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Does Honey Mustard Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Does Honey Mustard Go Bad? How Long Does It Last?

Honey mustard can last up to a year opened in the fridge, or up to 3 years unopened.

It all boils down to the type of honey mustard, the quality of the ingredients, and what the recommended USE BY dates says on the bottle or jar.

The main point is honey mustard doesn’t last forever. Now let’s take a closer look at what honey mustard is, why it goes bad and how long it has, and a few other questions that come up when honey mustard is the topic of conversation.

What is Honey Mustard?

What is Honey Mustard

Honey mustard is one of many types of mustard condiments. As the name states, it’s made with a combination of mustard, and honey, as well as other typical mustard ingredients like vinegar, spices, and the occasional mayonnaise.

But what’s mustard, right? We kind of know what honey mustard is, and it’s hard not to know what honey is on its own. But what about its companion mustard?

Well, to put it simply, mustard is a type of condiment made from mustard seeds. Those seeds come from the mustard plant. Like pepper, mustard seeds are ground down, cracked, or pulverized in some other creative way.

From there, they’re usually mixed with water or vinegar, or other liquid to make a paste. Also added to this mix are a variety of spices. At this point, the concoction is essentially the condiment we know today.

At some point, someone figured it’d be a good idea to mix honey with it, balancing some sweetness to go with all that mustard tang, giving us the lovely substance we love in salads or for dipping chicken tenders in.

Okay, but Why Does it Go Bad and How Long Does it Last?

Why Does it Go Bad

Honey mustard, like most organic substances, will go bad. Maybe not completely rotten, but bad enough not to taste great.

Nothing organic lasts forever, after all. However, certain preservation techniques help to slow down the spoiling process. These include maintaining a proper seal for unopened honey mustard, and refrigeration for opened honey mustard.

An unopened bottle or jar of honey mustard should last a couple of years. There are, of course, some caveats to this claim. Those caveats include such things as storage location, the temperature of that location, as well as the climate of that location.

In other words, if an unopened jar or bottle of honey mustard is kept in a cool, dry place and out of direct sunlight, it’ll last longer than if it was stored in a sunny swamp.

Now, since most people don’t use a sunny swamp to store their dry goods, we’ll roll with the idea that you’ve got a solid two years of shelf-life in your pantry.

Once opened, though, honey mustard should be kept in a refrigerator. Once it’s been exposed to air, the only real way to slow down the process of it going bad is to keep it cold. Depending on the quality of your fridge, you should have at least six months to a year to finish your honey mustard.

Of course, in both unopened and opened honey mustard products, ingredients and manufacturer recommendations for expiration dates should be taken into consideration.

For ingredients, the more natural they are and the fewer preservatives included, the less time you may have. And if it’s been years since the expiration date has passed, you’re volunteering to become a science experiment of your own creation.

Commonly-Asked Questions

Wait, I thought Mustard Didn’t Rot. You’re saying it does?

I thought Mustard Didn't Rot

Yes, mustard has a reputation for not rotting. This is pretty much due to the acid content of mustard that keeps it preserved in a natural way while fighting off bacteria.

That doesn’t mean the taste will last forever. Nor does it mean we recommend tasting ancient mustard. Again, stick to the expiration date whenever in doubt.

That being said, mustard and honey mustard are two different animals when it comes to the whole “rotting” terminology. With the addition of honey, you’re dealing with a substance that can succumb to bacteria if contaminated.

In addition, the sugar in honey, once exposed to air, can also start to ferment, leading to eventual spoilage. That’s why it’s important to refrigerate honey mustard after opening.

Why is Honey Mustard so Popular?

Why is Honey Mustard so Popular

This is a bit of a subjective question, but you can boil down the popularity of honey mustard to three of its primary uses:

  • Dipping Sauces
  • Marinade
  • Salad Dressing

When did Honey Mustard become Popular?

When did Honey Mustard become Popular

It’s hard to nail down a date. Mustard, as a condiment, has been around since Ancient Rome, so we’re sure it was paired with honey by someone around that same time.

The popularity of the honey mustard that we know today didn’t really kick off until the late 20th century, when it became a hugely popular dipping sauce for fried foods from fast food places. That popularity quickly evolved into a popular condiment on sandwiches and salads.

What are the Most Popular Ingredients in Honey Mustard?

What are the Most Popular Ingredients in Honey Mustard

Besides the honey and the mustard?

Popular ingredients vary but can include:

  • Vinegar (usually distilled white or apple cider)
  • Mayonnaise
  • Lemon Juice
  • Olive Oil
  • Spices (salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, etc)
  • Brown Sugar
  • Soy Sauce
  • Cayenne Pepper for heat
  • Brown Sugar