Mayonnaise is a staple condiment for households all over America. Over the years, mayo has gotten a bad reputation of going easily bad when left unrefrigerated.
That’s why it’s easier to find other condiments such as ketchup and mustard on restaurant tables, but not mayonnaise.
However, restaurants and households alike can still enjoy mayo even without a fridge at hand. This is because commercial or store-bought mayonnaise has certain ingredients that help preserve it by keeping the pH levels low.
This makes the mayo acidic. Salmonella and other bacteria cannot grow in an acidic environment.
Therefore, you can store your mayo anywhere but in the fridge and still enjoy the creamy condiment. Here’s how to do it;
To store commercial mayonnaise without a fridge, there are two proven tips. If storing for continuous use, transfer it to a squeeze bottle to avoid cross-contamination. If you are saving the mayo for a later date, leave it unopened in your pantry. It will last up to three months or the indicated expiry date without going bad.
Additionally, it has been proven that refrigerating mayonnaise has more to do with taste than spoilage. It is a matter of personal preference, so it’s best to try it out both ways and choose what works best for you.
Do You Have to Refrigerate Mayonnaise After Opening?
Commercial mayo has added ingredients that are meant to act as preservatives. These preservatives help the mayo last longer than homemade mayonnaise.
However, commercial mayo should be refrigerated after opening. This is mainly because the mayo goes bad due to cross-contamination.
If kept in a contamination-free bottle such as a squeeze bottle, or scooped using a clean time, the mayo can actually be stored in the pantry.
What About Homemade Mayo?
homemade mayo does not have the same ingredients that keep commercial mayo fresh longer. The mixture usually contains oil, egg yolk, and vinegar or lemon juice as the main ingredients.
The egg is especially sensitive to temperature changes and carries the risk of salmonella. The standard is to always store homemade mayo in the fridge.
It should be good for 3-4 days if used in its freshly made form. However, if the mayo is fermented with enzymes for at least 6 hours, it will keep for 2 months in the refrigerator.
How to Preserve Mayonnaise Without Refrigeration
Storing mayo in the fridge is the best way to safeguard against bacterial growth. However, the need may arise when the refrigerator is not available or workable.
Restaurants that would prefer to have all their condiments out on the table, including mayo, need to be able to do without refrigeration.
There are different ways to preserve mayo for longer without refrigeration. Here are three tips;
Method 1: Using Yogurt Whey
Homemade mayonnaise is preferred by many because it’s easy to whip up at home and does not contain any chemical preservatives.
However, this means that without a fridge, it is near impossible to store it for later use. Luckily, homemade mayo can keep for up to two months in the fridge if fermented with yogurt whey.
This works because yogurt whey is filled with lactic acid. To get the whey, drain the yogurt through a cheesecloth. The resulting liquid is whey.
Add about 1 teaspoonful of the whey to a jar of homemade mayonnaise and stir. Store at room temperature for six hours to activate the lactic acid that will extend the shelf-life of your mayonnaise. It is best to use natural yogurt with no flavorings.
Method 2: Use A Clean Spoon
The number one cause of food poisoning from mayo is not the mayo itself, but cross-contamination from using dirty spoons.
Scooping tuna and mayo with the same spoon is a health hazard. To keep your mayo for longer, only use a clean spoon every time you scoop from the jar. This will keep your store-bought mayo fresh even without refrigeration.
Method 3: Squeeze Bottles
Another great way to keep mayo fresh without a fridge is to use squeeze bottles. Squeeze bottles don’t get in contact with other condiments or food substances, thereby lowering the risk of cross-contamination.
Jars from the manufacturers have a wide opening that encourages scooping with whatever spoon or knife is close at hand. This exposes the mayo to cross-contamination from dirty spoons and surfaces.
Pieces of tuna, bread, and butter may drop into the mayo. This is the cause of spoilage. To keep the mayo longer without needing a fridge, use a squeeze bottle and avoid touching the bottle’s opening with food or dirty hands.
Can You Store Mayonnaise in the Pantry?
Commercially produced mayonnaise can be stored in the pantry, especially if it is unopened.
Food scientists have shown that mayo has enough acidity to stay fresh at room temperature. Just avoid any cross-contamination.
If unopened, it can be stored in the pantry up to the “best by” date on the jar.
Mayonnaise that Does Not Require Refrigeration
Store-bought mayonnaise does not need refrigeration. As long as it is not opened, the composition of the mayo keeps the contents inside perfectly preserved.
Additionally, as per a report by the NPD Group, the acidic nature of the mass-produced mayonnaise inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes food-borne illness.
An opened jar of mayo will also keep without a fridge if transferred to a squeeze bottle.
How Long can Mayonnaise be Left Out of the Fridge?
An opened jar of store-bought mayonnaise can last up to 8 hours at room temperature without refrigeration.
This duration should be shorter in temperatures higher than 50 Fahrenheit. Higher temperatures encourage the growth of bacteria.
On the other hand, an unopened jar of commercial mayo can be left out of the fridge up to the “best by” date. It will stay fresh throughout.
Homemade mayo is highly susceptible to spoilage because it does not have any added preservatives. It should not be left out of the fridge.