If Your Barbecue Sauce Smells Like This, It's Time To Throw It Out

It may not be summer, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy some sweet and tangy barbecue sauce. If you get a craving and don't want to put on several layers of clothing just so you can fire up the grill in chilly weather, simply turn your oven on. You can bake chicken or ribs slathered in barbecue sauce, or even top a hot dog with it. 

There are several types of barbecue sauce, but only four common bases for all types. They usually begin with mustard, tomato sauce, vinegar, or mayonnaise and tend to vary by region. No matter which one is your favorite, it's always handy to have in the kitchen. Whether you enjoy homemade barbecue sauce or have a favorite brand you buy at the store, do keep in mind, if the sauce has been sitting in the refrigerator for a while, it may no longer be any good. Thankfully, there is a tell-tale sign that makes it clear when it's time to let go of your barbecue sauce.

Has your BBQ sauce gone bad?

Unfortunately, condiments don't last forever. If you haven't used your barbecue sauce in a while, it's best to make sure it's safe before eating it. In general, an opened bottle of barbecue sauce lasts for about a month in the pantry, and about 6 to 9 months in the refrigerator. Homemade sauces do not last as long, and go bad after only a week or two.

Good barbecue sauces don't have a lot of preservatives, which is better for your health, but not so great for the sauce's shelf life. As your favorite barbecue sauce begins to go downhill, it will start to lose its potency. You'll notice you need more to get the flavor you usually enjoy from it. Once it's gone too far and isn't safe to eat at all, your nose will notify you.

If you notice a strong, vinegar or fermented-type odor, your barbecue sauce is no longer safe. During this stage you may also see bubbles or fizzing in the sauce. Sadly, it's no longer fit for consumption at that point, and you need to throw it away.