I always refrigerate any hot sauce after opening.
My uncle worked for 30 years for Heinz and he said that people ruin ketchup by refrigerating it. It kills the preservative action of the vinegar and salt. He never did.
thanks for your reply. just curious -- is that b/c you fear it will go 'bad' otherwise? i find it so odd that they don't label it as something that should be refrigerated, but so many people to opt for cold storage.
I'm not sure of the exact chemistry, but I've found that many sauces have an "off" taste when left out for any length of time.
For a manufactured product, if it needs to be refrigerated, it will say so. Items that have been canned (as in "put up"), typically need to be refrigerated after opening. But many things don't need to be - we are in the habit of storing many items in the fridge that don't have to be taking up space in there.
thanks again, inpatskitchen. i've read in few places that folks find these sauces tend to go darker in color if not refrigerated...but that's not necessarily the same as getting an 'off' taste. i should do a comparison with my shelf-stored half-used bottle alongside a brand new one to see how they match up. and latsocana, thanks....that's been my sense that people tend to use the fridge more than is needed.
pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.
I do refrigerate sriracha myself. But most restaurants don't. Just think of the Heinz ketchup bottle on the table at the diner or that little bottle of tabasco. Vinegar and peppers do inhibit spoilage, but not forever.
Might depend how quickly you go through the stuff. If you want to keep it around for a year, I'd refrigerate it. That said, I had my first bottle of fish sauce for years, and even moved it cross country (what can I say, I was young and very broke back then) and never refrigerated it, although fish sauce bottles now recommend refrigeration.
I have a big bottle of sriracha that has been in the pantry at least two years and is fine. It is significantly darker than the new bottle that I just bought but the flavors are the same.
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Pierino, while the ketchup sitting on the diner table indicates it's fine to sit out, they also probably go through a bottle a day on most diner tables.
That said, a few years ago I looked over the Heinz bottle and found that indeed, nowhere does it say "refrigerate after opening"... and so I didn't. 2 years later and I'm still alive. Same with the Annie's ketchup that my wife prefers.
Maybe most relevant to this specific question, there's a BBQ place in DC called Rocklands with a big wall of maybe 100 open bottles of different hot sauces you can add to your BBQ. It's been that way since at least 1993. While certainly some go fast, there are also some bottles there (like Dave's Insanity Sauce) that likely sit open for at least a year before they're used up.
So far? They're still in business. ;-)
I keep the sriracha in the fridge. Better safe than sorry, and since I buy the industrial size bottle, it lasts for a while... though not nearly as long as you might think.
Re: ketchup - as a waitress at a bar/restaurant during college, a standard chore we had to do if 'opening' was refilling salt/pepper shakers, sugar dispensers and the Heinz ketchup bottles on every table - from huge pump bottles kept in the walk-in. So, while those bottles sat out on the tables without refrigeration - most of the actual ketchup in them did not. A place serving burgers/fries goes through it very quickly.
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I do. Call me OCD. Been called worse.
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