Generally regarded as a basic Asian marinade, teriyaki has a distinct sweet ginger flavor that millions of people around the world enjoy. You can use it to dress up meat, fish, vegetables, and tofu. If you keep a bottle on hand, you are probably wondering if (or when) teriyaki sauce goes bad.
A bottle of teriyaki sauce that has never been opened can sit for up to 3 years past the best-by date and retain its quality just fine. Once opened, you can keep store-bought teriyaki sauce in the pantry for 3-6 more months. In the fridge, an opened bottle of teriyaki sauce will stay fresh for right around 1 year. Homemade teriyaki sauce is only fresh for 3-5 days in the fridge.
Many factors determine the exact length of time you can rely on the sauce in your cabinet. Keep an eye on the best by date printed on the bottle, or any storage instructions.
Does Teriyaki Sauce Go Bad? How Long Does Teriyaki Sauce Last?
The shelf life of teriyaki sauce greatly depends on how it was made and how it is stored. Store-bought, it is likely to last much longer than if you make it at home.
How Long Does Teriyaki Sauce Last on the Shelf?
Unopened bottles of teriyaki sauce can stay fresh at room temperature for up to 3 years. The base of teriyaki sauce is soy sauce, naturally high in sodium, which helps keep the marinade fresh for a longer time.
Commercial teriyaki sauce can sit in the pantry for 3-6 months after it has been opened. Bottled teriyaki sauce is often made with extra preservatives to further prolong its shelf life, though some brands will recommend that you refrigerate after opening.
Homemade teriyaki sauce contains fresh ginger and other highly perishable ingredients. You probably do not want to keep it at room temperature for any length of time.
How Long Does Teriyaki Sauce Last in the Fridge?
There is no need to store unopened teriyaki sauce in the fridge. It will keep for years at room temperature, but if you want to refrigerate it, you are almost guaranteed it will stay fresh for at least 3 years.
An opened bottle can stay fresh for up to 1 year in the fridge. So, if you only use a little teriyaki sauce at a time, and not often, it will be best to keep it cold.
Teriyaki sauce made at home will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days on average. This estimate can fluctuate with the ingredients you used, so keep an eye on it for signs of spoilage.
How Long Does Teriyaki Sauce Last in the Freezer?
You can extend the shelf life of homemade teriyaki sauce by storing it in the freezer. Since it is made to last a long time, store-bought teriyaki sauce does not benefit from being frozen.
Frozen, homemade teriyaki sauce will last 2-3 months. The freezer is a helpful solution if you prefer to make large batches all at once, instead of making a new batch every time you want to enjoy the sauce.
Many people freeze teriyaki sauce when it is mixed with other ingredients. For example, if you marinade your chicken in teriyaki sauce before storing it in the freezer. In this case, the sauce will last as long as the ingredient you are storing it with.
If you use teriyaki sauce often, you likely will not ever have to worry about it going bad on you. The best-by date is helpful, but does not alone determine if the product is still at peak quality.
How To Tell If Teriyaki Sauce Has Gone Bad / How To Know Teriyaki Sauce is Fresh
It is rare that teriyaki sauce will spoil. Even if it has been sitting on the shelf well past the best-by date, it is usually safe to consume, if you have kept it sealed and stored properly. However, it is possible that microbes or bacteria are introduced to the sauce and begin to grow.
Appearance. Fresh teriyaki sauce is typically dark brown, with minced garlic or sediment from solid ingredients in it. If you notice the color changing, or the substance “thinning”, it may be time to discard the bottle.
Mold. The most noticeable sign of spoilage for most foods, mold may grow on the inside of the bottle lid, or on the surface of the sauce itself. Look for fuzzy black, white, or green-blue spots and throw the teriyaki sauce away if you find any.
Odor. Teriyaki sauce has a sweet, slightly ginger-y aroma when it is fresh. If you open a bottle and the smell is sour, anything like vinegar, or in any way unpleasant, that bottle has spoiled.
Flavor. If you do not catch any other signs, and you test-taste a little, it should be sweet with that distinct soy and ginger twist to it. If the bottle tastes off, it will not be satisfying to use, and may even be harmful.
How to Store Teriyaki Sauce?
Storing teriyaki sauce properly is the first and easiest step to keeping it fresh and getting the most out of it. Whether you make your own sauce at home, or buy it from the store, it is important to store it right and prevent spoilage.
Unopened bottle. With a sealed bottle of teriyaki sauce, it is often best just to keep it in a cool, dark, dry place. Your pantry or cabinets will be perfect, as long as they are not right beside a source of heat.
Opened bottle. Once opened, it is still safe to store commercial teriyaki sauce in a cabinet for a few months, but you may choose to refrigerate it and keep it fresh longer. It depends on how often you expect to use it.
Homemade jar. Your homemade sauce does not contain preservatives, and the ingredients are perishable, so it is important to keep your homemade sauce in the fridge.
Can You Freeze Teriyaki Sauce? How?
Homemade teriyaki sauce is best kept in the freezer if you made a large batch and cannot use it in the short period of time that it keeps in the fridge. Storing it in the freezer can keep it fresh for up to 1 year.
Ice Cube Tray. It can be helpful to control your portions if you pour your sauce into an ice cube tray and freeze them. Let them cool completely before you put the trays in the freezer. Once frozen solid, you can transfer the cubes to a freezer-safe bag or container, and you can pull out only what you need for each meal.
With Meat. It is most commonly recommended to blend your teriyaki sauce with the raw meat you are intending to cook it in. Place the meat into a freezer-safe bag or container, and pour sauce over it, then seal it tight and put it in the freezer.
How to Thaw Teriyaki Sauce?
Freezing your teriyaki sauce will ultimately mean you must thaw it before you can eat or cook with it. Depending on the method you chose to use to freeze it, thawing it can be quite simple.
Portioned Cubes. If you froze your sauce in a tray, you can pull out only what you need at a time. You can place them in another container to thaw in the fridge, or you can drop them straight into a pan to start cooking.
Marinated Meat. When you freeze meat, it must be thawed in the fridge overnight. Meat that is marinated in teriyaki sauce is no different. The sauce will thaw with the meat.
Frequently Asked Questions About Teriyaki Sauce’s Shelf Life
Can expired teriyaki sauce make you sick? Typically, eating teriyaki sauce that has spoiled will not make you sick. It is fairly harmless, though it will not taste great. Avoid consuming any sauce or food item that has been growing mold, as the bacteria that grows mold will cause symptoms of food poisoning. Homemade teriyaki sauce that has gone bad might make you sick, as it does not contain any preservatives.
Can teriyaki sauce be left out overnight? If you forgot to put away the bottle of teriyaki sauce you used last night, it may still be okay to use. If you put the lid on it, and sealed it tightly, it is likely still fine to consume. If you left the bottle open, you may want to just throw it away, as it has had time to grow bacteria and microbes. Homemade teriyaki sauce needs to be refrigerated or thrown away.
Homemade teriyaki sauce will not last long unless you freeze it. Store-bought teriyaki sauce rarely spoils and is typically used before there is any danger. Properly stored, you can make your teriyaki sauce last as long as you need it, and you will not likely experience it going bad.