Does Tartar Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated if Opened?

Last Updated on November 15, 2022 by Claire

Does Tartar sauce need to be refrigerated? Many people have Tartar sauce in their kitchens but are worried about how to store it effectively. The question still goes, should it be kept in the fridge or somewhere else?

You do not need to refrigerate your Tartar sauce, especially when it is unopened. Although you will need to refrigerate it once opened to preserve its texture and flavor. So refrigeration keeps the flavor and texture of tartar sauce fresh.

The decision to refrigerate your tartar sauce would depend on the length of time you intend to keep the sauce.

For people who do not eat the sauce frequently but intend to store it, then you will have to refrigerate it. Other persons can use a jar of tartar sauce in two weeks or less and may not store it in a refrigerator.

Storing in a refrigerator is essential to keep it fresh. Tartar sauce will still thrive when not stored in a fridge.

Does Tartar sauce need to be refrigerated

Does Tartar sauce need to be refrigerated?

Sealed packs of Tartar Sauce are meant to last one or two years after it is packaged. The difference in how long the packaged product lasts will depend on the brand of the Tartar Sauce and the ingredients used in its manufacture. The ingredients used will likely dictate its level of acidity, which will, in turn, dictate how long tartar sauce will last.

Once opened, some may last up to two months if properly refrigerated, while others may stay longer when stored outside the fridge. To answer the question – Does Tartar sauce need to be refrigerated? The answer is yes, as refrigeration helps preserve the product’s freshness and taste.

Can you freeze Tartar sauce?

You cannot freeze tartar sauce. When it is frozen, the mayonnaise component of the sauce will separate from the other constituents, which would make the sauce inedible. Manufacturers do not recommend freezing tartar sauce and would go as far as displaying this information on the tartar sauce pack.

The major reason for the warning is that mayonnaise – an important ingredient for making tartar sauce, does not do well when refrigerated.

When making your tartar sauce at home, the other ingredients can be frozen and thawed for mixing with the mayonnaise but should not be frozen after mixing to give the sauce.

How long can Tartar Sauce be kept without refrigeration?

Tartar sauce is made by several manufacturers and sold to consumers under different brands. The need for refrigeration will depend on several factors, including brand and recipe.

These factors ultimately decide the time the sauce can be kept without refrigeration. Usually, tartar sauce can be kept for a few hours to a few months without refrigeration. The method you choose to store your sauce after use will go a long way in keeping it preserved.

Some may leave it exposed to air, while others seal it in a jar/bottle. It may also be stored in a cool cupboard or a warm/mild part of the house. These other methods of storage are available for storing Tartar sauce.

Note that when tartar sauce is kept in a serving bowl, plate, or dish, it lasts between 6-18 hours. After this time, the quality of the sauce begins to deteriorate. Although it will be safe to eat, the taste won’t be fresh anymore. When stored concealed but outside the fridge, it will, in most cases, be preserved for a couple of months and, in some cases, longer.

Does Tartar Sauce go bad if not refrigerated?

As stated earlier, the essence of refrigerating tartar sauce is to preserve its freshness. So when the sauce is not refrigerated over time, it loses its freshness and taste.

However, it will still be good for consumption in terms of safety. The ability to last long from a safety perspective is due to the ingredients used in making tartar sauce.

Tartar sauce has its major ingredients – salt, vinegar, and mayonnaise. These ingredients are mainly composed of natural preservatives. Also, manufacturers tend to add preservatives to their products.

The preservatives in the tartar sauce help it stay outside the refrigerator, especially when unopened. Also, it will still do well when opened but sealed. There is a need to keep away from direct sunlight when storing, i.e., store in a closed drawer/cupboard or a closed space at room temperature.

How long does Tartar Sauce last?

Each manufacturer gives a use-by date for their products as each contains different ingredients and preservatives, which tend to dictate the shelf-life of the product. Once opened, Tartar sauce is expected to last for a maximum of 6 months with peak freshness and quality.

On the other hand, unopened packs of tartar sauce have a shelf-life of between 1-2 years or as prescribed by the manufacturer. Note that tartar sauce is best kept in a cool or moderate-temperature environment.

What happens if you eat expired Tartar Sauce?

Many brands manufacturing tartar sauce do not put a use-by date on their product. As with all expired products, you will be fine if you eat an expired tartar sauce. The taste and general feel of the product would be different from a fresh one as, at this stage, the freshness and flavor begin to disappear.

To know the product’s use-by date, you must look closely at the pack. It would be best if you looked out for a “best before,” “best by,” or “best when used by date.” These dates have different implications and are not safety-related dates.

They are, simply put, the manufacturer’s estimate of the product’s durability and peak quality maintenance period. After these dates, the texture, flavor, or color of the tartar sauce might change.

Depending on the storage method, you may still be able to consume the product for several months after the estimated dates. Refrigeration will help preserve its freshness even beyond the manufacturer’s estimated dates.

How can you tell if Tartar Sauce is bad?

Identifying a bad tartar sauce is done through the smell and look. If the color of the sauce looks different, or it smells pungent or a bit sour than it used to, then the sauce is bad. When you taste a bad tartar sauce, it might taste very strong or slightly more acidic than it used to taste.

On noticing any of the named conditions above, the tartar sauce should be discarded and replaced with a fresh one. Refrigeration will help slow down the process of your tartar sauce going bad.


This article has answered the question – does tartar sauce need to be refrigerated? Refrigerating the sauce will help to preserve its taste and allure.

This would keep your tartar sauce in an optimal state for your next use. Everyone wants to keep their prized kitchen sauce in the best condition. So, if you have an unopened pack of tartar sauce and no space in the fridge, you can keep it in a cool, dark place.

For an opened tartar sauce, it is best to seal it in a refrigerator or keep it in a cool, dark place away from direct sunlight.