How Long Does BBQ Sauce Last? 

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Planned the whole menu for the barbecue party but only have that rusty bottle of BBQ sauce? Wondering whether it is safe to use or is expired? If you are dealing with all these questions, then you are at the right place. 

BBQ sauce

In this article, you will get all the answers related to its spoilage, storage, expiration date, and many more. 

BBQ sauce is known best for marinating chickens and is a much-needed ingredient for barbecue parties. This sauce just adds the needed smoky and tangy flavor with the undertones of sweetness. 

An opened bottle of BBQ sauce can last up to 1 month at room temperature and 5 to 6 months in the refrigerator. On the other hand, an unopened bottle of BBQ sauce can last up to 6 months after the expiry date both in the pantry and in the fridge. 

However, storing homemade BBQ sauce at room temperature is not recommended. You can store it in the fridge for 7 to 10 days. 

Here is everything you need to know about the shelf life of BBQ sauce, so whenever you use it next time, you don’t have to doubt whether it is good to use or not! Let’s dive right in. 

How Long Does BBQ Sauce Last?

BBQ sauce

If you are looking for a direct answer, check this table to know the shelf life of the BBQ sauce. 

Condition Room Temperature Refrigerator Freezer
Opened Bottle 1 month4 to 6 months1-year
Unopened BottleBest by or expiry date Best by or expiry date 1 year
Homemade Not recommended 7 to 10 days1 year

How Long Does Unopened BBQ Sauce Last?

The quality and shelf life of the BBQ sauce totally depends on how you store it. Properly storing and placing the sauce in a dry and cool area eventually helps extend the sauce’s shelf life. 

When kept at room temperature, BBQ sauce can last up to 12 to 18 months. The packed bottle comes with the best-by date that will also help you know whether it is good for consumption. 

How Long Does BBQ Sauce Last Once Opened? 

homemade bbq sauce

When we talk about an open bottle of BBQ sauce, we approach it in two ways. The first one is related to the pantry or room temperature, and the other is refrigeration. 

BBQ sauce can last for only 1 to 2 months in the pantry. If you want to extend its shelf life, then you must store it in dry and dark areas. You can also place it in the refrigerator. 

In addition to this, BBQ sauce generally lasts longer when refrigerated. It can last up to 4 to 6 months. Just follow the precautions while storing, and it is good to use!

However, the above-mentioned timeline is an approximate duration period at which BBQ sauce can retain its quality. Don’t forget to check the expiry date before using it in the recipes. 

How Long Does homemade BBQ Sauce Last?

Well, speaking of homemade BBQ sauce, the average shelf life is about 7 to 10 days. As already mentioned, the shelf life of this sauce largely depends on its storage. 

If you kept it in a dark and dry area, it might exist for a bit longer period. Do you know the best part? You can also freeze it. Just remember to squeeze out all the air from the bag while placing it in the freezer. 

Does BBQ sauce Need To Be Refrigerated? 

BBQ sauce

Yes, refrigerating the BBQ sauce will surely help in the extension of its shelf life. Placing it in the fridge will help it stay out of direct sunlight. 

An opened bottle of BBQ sauce can last for about 4 to 6 months, whereas an unopened bottle of BBQ sauce can last up to 6 months after its expiry date. 

Does BBQ sauce go Bad? 

The precise answer would be yes! BBQ sauce is prepared with natural herbs, liquids, and spices that will eventually degrade with passing time.

However, the presence of vinegar and lemon helps to retain its quality once opened. Thus, even once the bottle of BBQ sauce is opened, it maintains its quality for a few months if you refrigerate it. 

How To Tell If BBQ Sauce Is Bad, Rotten, Or Spoiled? 

BBQ sauce

Confused about how to check if BBQ sauce placed at the back of the cupboard is good for use or not? Here are the answers to all your questions. I have mentioned all the points that show the spoilage of the sauce. 

1. Too long storage period

If the life of the BBQ sauce extends the expiry date, then you must not use it further. You must discard the bottle as quickly as possible. 

2. Bacterial growth

If you notice any fuzzy growth inside the bottle, toss the sauce bottle away. It is unfit for consumption and causes food poisoning. 

3. Bad smell

You can also find out whether the sauce is spoiled or not just by sensing its smell. If you experience a foul, fermented, or moldy smell, you must stop using it. It is done for further use. 

4. Clearly separated water

The separation in the BBQ sauce is quite normal, but if you witness a layer of liquid over the top with a dense bottom, it is time to throw it away. 

5. Change in color

Looking for another alarming sign? What is the best sign other than the color of the sauce? If you observe that the sauce is much darker in appearance than its normal color, then you must not use it. 

6. Finding mold

Well, we all know that the presence of mold is a sign of spoilage. Moreover, you must never ignore this sign. The presence of mold just makes it unhealthy for consumption, and you must throw it away. 

7. Off-taste

If you are done with all the steps mentioned above and did not experience anything, then you probably have to taste it before using it in the recipe. 

Just take a spoon and taste a bit of it. If you see a change in its taste, then toss it away. 

How To Store BBQ Sauce To Extend Its Shelf Life?

BBQ sauce

Looking for some ways to extend the shelf life of the BBQ sauce. Well, you don’t have to take a long route to save this sauce from being spoiled. I have mentioned a few simple yet effective ways to increase the shelf life of BBQ sauce. 

1. Dark and Dry areas

Well, I advised you to store BBQ sauce in dark and dry areas away from the high temperature. Exposure to higher temperatures may spoil it. 

2. Properly sealed

If you once open the seal, then make sure you properly seal it after every use. This will surely cut the contact with oxygen. Try this easy and simplest way to extend its shelf life and original taste. 

3. Clean the cap 

After every use, do not forget to properly clean the cap and top of the sauce bottle. You might have noticed the crusty layer’s formation on the uncleaned bottle’s top. Well, isn’t it gross! So before this layer occurs, just clean the top with clean and moist paper. 

4. Place the bottle upside down.

Yes, you read this right. Just place the bottle upside down. By using this way, you will prevent air from entering the sauce bottle. Cutting down the contact with air eventually helps in the extension of its shelf life. 

5. Away From Oxygen

Make sure the sauce is away from contact with oxygen, as it might alter its taste. Exposure to air will lead to the spoilage of the sauce. 

6. Place it in the refrigerator or freezer.

Once you have opened the bottle, you must keep it in the fridge. In addition, if you do not have this sauce within 3 to 4 days, you can freeze it. Use a freezer bag or any freezer-safe container. You can store it in this for about 3 months.

7. Mason Jar

Just do not pour the leftover BBQ sauce back into the bottle. Some of us might have this habit of doing this, but it will eventually spoil the rest of the sauce. Use a large mason jar to save the leftovers. 

Tips for preserving BBQ Sauce

apricot bbq sauce

Now you are aware of the signs of spoilage of the BBQ sauce, let’s zone in and learn about a few necessary tips. Keep reading, so whenever you next use BBQ sauce, you will not be worried about its storage. 

  • Check on the expiry date prescribed by the company.
  • Place sauce in the fridge or freezer.
  • Keep the BBQ sauce away from direct sunlight and warm temperatures. 
  • Use large mason jars to store the leftovers.
  • Clean the cap and the top of the bottle clean. 
  • Place it away from contact with air.


This article provides a nice and elaborative explanation of how long BBQ sauce lasts. Not only this, but I have also covered the various minor aspects related to this topic. 

If you want its lifespan retained, you must store it properly. I hope I have answered all your questions so whenever you find that dusty bottle of BBQ sauce in the pantry, you know what to do! 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it important to store BBQ sauce in the fridge?

Yes, it is important to store BBQ sauce in the fridge. Once you have opened the bottle, you must keep it in the fridge. In addition, if you are not going to have this sauce within 3 to 4 days, you can also freeze it. 

How to check whether BBQ sauce is spoiled or not? 

If there is any mold, change in appearance, liquid texture on the top, foul smell, and too sour a taste, it’s time to discard it. 

How to store BBQ sauce to extend its shelf life?

You can extend the shelf life of the BBQ sauce just by placing it out of the reach of direct sunlight, a freezer, a fridge, and dark and dry places. 

Does BBQ sauce go bad? 

Yes, BBQ sauce does go bad after a certain period. This sauce is prepared with natural herbs, liquids, and spices that will eventually degrade with the passing of time. 

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