Does Hoisin Sauce Go Bad? – How Long It Lasts, How to Store, and More

Does Hoisin Sauce Go Bad, how long does it last?

Who doesn’t like a spicy and tantalizing bowl of Asian vegetable stir-fries? Its flavorful aroma and appealing taste are derived from Hoisin sauce, which is quite famous in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisines. If you have a bottle of Hoisin sauce but do not use it regularly, you might wonder about its quality after a certain period. But does it really go bad?

Like every other sauce, Hoisin sauce will also go bad and lose its quality. But you can preserve its taste and aroma for a long period with the right storage techniques.

Read along if that intrigues you, as the following article will highlight all the necessary details regarding the storage and shelf life of our beloved Hoisin sauce.

How Long Does Hoisin Sauce Last? 

As mentioned, every sauce comes with a shelf life, and it varies depending upon the ingredients used in preparing the sauce (the most common ingredients are red chili peppers, soybeans, fennel, and garlic.)

Besides, the shelf life of opened jars and the unopened jar is different.

How long does Hoisin Sauce last unopened?

A sealed and unopened jar of Hoisin Sauce comes with a shelf life of three years, especially if the vacuum seal’s integrity is maintained. However, the sauce may last longer than three years, but it may lose all its aromatic flavors.

How long does Hoisin Sauce last once opened?

The opened jar of Hoisin Sauce may last for 18 months if it is refrigerated continuously after opening. But, you must ensure to keep the lid of the jar closed while refrigerating to maintain the aromas and flavors intact for up to 18 months.

How long does Hoisin Sauce last at room temperature?

A commercially-sealed bottle of Hoisin sauce can last for up to 3 years at room temperature. While it might vary from the brand, storing it properly can go a long way in preserving your Hoisin sauce.

How Can You Tell if Hoisin Sauce Sauce Is Bad?

How Do You Know If the Hoisin Sauce Has Gone Bad

Hoisin Sauce may not be as common as other sauces in the house. As a result, consumers often fail to know when the Hoisin Sauce has gone bad. Here are a few tricks to know if Hoisin Sauce has really gone bad.

Presence of Mold

The very first sign that lets you know if Hoisin Sauce has really gone bad is the presence of mold. Yeast and mold are the common spoilage organisms because they react and cause changes in the smell, texture, appearance, and taste of Hoisin Sauce. Moreover, the mold and yeast feed themselves by creating chemical reactions, and as a result, it makes the Hoisin Sauce break down and gradually rot. As the sauce rots, the mold keeps growing, and finally, you will see it turning black. The tiny black dots are the spores that can help produce more mold.  


Sour Smell

The second common sign of spoilage is the sour smell of the sauce. It happens when the Hoisin Sauce undergoes the process of fermentation due to yeast infection. So, if the sauce tastes or smells sour, it indicates that the sauce has gone bad.


Rubbery Consistency

The 3rd most common sign of spoilage is the rubbery consistency of the Hoisin Sauce. So, if you see the consistency of the Hoisin Sauce is rubbery, it means the sauce has gone bad and is not good for consumption. It occurs when the water content of the sauce dries or when it dehydrates.


How long does Hoisin Sauce last in the refrigerator
Vs. Shelf Stable (Does hoisin sauce need to be refrigerated)

Does hoisin sauce need to be refrigerated

What happens to the Hoisin Sauce if it is not kept in the refrigerator usually depends on whether the sauce is exposed to the air or the jar is open. The sealed bottles never degrade quickly, while the open jar of Hoisin Sauce may start losing its flavor over time if not refrigerated.

Shelf Stable

Shelf Stable means storage of the Hoisin Sauce at room temperature in a sealed container without refrigerating it.

If you plan to consume the sauce in a span of two-three days, in such a case, it is absolutely fine to store it at room temperature in a sealed container. It won’t go bad in such a short duration. But, you must make sure to keep it in a cool and dry place at room temperature. 

On the other hand, if you want to save the sauce for the next serving in a week or month, then refrigeration is necessary to increase its life expectancy up to one-two month. But check spoilage before using.


Refrigerated Hoisin Sauce

The best way to store Hoisin Sauce is refrigeration as it maintains normal temperature and prevents it from spoilage.

According to Fine Cooking Magazine, Hoisin Sauce is required to be stored indefinitely in the refrigerator after the sealed jar is open. But, it would be best to store the sauce in an airtight plastic container. Refrigerated Hoisin Sauce is best for consumption, and it increases the shelf life while keeping the flavors intact.


Is It OK to Use Expired Hoisin Sauce? Can old hoisin sauce make you sick?

The unopened bottle of Hoisin Sauce may last for years without going bad if it is stored in cool and dry places. But, it doesn’t mean that it is safe to consume Hoisin Sauce after its expiration.

You must be wondering can expired tartar sauce makes you sick? If you eat any sauce after it is expired or spoiled, you may develop food poisoning signs, as per dietician and nutritionist Summer Yule, MS. The food poisoning symptoms may include stomach cramps, chills, fever, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.

The storage time mentioned on the jar of Hoisin Sauce is for best quality only. Thereafter, the texture, flavor, and color of the Hoisin Sauce may change. These are signs of spoilage, and it indicates that the sauce is not safe for consumption.


Can you Freeze Hoisin Sauce?

Even imperishable foods are refrigerated and kept in the freezer to extend their shelf life. In terms of Hoisin Sauce, it comes with a longer shelf life, and hence there is no requirement to freeze the sauce.

So, it is suggested that simple refrigeration is sufficient and good for the storage of Hoisin Sauce. You may also keep it in cool and dry places until the sauce bottle is unopened and sealed.

If you want, the Hoisin Sauce can be kept in the freezer. No side effects are associated with the frozen Hoisin Sauce. The sauce, condiments, and ingredients last longer and stay good in the freezer.

If the Hoisin Sauce is homemade and not bought from departmental stores, it is prescribed to freeze it to increase life expectancy and keep it good for long-term use.

Tips to Freeze Hoisin Sauce!

  • Take a non-metal airtight container.
  • Transfer the Hoisin Sauce into the container
  • Ensure the Hoisin Sauce is properly sealed in the airtight container
  • Place it into the freezer and freeze it for long-term use


How to Store Hoisin Sauce? 

What are the Best Ways to Store Hoisin Sauce


Hoisin Sauce is good for storage in places where the temperature is stable and not very hot or cool. As a result, the Hoisin Sauce will stay good without going bad. Here are some helpful tips for storing Hoisin Sauce.


Cool and Dry Places

Whether the Hoisin Sauce is opened or unopened, it is best to store the sauce in cool & dry places. The unopened jar of Hoisin Sauce tends to last for years without going bad when it is stored in cool and dry places.

When the lid is open, the ingredients of the Hoisin Sauce interact with air and hot temperature, and it may make the sauce go bad. The opened bottle of Hoisin Sauce is safe for storage at room temperature, especially if you intend to consume it in two-three days. But, for long-term use, it is best to refrigerate the sauce.


Away from Heat and Light Sources

Direct sunlight and heat make the Hoisin Sauce go bad quickly. So, ensure to keep the bottle of Hoisin Sauce in the pantry away from light and heat sources.

The darker the place is, the better it is for the sauce. So, find a good place to store the sauce away from light and heat sources.



The best and safest place to store Hoisin Sauce is a refrigerator. Experts suggest storing the sauce in the refrigerator to increase its life expectancy. However, unopened bottles require no refrigeration, and hence you can store them outside in the pantry away from heat and light sources.

If the bottle of Hoisin Sauce is open, you are required to store it in the refrigerator for long-term use.


Tips to Increase Is Life Expectancy         

  • Close the lid of the bottle tightly after every use
  • Store the Hoisin Sauce in a non-mental airtight container
  • Transfer the Hoisin Sauce into a plastic airtight container.
  • Ensure that the lid is tight to avoid interaction or exposure to air and temperature

What are the Alternatives to Hoisin Sauce if it has gone bad? 

You can use the following things as hoisin alternative

  • Garlic and prunes
  • Garlic teriyaki
  • Bean paste and brown sugar
  • Garlic, miso, mustard, and raisins
  • Soy and peanut butter

Frequently Asked Question


Why Does Hoisin Sauce Smell So Bold and Strong?

Hoisin Sauce smells stronger and bolder than other sauces because of vinegar, garlic, and other ingredients used to prepare the sauce. The ingredients of the Hoisin Sauce make the sauce smell so strong, and hence not all people may like its smell at first instance.    


How Does Hoisin Sauce Taste?

Apart from the strong smell, Hoisin Sauce has a tangy and salty taste. You will experience the same flavor as the traditional barbeque sauce but with a unique twist in the flavors. Some people have said that the taste of Hoisin Sauce is slightly sweet and meaty.

Hoisin Sauce is best served with classic Peking duck, dumplings, and other Chinese cuisines.


Is Hoisin Sauce Healthy to Consume?

According to the recipe ingredients and condiments, Hoisin Sauce has a higher sodium content. As per American Heart Association, people must restrict their intake of sodium to 1500mg per day. There is a risk involved in taking an excessive amount of sodium.

A high intake of sodium causes the human body to sustain fluids, and as a result, the blood pressure level increases. So, consuming Hoisin Sauce excessively is not good for your health. But, using it as a dip or side sauce is not a bad choice indeed.

How long does homemade hoisin sauce last?

A homemade jar or container of hoisin sauce will last for at least two weeks. But you can elongate this period by properly storing it in the refrigerator.

The Bottom Line

By now, hopefully, it is clear how long Hoisin Sauce lasts before it goes bad, how it looks when it goes bad, and what are the best options for storage of the sauce for long-term use.

You can now go out and purchase your bottle of Hoisin Sauce as you are equipped with knowledge that can help you store your sauce safely and know when it goes bad.


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