How to Store Oyster Sauce and Prevent It from Spoiling

A great Asian condiment and seasoning, oyster sauce adds a subtle flavor to many dishes.

Updated August 14, 2022

Many people have never even heard of oyster sauce. Some have it but don't know what to do with it. Oyster sauce is a delicious Asian cooking base, similar to soy sauce in many ways. The main difference between the two sauces is that oyster sauce does not contain wheat or gluten. However, the oyster sauce shouldn't be used as a substitute for soy sauce.

Since it contains oyster extract, the sauce must be stored properly to ensure that you get the most out of your purchase. Storing oyster sauce requires some degree of common sense and should pose no problem for even novice cooks who happen to have a bottle or two on hand. While there are no strict storage rules, here are some guidelines that will be helpful for any consumer.

How Long Does Oyster Sauce Last?

This delicious sauce is mostly used to create an Asian-style marinade or dipping sauce. It's also great in stir fry dishes, fried rice, and several other recipes. While there are many uses for this versatile product, if you don't use the sauce quickly enough, it could go bad before you get to finish it.

When it comes to storing oyster sauce, the best before date on the package is a good indicator of how long it will keep.

The shelf-life of oyster sauce is typically one or two years when it stays unopened. After this time, the quality and flavor of the product will decrease. Like other sauces and condiments, you should store them in a dry, cool place such as your pantry. Most importantly, seal the container well after opening since the oyster sauce can spoil when exposed to air.

Tips to Store Oyster Sauce

Since oyster sauce is a can, you need to know how long canned food lasts as well as the best ways to store it. There are several grades of canned goods. The difference depends on how the food is processed and cooked.

Even though oyster sauce comes in a can, you shouldn't keep it there once opened if you want to preserve its flavor and quality.

Store in a cool, dark place.

Oxygen, light, and moisture all contribute to the degradation of food quality.

If you want to store your oyster sauce at room temperature, keep it in an airtight container such as a glass jar or stainless steel canister with tight seal.

Don't reuse containers that have been previously used to store non-food items such as paint or insecticide unless they have been thoroughly washed and rinsed with water.

Keep it away from direct sunlight or warm temperatures.

Spoiling is the result of chemical changes in food. Exposure to light, temperature, moisture, and air can cause these changes. So avoid placing your oyster sauce next to the stove or in a cupboard near the oven.

Store your leftover sauces properly before placing them in the refrigerator. Use an airtight container to prevent spills and cover with translucent film after opening.

Refrigerate after opening for up to six months

If you want your oyster sauce to stay fresh for a long time, the correct way is to keep it in a refrigerator. It is a good place for storage because it has low humidity and the cool temperature will slow bacterial growth.

Keep it in the pantry.

It's not necessary to keep your oyster sauce in a refrigerator if you don't plan on using it for several months at a time. For short-term storage (less than three months), place it in an airtight container and store it in a cool, dark cupboard. Keep this area well ventilated.

Never freeze the oyster sauce

Because it will cause the sauce to separate and become thick and lumpy when thawed out, it's best not to store oyster sauce in the freezer. Also, the texture and flavor may be compromised when it's thawed. There is no need to thaw the sauce before using it since you're cooking anyhow.

When not in use, keep it tightly closed and stored away from high temperature and direct sunlight for the best quality and flavor.

Pour Oyster Sauce without spoiling

How To Tell If Oyster Sauce Has Gone Bad?

There are some signs to look for that indicate that the oyster sauce has gone bad. Luckily these are easy to spot, so there is no reason to keep your sauces around longer than they're safe.

You may be tempted to buy the largest container of oyster sauce available, but this will only lead to waste if the sauce goes bad before you can use it all up. The best way to find out if your sauce is still good is by checking its smell and appearance.

If there is mold growing on the sauce, it has spoiled and should be discarded. Some people suggest that it is safe to scrape off the mold and use what's underneath. However, if you can't be sure there isn't more hidden, the safest option is to throw it away.

If you tried one of a recipe and noticed that the oyster sauce had a different taste than usual, this could also mean that it's gone bad.

Final Thoughts

Oyster sauce can last for up to two years when kept unopened at room temperature or refrigerator temperature. The quality of taste and texture will decrease over time but you can still use it to make delicious dishes. For the opened oyster sauce, use it within six months and keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Don't use any sauce that has mold or smells bad. And don't risk using it even if it looks okay but doesn't taste the same as usual. Those are sure signs of spoilage, so get rid of it and choose a new jar instead. Enjoy your oyster sauce while fresh!

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About the author 

Cindy Bruce

Cindy Bruce is a passionate artisan bread baker. She has a love for cooking and all the different appliances that go along with it. Cindy's dream is to travel the world, sampling new tastes and foods from each country she visits.

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