Which Condiments Need to Be Refrigerated?

Here’s what actually needs a spot on your refrigerator door.

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Which Condiments Need to Be Refrigerated?

Condiments are kitchen staples that are easy to lose track of. They often get lost in your refrigerator, and before you know it, you're throwing out three bottles of ketchup in a fridge clean out. This situation may lead you to wonder, which condiments need to be refrigerated anyway? Here, we break down some of the most popular sweet and savory condiments and share which are fridge-only and which can live in your pantry based on food safety standards.


The acidic tomatoes and vinegar inside a new bottle of ketchup don’t provide a great environment for bacterial growth, but once you break the seal on that bottle, store it in the fridge for optimal quality. Once opened, it’s good for up to six months. While bottles may sit idly on the table at your favorite restaurant, they are used far more often than the ketchup in your house.

Hot Sauce

Hot sauce is a lot more acidic than ketchup, and most hot sauces are safe to store outside the refrigerator. That said, cold temps won’t harm that spicy liquid, so you can store it in the fridge without worry if that's where you prefer it to be.

Salad Dressing

The salad dressing aisle is an endless array of room temperature containers, but once those bottles are cracked open, some of the ingredients can turn moldy and rancid, so store in the fridge.


According to the container of Hellman’s, mayo lovers are instructed to refrigerate after opening and store on the refrigerator door; use within two months after opening.


Leave that golden gooeyness out of the fridge. This finger-licking condiment is best at room temperature. The chilly air in the fridge may make the honey thicker and harder to use.

Barbecue Sauce

This sweet sauce is a potential breeding ground for mold and bacteria once opened. Store that open bottles of barbecue sauce in the fridge and they will keep there well for four months.


The makers of this fiery chili sauce indicate on the front page of their website that sriracha need not be refrigerated. However, they do recommend storage in a cool, dry place, so keep it inside your pantry and not on the countertop.

Soy Sauce

Makers of this fermented sauce say soy will remain fresher overtime when stored in the fridge, but it will not go bad in the pantry, so this one is up to you.

Chocolate Syrup

From hot chocolate to ice cream sundaes, this smooth and glossy sauce is a must-have in many kitchens. To maintain freshness, it is recommended to refrigerate after opening and store there for up to six months.


Since there are no common ingredients that require refrigeration, plain mustards could keep on the shelf. If your favorite mustardy blend contains additional ingredients such as fruit or herbs, keep it in the fridge. Cold storage will also help maintain quality of any mustard for up to one year.