Does Balsamic Vinegar Go bad?

How to keep it correctly to avoid spoilage?

Written by Elisa Chan. Updated on Does balsamic vinegar expire

Let us assume that not all of us use balsamic vinegar at home on a regular basis.

Nevertheless, this dressing is widely used in certain recipes and it is becoming more and more popular, and of course, people start wondering: how long is balsamic vinegar good for?

How to keep it correctly to avoid spoilage?

This and other questions will be answered in the following article.

Related: Can You Freeze Guacamole?

Where Is Balsamic Used and What For? Its History of Origin

Well, balsamic vinegar has come to us from sunny Italy. This dressing is made of grape must, wholly or partially, and it is known for its strong and specific odor, a very dark color, and very concentrated texture.

It is mostly used either to highlight the taste of cheeses and sausages in Italy, as well as together with eggs, fish dishes and steaks. On the other hand, Italians can use it even with fresh fruits and ice cream! Of course, only a few drops of vinegar is applied.

In other countries, the tastes are not so extremal and balsamic vinegar is mostly added to the seafood dishes, pasta, and dishes with rice.

This dressing adds a specific and piquant flavor and taste to the dishes and eliminates their own taste accordingly.

Where Is Balsamic Used and What For

Related: Does Mustard Go Bad?

Balsamic Vinegar Shelf Life

Now that you know where it can be used, why not find out more about how to deal with this product once you have bought it and brought home?

Many of those who usually don’t use balsamic vinegar on a regular basis, find it somewhat difficult and confusing to figure out how to store it properly

Sometimes, even if one follows the storage tips indicated on the bottle label, the vinegar can become bad.

So how long does balsamic vinegar last? If being stored under the proper conditions, in a tightly sealed container, balsamic vinegar can keep its qualities and remain usable for nearly three years if you keep it in a pantry.

How often do you consume vinegar?
I do not eat vinegar
Almost every day
Voted: 8

Does balsamic vinegar expire?

You may be very surprised but, when being properly stored, balsamic vinegar dressing will preserve its best quality for three years at most, however, even after this term pass, it will still be usable for an indefinite period of time.

So, as you can see, balsamic vinegar expiration depends only on how well you keep it.

Can balsamic vinegar go bad, you may ask? In fact, it can’t. Again, it is possible only if the dressing will be kept in proper conditions.

Related: Does Cream Of Tartar Go Bad?

Storage Tips and Nuances

Balsamic Storage Tips and Nuances

Now let’s figure out what we shall do to extend the lifespan of our balsamic vinegar to its longest if not forever.

First of all, since this dressing is vinegar itself, you shall follow the certain rules of storage that are common for all kinds of vinegar, for example apple cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar.

Keep the balsamic vinegar bottle in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight and any light at all. High temperature and light have a bad effect on balsamic vinegar dressing and can spoil its taste.

One more useful tip to always keep in mind is that, when your vinegar is not in use, ensure that its bottle is sealed tightly. Otherwise, some contaminants may get inside the bottle and the vinegar will be lost forever.

Some may ask “should you refrigerate balsamic vinegar after opening?” Well, we would not say that it is needed. As long as you manage to keep the bottle away from light and heat and close it thoroughly with the cap, you can be sure that the vinegar will be fine.

Does balsamic vinegar need to be refrigerated at all? It depends on where you mostly use it. There is no restriction saying that balsamic vinegar must stay away from the fridge, so, if you add it to the salads mostly and prefer it to be chilled, then feel free to refrigerate it and don’t worry, it will not get ruined.

But if you use balsamic vinegar for hot dishes and/or sauces, for example, teriyaki sauce or soy sauce, you’d better store it in a pantry or in a cupboard, again – away from light and heat.

Which vinegar do you prefer?
Balsamic vinegar
Apple vinegar
Rice vinegar
I do not eat vinegar

How to Store Balsamic Vinegar?

Just like any other type of vinegar, balsamic vinegar can hardly be called a tough thing to store. It has pretty easy rules of storage, but for some reason we still tend to overlook them which later leads to the product’s spoilage.

So if you want your balsamic vinegar to retain its quality longer, consider follow a few simple recommendations regarding its storage:

  1. Always buy balsamic vinegar that is in a dark-colored bottle! Clear glass containers let the light in, making the content deteriorate way faster.
  2. Store this type of vinegar in a cool and dry area.
  3. Remember to stock your balsamic vinegar as far from sources of heat as possible.
  4. Make sure that the bottle with this liquid is placed away from the reach of light.
  5. After you open the bottle, always make sure it is kept tightly sealed when not in use.

If you follow all of these rules, you can be sure that the balsamic vinegar you have will last for five or even ten years after its production! With such easy tips in mind, you will manage to protect this product from decay, as well as quality and taste loss. Moreover, like this, your vinegar will be safe from contaminants that can otherwise end up in a bottle that is not properly sealed or stored opened!

However, you do need to keep in mind that, even when being stored properly, balsamic vinegar will retain its best quality for only two or three years. After that time, its potency and overall quality will start to deteriorate anyway.

How to Store Balsamic Vinegar


Balsamic vinegar is quite a long lasting product, but only if we store it right. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that, even if being kept under the ideal conditions, it will retain its highest quality for a couple of years only. Still, you can safely keep on using it later.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can balsamic vinegar go bad
Can balsamic vinegar go bad

Even despite all the information that you have found above, you may still have some questions regarding the balsamic vinegar storage or usage specifics.

That is why we decided to collect several most frequently asked questions regarding this issue so that you could take a look at them whenever you need it.

Can balsamic vinegar be used after the expiration date indicated on the bottle?

Absolutely! Vinegar is probably one of the most long-lasting products in the world as it doesn’t get spoiled unless you manage to do something incredibly awful to it!

So don’t worry and feel free to keep on using your vinegar after it has “expired”. Eventually, it would not be reasonable to discard a product that is pretty expensive.

Can balsamic vinegar be used after the expiration date

My balsamic turned “cloudy”. Is it safe to use?

Indeed, after some time of storage, balsamic vinegar becomes somewhat cloudy but it is a completely natural thing for this dressing. So, if you have been storing it properly, don’t stress, no bacteria have crawled into the bottle and settled in there! 

Honey-Balsamic Vinaigrette- Martha StewartHoney-Balsamic Vinaigrette- Martha Stewart

What is the maximum term that I can use balsamic vinegar after purchasing it?

If you store it properly and keep away from light and heat, your vinegar will be able to last even up to ten years, just imagine that!

What if balsamic did turn bad? How to define it?

Well, if you were storing it with the cap removed, your balsamic vinegar will most likely become spoiled sooner or later. To find it out, check the bottle for any traces of mold first of all.

What if balsamic did turn bad

If you don’t spot any inside, taste a little bit of vinegar. The good vinegar tastes mildly acidic with some sweetness, so if you taste something harsh, then your vinegar is probably off.

Use these tips whenever you buy balsamic vinegar for cooking and enjoy this dressing that will make your dishes taste awsome!

Read next: How Long Does Salsa Last?

Written by
Elisa is a passionate cook who will advise you on healthy and delicious food topics! With her help, you will discover how to properly store and freeze food, as well as learn important nuances about preserving vitamins in your meals to make them stay nutritious.
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