Store-bought BBQ sauce lasts for a long time, but you know that. You probably also know that it's going to taste more processed and have weaker flavors than homemade sauce. But let's say you went to work and whipped up your own smoky batch of homemade BBQ sauce with tomato sauce, Worcestershire, garlic, the works. Many recipes give you a large enough pot to serve about a dozen people or more, so how do you keep all of it fresh?
In the fridge, homemade BBQ sauce should last anywhere from two weeks to a month, but you can also freeze it and store it away for much longer. The secret is to scoop the sauce into a resealable bag, and press it down thoroughly until you've squeezed out all of the air (but don't press so hard that you squeeze the sauce out of the bag). Now you've got a simple container of BBQ sauce which should last in the freezer for at least three months. After that point, it may still be safe to eat for a few months longer, but it'll grow stale.
Read more: The 13 Best Steaks For Grilling
Getting Ready To Grill
Once it's been successfully frozen and you're planning on cooking some ribs or chili later on, don't just remove it from the freezer and immediately heat it up. You want to move the sauce bag from the freezer to the fridge and let it thaw for a night before it's ready to heat and serve. Letting it defrost at warmer temperatures can lead to bacteria growing on the sauce, and this will spoil it and make it possibly unsafe to eat.
If you're really in a hurry, BBQ sauce can also be defrosted in cold water. This method is faster but requires you to keep a closer eye on the sauce to make sure it doesn't reach any unsafe temperatures. Or it may be alright in your microwave if it has a "defrost" function, but you're running the risk of the sauce thawing unevenly and you may need to stir it more afterward. After you finish defrosting it, always check it for any rotten smells or mold, even if the amount of salt and vinegar in most BBQ sauces offers some protection against bacteria.
A Sauce That Lasts
Another trick for freezing BBQ sauce involves storing the sauce in ice cube trays to portion it out evenly — this way, you could take the cubes out as needed without unfreezing the entire batch at once. They should still be placed in a resealable bag afterward, and not in something like a glass container. Glass can crack in the freezer, or even break and make a big mess.
Do all these tricks work for other sauces and condiments too? For the most part, yes, they do. A similar sauce like steak sauce lasts for a similar amount in the freezer, and you'll also find that the strategy for freezing homemade ketchup is about the same. Moving into sauces with less similar ingredients, you'll find that homemade mustard can be frozen for almost twice as long without losing quality. One exception is homemade mayonnaise, which is likely to separate while it's frozen — even after you add some water and mix it back together, the consistency may still be runnier.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.