Is the cupboard really the right place?
Sriracha is one of the most popular hot sauces on the planet. Likely you’ve got one sitting in the cupboard right now. But is that the right place for it to be? Does Sriracha need to be refrigerated, or is it ok for it to stay in the cupboard, even after it has been opened?
The short answer is no it does not need to be refrigerated, but there are some things to keep in mind that’ll help you understand Sriracha and other hot sauces too.
It takes a lot for hot sauces to spoil.
Take a look at our post: Does Hot Sauce Go Bad? The core of it – the capsaicin in the hot peppers (the compound that makes chili peppers hot), along with the acidic vinegar-base of most hot sauces, kill bacteria. So even opened hot sauce bottles tend to last a long time simply in a cupboard – within reason. The fancier the ingredients in a hot sauce (mustards, fruits, etc.), the greater the chance of them going bad when not refrigerated.
So what are the ingredients in Sriracha?
Sriracha is pretty simple. Here’s a full Sriracha ingredients breakdown, but in short, it contains red jalapeño, garlic, vinegar, sugar, and salt, along with thickening agents and preservatives. That’s a very simple hot sauce, so it can last months – even years – opened in a cupboard without concern. So no need to refrigerate Sriracha.
You will see a color and a taste change over time.
That’s to be expected with all hot sauces. As the ingredients age, they’ll change color. The chili peppers also increase in potency as they age, so the bottle may be slightly hotter a few months down the road. Refrigeration may slow down these processes, but if you tend to use your Sriracha a lot, it’s really unnecessary. It’ll be gone before you see a difference.