Is refrigeration the best way to store your ketchup? Or is that the pantry? Your doubts can be laid to rest now as the Heinz company has published the best possible place to keep this controversial food item.
Refrigeration saves a lot of food but there are some items, like ketchup, that make people wonder if storage in the fridge is the best choice.
Diners and restaurants usually leave their bottles out at room temperature, while a majority of home cooks keep the bottle in the fridge.
Keep reading to find out if the ketchup belongs in the fridge or not.
Storing Ketchup in the Pantry
Ketchup is highly acidic because of its two main ingredients: tomatoes and vinegar. It also contains a healthy amount of salt and sugar, which are natural preservatives.
That, and the fact that ketchup is cooked makes the condiment shelf-stable according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
This is why many diners and burger joints are content with leaving their ketchup bottles on their dining tables at room temperature.
Ketchup can be safely stored in an airtight container in the pantry but there is a catch
Storing Ketchup in the Fridge
This is mostly dependent on how often you consume ketchup. Do you run through a bottle in a few days? Or does it take more time?
Unless you’re a busy diner going through and refilling ketchup bottles regularly, you should store your ketchup in the fridge.
This is because, just like pickles, the flavor and texture starts to decline after the bottle or jar of the ketchup is exposed to air. The fridge slows down those processes, keeping your ketchup tasting salty, savory, sweet, tangy.
According to the USDA, ketchup will remain good for consumption in the fridge for about six months after it’s open.
What Heinz Said
Even Heinz has weighed in on the topic. According to the company, “because of its natural acidity, Heinz® Ketchup is shelf-stable. However, its stability after opening can be affected by storage conditions. We recommend that this product, like any processed food, be refrigerated after opening. Refrigeration will maintain the best product quality after opening.”