Spring is here and folks, it is time to clean! I’m not talking about the dust bunnies in the corners, either. I’m talking about those condiments that you have got to get rid of.
It’s time to take stock of your pantry and toss the stuff you’ve had hanging around for way too long because, believe it or not, condiments do expire.
Here we’re going to take a look at some of the most common condiments people keep their homes stocked with, and how long they should actually be kept before being pitched.
When condiments expire
Ketchup. Some people believe that ketchup lasts forever. It doesn’t. You shouldn’t keep an unopened bottle of ketchup for longer than twelve months. Opened in the refrigerator, it will keep for six months. I would not recommend keeping an open bottle of ketchup in the pantry. If your ketchup takes on a brownish tinge, it’s not good anymore. Throw it away.
Barbecue sauce. An unopened jar of barbecue sauce shouldn’t be kept longer than twelve months in the pantry. When it’s open, keep it for up to four months in the fridge. If it looks or smells funny at any time, toss it.
Mustard. Mustard has a longer shelf life than ketchup and barbecue sauce. You can safely keep it in the pantry unopened for two years. When it’s open in the fridge, it will stay good for a year. Like other condiments, if it looks or smells off, throw it out.
Relish. Like mustard, relish is okay in the pantry (unopened) for up to two years and it’s alright in the fridge, opened, for up to a year. Same rules apply to pickles. They’re safe for two years unopened in the pantry, and a year in the fridge after opening. Again, if it smells or looks weird, throw it away.
Chutney. Chutney will last for a month in the pantry unopened, and for a month or so in the fridge, after you’ve opened it. If it starts smelling strange, toss it.
Tartar sauce. Don’t keep tartar sauce in the pantry for more than a year. When you’ve opened it, keep it for up to six months in the refrigerator.
Homemade or fresh store-bought salsa. The world’s favorite condiment! Watch the dates on your salsa or better yet, make your own! Unopened, it will be okay in the fridge for ten days but watch the dates. After opening, eat it within a week. It can be frozen for a couple of months if you can’t get it eaten before it goes off.
Store-bought, unrefrigerated salsa. It can be kept for a year in the pantry unopened, or for up to a month in the fridge after you’ve opened it. The rules are different with this salsa because it’s been cooked, giving it a longer shelf life than its fresh counterpart.
Mayonnaise. If you have an unopened jar of mayo in the cupboard, don’t use it if it is more than three months past its sell-by date. If the jar of mayo in the fridge is two months past its sell-by date, don’t eat it.
Salad dressings (creamy & vinaigrette). Y’all know I don’t like it when you buy salad dressing instead of making it yourself, but if you must, don’t keep it in the pantry unopened for more than a year. Consume it within six months of opening (eat more salads!) and watch those best before dates.
Olives. Olives that are ripe and stored in oil will keep for two months in the refrigerator after they’ve been opened. That is only if you keep them submerged in their liquid after you’ve opened them. If you haven’t, keep an eye on them for a strange appearance. If they start looking odd, throw them away. Canned olives can be kept in the pantry for two or three years unopened. In the fridge, they’re okay for up to a year after opening if kept in their brine. Watch the date on the bottle.
Hot sauce. This stuff will last for a very, very long time. You can keep it around for around 5 years, even after it’s been opened and put in the refrigerator. This is a general rule. Watch for dates on the bottle and trust your nose if it starts to smell off.
Honey. No expiration date. It lasts forever. If it hardens or crystalizes, just submerge the jar in hot water.
Those are the most common condiments I can think of! Do you have any others you’re curious about? Let us know on our Facebook page!
PS–You can receive delicious menus (complete with shopping lists!) like this delivered right to your email inbox by subscribing to Dinner Answers today!