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How Long Do Condiments Last? A Definitive Guide

Wondering if your condiments really expire? Use this guide on how long condiments last to decide what can stay and what needs to go—whether it's mayo, mustard or miso.

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Mayonnaise in a glass jar with a spoon on white wooden boards.sasha2109/Shutterstock

What’s the Shelf Life of Mayonnaise?

  • Unopened: 3 months at room temperature
  • After opening: 2 months in the fridge

Tangy and sweet, mayo is delicious on a BLT sandwich, in your deviled eggs, and in chicken or egg salad recipes. With so many delicious uses, you’ll probably use it up long before you have to wonder: How long does mayo last for? Or, does mayo go bad?

Before it’s opened, a jar of mayo will last in the pantry for about three months. If you just opened a jar, know that it should be stored in the refrigerator and used within two months. However, if you make homemade mayonnaise, it will last only up to a week in the fridge—so make plans to use it all up before then.

If you like mayo, you should try aioli, too. It’s very similar to mayonnaise, but it always includes garlic and often another flavor, like Sriracha or roasted red pepper. Aioli typically has the same shelf life as homemade mayo.

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BBQ Sauce in Measuring CupMichelle Lee Photography/Shutterstock

How Long Does Barbecue Sauce Last?

  • Unopened: 12 months at room temperature
  • After opening: 4 months in the fridge, 1 month at room temperature

Whether it’s smoky and sweet or hot and spicy, you can store an unopened bottle of barbecue sauce in your pantry for up to a year. Once opened, it’ll keep in the pantry for another month, or in the refrigerator for four months. Go ahead and stock up on the best barbecue sauce brands, or try your hand at one of our favorite barbecue sauce recipes.

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Pouring aromatic honey into jar, closeupAfrica Studio/Shutterstock

How Long Does Honey Last?

  • Honey doesn’t expire!

Believe it or not, honey doesn’t expire as long as it’s stored correctly. Keep that sealed jar of honey in the pantry until you’re ready to enjoy it. Once opened, honey can stay in the pantry; just make sure to screw the lid back on tightly. If you notice your honey is forming crystals, it’s still perfectly safe to eat. Discover surprising ways to cook with honey.

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Spicy Hot Organic Red Buffalo Saucebhofack2/Getty Images

How Long Does Hot Sauce Last?

  • Unopened: 3 to 4 years at room temperature
  • After opening: 1 to 2 years in the fridge, 6 months in the pantry

Given its spicy ingredients, hot sauce has a super-long shelf life. Before it’s opened, hot sauce can hang out in the pantry for three to four years. An open bottle of hot sauce can be stored in the pantry for six months or in the refrigerator (where it will remain fresher) for one to two years. Check out our ultimate guide to hot sauces to figure out which sauce is best for you.

Otherwise, learn how to make homemade hot sauce if you have a bumper crop of hot peppers.

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Hummus dip with chickpea, pita and parsley in wooden plate on white backgroundDannko/Getty Images

How Long Does Hummus Last?

  • Unopened: Until the best-by date in the fridge
  • After opening: 7 days in the fridge

Whether served with pita chips or chopped vegetables, hummus is a convenient and healthy treat. Store packaged hummus in the refrigerator, unopened, until the “best-by” date printed on the side. After opening, hummus is best used within a week.

Our Test Kitchen’s favorite homemade hummus recipe also lasts in the fridge for up to a week. We’ve also got a guide to making homemade hummus, if you prefer to follow along with directions step by step.

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Croissants with blueberry jamchas53/Getty Images

How Long Is Jam Good For?

  • Unopened: 3 years at room temperature
  • After opening: 6 to 12 months in the fridge

Jams, jellies and preserves will remain fresh for up to three years before being opened. After opening, these sweet spreads should be used 6 to 12 months when stored in the refrigerator. By the way, this is the difference between jam, jelly and other preserves when you’re sifting through our best jam and jelly recipes.

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fresh tomato ketchup in dishneil langan/Shutterstock

How Long Does Ketchup Last?

  • Unopened: 1 year at room temperature
  • After opening: 6 months in the fridge

Did you know that the average American eats 71 pounds of ketchup annually? That’s a lot of tomatoes! An open bottle of ketchup should be used within six months if stored in the refrigerator or one year if stored, unopened, in the pantry. This same timeline applies to cocktail sauce. If you make homemade ketchup, it will last in the fridge for up to one week.

You can also make banana ketchup, which is just a bit sweeter than regular ketchup, although you can still serve it with hot dogs and french fries.

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Wholegrain mustard in a jar on a tableStefan Tomic/Getty Images

How Long Does Mustard Last?

  • Unopened: 2 years at room temperature
  • After opening: 1 year in the fridge

Perfect as a hot dog topper or pretzel dipper, mustard has a great shelf life. Keep unopened mustard in your pantry for about two years. An open jar can be stored for one year in the refrigerator.

These are our favorite recipes to make with mustard, and a homemade classic mustard recipe if you want to go the extra mile for your cookout. You can learn how to make dijon mustard from scratch, too.

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Fresh Salad Dressing with Rosemary, Garlic and LemonBURCU ATALAY TANKUT/Getty Images

How Long Does Salad Dressing Last?

  • Unopened: 1 year at room temperature
  • After opening: 3 months in the fridge

We can’t be the only ones with at least four different varieties of store-bought salad dressing open at the same time, right? Ranch dressing is one we have stocked no matter what. Salad dressing should be stored in the refrigerator and used within three months of opening. Before they’re opened, you can store those bottles at room temperature for a year.

These are the healthiest salad dressings you can buy. Otherwise, these homemade salad dressings are just as delicious. (They expire after two weeks in the fridge, by the way.)

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sriracha in a bowl with a spoon and peppers around itRoberta Lazar/Getty Images

How Long Does Sriracha Last?

  • Unopened: 2 years past the best-by date at room temperature 
  • After opening: 2 years in the fridge, 6 months at room temperature

The uber popular hot sauce goes with practically anything—eggs, chicken, rice, pork, noodles, sandwiches, wings and so much more. It’s made with chiles, sugar, salt, garlic, vinegar, although the exact recipe varies by manufacturer. In fact, it’s is top secret at Huy Fong Foods, the cult-favorite Sriracha company.

Before opening, Sriracha should last for two years past the best-by date in the pantry. Once you open it, you can choose to store it in the fridge for up to two years, if you have room. Otherwise, room temperature works just fine for six months. Keep in mind that the sauce may darken a bit, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gone bad.

Learn more about what goes into Sriracha—and then don’t hesitate to make every one of these recipes with Sriracha.

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Homemade yogurt or sour cream in a rustic bowl; Shutterstock ID 369768824Fortyforks/Shutterstock

What Is the Average Shelf Life of Sour Cream?

  • Unopened: Until the best-by date in the fridge 
  • After opening: 1 to 3 weeks in the fridge

Whether used as a creamy dip or a topping for a baked potato, sour cream is a versatile condiment. After opening a container of sour cream, store it in the refrigerator and use it up within one to three weeks.

These recipes are better with a dollop of sour cream.

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Chopsticks and soy sauce on black stone plate, wooden background with copy spaceMykola Sosiukin/Getty Images

How Long Does Soy Sauce Last?

  • Unopened: Indefinitely at room temperature
  • After opening: 3 years in the fridge

This condiment—made from fermented soybeans and wheat—is a popular marinade ingredient that adds a delicious umami flavor. When unopened, soy sauce can be kept in your pantry indefinitely. An open bottle of soy sauce can be stored for three years in the refrigerator.

Keep our Test Kitchen’s picks for the best soy sauce brands in mind next time you’re at the store, then put that bottle to work in one of these recipes with soy sauce.

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Homemade canned spaghetti sauceTMB studio

How Long Can You Keep Pasta Sauce?

  • Unopened: 2 years at room temperature
  • After opening: 4 days in the fridge

Spaghetti is one of our favorite easy weeknight dinners, and with this recipe you can really plan ahead. A jar of store-bought pasta sauce lasts in your pantry for two years. After opening a jar, it should be stored in the refrigerator and used within four days.

There are so many marinara sauce options out there—so find out which are our Test Kitchen’s favorite spaghetti sauce brands to help you narrow it down. We’ve also got a great homemade canned spaghetti sauce recipe, too—that is, if you’ve got 80 tomatoes to use up.

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Japanese Miso Paste with Wooden Spoon.alpaksoy/Getty Images

How Long Does Miso Last?

  • Unopened: 1 year at room temperature
  • After opening: 3 to 12 months in the fridge

Made with fermented soybeans, miso paste can be put to use in so much more than miso soup. It’s also perfect for ramen and in dressings and marinades. Unopened, miso paste will keep in the pantry for up to a year. Once you open it, it will continue to ferment—so for best taste, consume it sooner than later. Eating this essential Japanese ingredient within three months is best, but it may last up to a year in the fridge.

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Cropped hand of woman lifting spoon of tahini out of jarTanika Tavares/Getty Images

What’s the Shelf Life of Tahini?

  • Unopened: 6 months after the best-by date at room temperature
  • After opening: 1 year at room temperature, 3 weeks in the fridge

This sesame seed-based condiment is a staple in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. An unopened jar will likely last six months past the best-by date if stored in cool and dry conditions. Once open, tahini can be stored for one year in the pantry or for three weeks in the refrigerator.

After you try it, tahini will quickly become a regularly stocked condiment in your pantry. Branch out with these other condiments to try, like chili crisp, zhoug sauce and harissa.

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Pineapple Chutney With CrackersLauriPatterson/Getty Images

How Long Does Chutney Last?

  • Unopened: 1 year at room temperature
  • After opening: 2 months in the fridge

Whether it’s mango, pineapple or another flavor, unopened chutney can stay in your cupboard for up to a year. After the jar has been opened, store the chutney in your fridge for up to two months. Use chutney to top your favorite Indian recipes.

By the way, chutney is different than relish. Chutney is typically thicker than relish, although relish has more of a crunchy bite since the ingredients aren’t cooked down as much.

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Worcestershire sauce in dishneil langan/Shutterstock

What’s the Shelf Life of Worcestershire Sauce?

  • Unopened: 1-1/2 to 3 years at room temperature
  • After opening: 3 years in the fridge

Hard to say, but easy to store. It lasts up to three years unopened in the pantry. Keep an open bottle of Worcestershire sauce for up to three years in the refrigerator.

This is the correct way to pronounce Worcestershire.

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Prepared Horseradish And Horseradish RootsDebbiSmirnoff/Getty Images

How Long Does Horseradish Last?

  • Unopened: A few months after the best-by date at room temperature
  • After opening: 3 months in the fridge

Horseradish often comes “prepared”—grated and combined with vinegar and sugar—in a bottle or jar that makes it easily spreadable on your favorite sandwich. It’s different than horseradish sauce, which is prepared horseradish combined with cream, that makes it not so pungent.

Before opening, it should last at room temperature for a few months past the best-by date. Horseradish is better fresher, and once opened, it will start losing some of its bite. Try to finish off the jar within three months, keeping it in the fridge in the meantime.

If you’re curious, here’s how to make homemade prepared horseradish. Check out more of our homemade condiment recipes while you’re at it.

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Sauce Sachets On Green BackgroundMark Weiss/Getty Images

How Long Do Condiment Packets Last?

Just about everyone has a smattering of condiment packets from fast food joints in their pantry. Here’s how long each of these packets last:

  • Indefinitely: Honey, salt and sugar
  • 4 years: Vinegar, hot sauces and pepper
  • 3 years: Jam and jelly
  • 2 years: Parmesan, soy sauce, mustard, oil and taco sauce
  • 1 year: Barbecue sauce, tartar sauce, mayo, ketchup, relish and salad dressing

If you’re not sure when you got a condiment, check to see if there is a “best-by” date on the packet. If not, open it up and see if it smells or looks off. It’s always better to err on the side of caution. Did you know there are foods you can keep past the expiration date?

Next Up: Learn about how long food lasts in the fridge.

Susan Bronson
Susan Bronson is a writer and editor based in Northern Wisconsin.