Soy sauce is a popular condiment and seasoning that has crossed over to several different cuisines. It’s undoubtedly a pantry staple but should you actually keep it in the pantry?
More specifically, does soy sauce need to be refrigerated? I did the research and here’s what I found out about it!
Does Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
Soy sauce does not have to be refrigerated but it will stay fresh for a long time if you keep it in the fridge. When refrigerated after opening, soy sauce can stay fresh for up to 2-3 years. On the other hand, it will only stay fresh for 3-6 months if kept unrefrigerated.
If you have more questions about soy sauce’s storage and how it affects its shelf life, keep reading!
Does Unopened Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
Unopened soy sauce does not need to be refrigerated because it can stay fresh in the bottle for many years.
Moreover, you should store your soy sauce away from sunlight in a cool and dark place to keep it from spoiling.
Does Opened Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
Opened soy sauce does not need to be refrigerated but it will last a lot longer if you keep it in the fridge.
Soy sauce is fermented, meaning it will naturally last for a long time without being refrigerated but the temperatures of the fridge can extend its shelf life.
What Happens If I Don’t Refrigerate Soy Sauce?
Nothing bad will happen to your soy sauce if you don’t refrigerate it. It will still last for at least 3-6 months.
If unrefrigerated, however, there is a chance that your soy sauce will grow small, white floating bits that look like mold a few months after you open it.
These white floaters are not mold but film yeast. Film yeast is not dangerous but it can affect the taste, appearance, and aroma of your soy sauce.
You can remove the film yeast and continue to consume the soy sauce if it looks, smells, and tastes the same. But if there is something different about your soy sauce, discard it.
Moreover, your unrefrigerated soy sauce can go bad without showing any visible signs. For instance, the smell or taste may become almost unbearable.
Does Light Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
You do not have to refrigerate light soy sauce because it can last for up to 6 months or longer at room temperature after opening.
However, you can preserve the freshness of your light soy sauce by storing it in the fridge after you open it.
Does Dark Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
Dark soy sauce does not need to be refrigerated because it is fermented and contains a lot of salt that can naturally preserve it for years or for up to 6-8 months after opening it.
However, soy sauce slowly loses its freshness over time. You can keep your bottle of dark soy sauce fresh for longer by refrigerating it.
Does Kikkoman Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
It is best to store your Kikkoman soy sauce in the fridge once you open it to retain the quality of flavor for a longer time.
If you want to keep your Kikkoman soy sauce unrefrigerated, it will last for several months in an airtight container at room temperature.
Does Tamari Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
You can keep tamari soy sauce in a dark and cool cupboard or in your fridge after you open it, but refrigerating your tamari soy sauce will retain its optimum quality.
Does Gluten-Free Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
Similar to tamari soy sauce, you can choose whether or not to keep your gluten-free soy sauce in the fridge but it will taste better for a longer time if refrigerated.
Does Sweet Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
Sweet soy sauce will be fine if you keep it in a cool and dark place like a cupboard before and after you open it.
However, you can get the most out of your sweet soy sauce’s flavor by refrigerating it after you open the bottle.
Does Double Black Soy Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?
Like other soy sauces, double black soy sauce does not have to be refrigerated because it can stay fresh at room temperature for a long time.
However, if you want to preserve your double black soy sauce’s peak flavor, you should keep it in the fridge.
If you want to learn more about soy sauce, you can see our related posts on whether soy sauce freezes, how long soy sauce lasts, and whether soy sauce packets go bad.
Soy sauce does not have to be kept in the fridge because it is fermented and has a lot of salt that naturally preserves it and lets it stay fresh for many months after the bottle is unsealed.
However, refrigerating soy sauce after you open it is ideal because the cool temperatures will prolong the freshness and extend the shelf life to 2-3 years.