How long does Gochujang last? [Shelf Life]

How long does Gochujang last

Gochujang is one of the most essential and famous condiments used in Korean cuisine that you must have in your kitchen. If not, then you are Missing out.

The traditional Gochujang comprises Gochu Garg (Korean chili pepper powder), meju powder (soybean powder), sticky rice, malt barley syrup, and sea salt.

Gochujang is spicy heaven. If you are wondering how long the Gochujang sitting in your refrigerator will last, well, you have landed on the correct article.

We are here to answer all your questions on how long will the Gochujang last and how you can store it.

Shelf Life of Gochujang

In Korean, Gochu means “Chili” and Jang means “fermented sauce”. Gochujang is the best complementary sauce, and like all other fermented items, it has a long shelf life. But it will go bad someday.

Several factors affect the shelf-life of Gochujang. The shelf-life of Gochujang varies from brand to brand.

Moreover, the store-brought Gochujang has a different shelf-life than Homemade Gochujang. It also depends on what kind of recipe you use to make the sauce and in what manner you store Gochujang.

Don’t have time, here’s a Quick Table –

PantryFridge
Store-bought(Unopened12 to 18 months 
Store-bought (Opened)1 month 2 years 
Homemade4 to 6 months (For fermentation)2 years (if properly fermented)

How long does Gochujang last in the Fridge?

Gochujang lasts the longest if it’s properly stored in the fridge. A fermented item that gochujang is, it is better to store it in proper conditions in the fridge so that you can use this amazing condiment in all your favorite dishes.

Store-bought Gochujang

As said earlier, the shelf-life of gochujang varies from brand to brand. Mothers-in-law says that their Gochujang can last for almost 12 months.

It’s important that you place store-bought Gochujang properly in the pantry; it can last up to 12 to 18 months. 

For more information, check the package. It will have the “Best By” date written on it. The sauce is perfectly fine to use before it. A thing to remember is the “Best By” date determines the quality of Gochujang and not the safety.

Store-Bought Gochujang Sauce

Homemade Gochujang

Most fermented products like miso and pickles last for a longer time. As Gochujang is a fermented condiment, it can last longer in proper conditions. 

The traditionally made Gochujang is fermented for almost 4 to 6 months (mostly in the winter season) before it is consumed. 

Fermentation helps to develop a sweet zinger that you can taste in Gochujang. If you store it in cool places, Homemade Gochujang can last for almost 2 years.

But if there is not much time given for gochujang to ferment properly, it will not last for a longer time. You can store it in the fridge and can use it for around 3 months. 

This also depends on the ingredients used in the making of Gochujang sauce. If there is less salt used or there is any kind of meat in the sauce, it will not last for a longer time.

How long can Gochujang last at room temperature?

During the process of fermentation of homemade Gochujang, it’s okay to place the sauce outside. Actually, it’s placed in the sun to prevent the formation of fungi.

However, the store-bought Gochujang will last longer in cooler conditions. At or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the sauce will last for around 12 to 18 months.

How long can Gochujang sauce last after opening?

Store-bought Gochujang may sometimes last longer than some of the quick homemade Gochujang. 

Most of the store-bought sauces are actively carrying on the process of fermentation. So they will last for a long time even after you have opened the package.

You need to store an opened Gochujang jar or tub in cool places or best in the fridge to prolong the shelf life of our spicy heaven. 

Gochujang will be good, quality and safety-wise for up to 2 years if properly stored in the fridge.

You had opened the sauce jar and used it as a seasoning for your pork and forgot to store it in the fridge. You don’t have to worry.

Gochujang will remain usable for around 3 months. But you must immediately store the discovered Gochujang in the fridge to prevent its spoilage.

Homemade Gochujang Sauce

How to store Gochujang?

The air will trigger the contamination of Gochujang with bacteria and fungi. Hence, the key to adequately storing Gochujang is to minimize air exposure. 

The homemade Gochujang is stored in a dry place under the sun for fermentation if you are preparing a traditional Gochujang. This is done because rice in the Gochujang has starch in it which is converted into sugar. 

You need to use plastic wrap to seal the pot you have placed in Gochujang to prevent any bugs or flies from entering the sauce. 

But it should be such material through which light can pass and Gochujang can stay in sunlight as long as possible. 

Make sure the utensils and pots used to store the sauce are clean and dry.

Refrigerating Gochujang

All fermented products need to be stored in the fridge to prolong their shelf-life. 

The store-bought jars, tubs, and packages of Gochujang are properly packaged and are resealable. This makes it easy to store opened jars in the fridge.

As said earlier, some of the store-bought Gochujang is actively fermented. So they may overflow. It’s advised to store the plastic bags to prevent any messes.

Homemade Gochujang should also be stored in a fridge in clean and air-tight containers. Just for caution, you can also place these containers in a plastic bag.

You need to also remember to place Gochujang in a part of your fridge that receives just the amount of cold air. If placed in colder parts, Gochujang may develop crust at its top layer.

Freezing Gochujang

You can obviously store Gochujang in the freezer if you have made or bought Gochujang in excess because you like the sauce so much. 

It’s best to store Gochujang in ice trays. Remember to place a plastic sheet on top of ice trays because once the sauce is frozen it will be difficult to squeeze the sauce cubes out of the trays.

However, it’s best if you avoid freezing the sauce because the texture and the taste of Gochujang will be compromised while freezing and thawing

How to know if Gochujang has gone bad?

Gochujang has an aromatic, spicy, and umami smell to it. If the sauce smells weird and doesn’t smell the same. Do a taste check, if it’s not tasting the same or good, it’s better to throw it away.

If the Gochujang has lost its consistency or it has oil on its service it’s not good to use it. It also shouldn’t be slimy or gooey.

The texture and color of the sauce will keep changing even months after it’s made but it’s normal.

The taste of Gochujang will keep evolving and changing in its lifetime but that doesn’t mean it’s gone bad. As it will get more fermented its taste will be enhanced. 

If your sauce is tasting weird it’s better to check the best by date( if store-bought). It’s best to throw it away if it’s not tasting good.

Obviously, you should discard Gochujang as fast as possible if there is any mold or fungi growth on it.

Conclusion

I hope we have answered your queries regarding how long Gochujang will last and how to store it. It takes some time to prepare this spicy heaven at home but it’s really simple to store it. 

Remember Safe eating is Fun eating. 

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