so long.
Did you ever get any new dogs to replace them?
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  #48  
Old 05-20-2008, 10:23 PM
levdrakon levdrakon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper
May I interrupt with a question from the Great White North? what do you folks use hot sauce for? as a condiment? The only thing I use it for is as an ingredient in certain recipes, bloody marys, and so on. But never straight from the bottle onto food - is that common down south?
Hm. From the north, eh? Well, do you use butter? I guess it's sorta like how you guys use butter, and everything tastes like butter.

Personally, I'd rather have a different hot sauce on each of my foods than butter on all my foods.

I met this one guy from the north who would put butter on his hamburger. I couldn't believe it. I would put hot sauce on my burger, though.
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  #49  
Old 05-20-2008, 11:33 PM
The Tao's Revenge The Tao's Revenge is offline
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It can spoil, I used to have a bottle of Dave's Insanity Sauce. After about a year mold grew in it at the top. I used it in regular cooking. Till one day this greenish white fur was at the top.

I wasn't sure whether to throw it out or worship that mold like the god it must be to survive in such a hostile environment. I ended up throwing it out in a respectful manor.
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  #50  
Old 05-21-2008, 02:52 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Tao's Revenge
I wasn't sure whether to throw it out or worship that mold like the god it must be to survive in such a hostile environment. I ended up throwing it out in a respectful manor.
I hope you didn't have to go too far.
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