Does Dijon Mustard Go Bad? How To Keep It Fresh

Written by: Mike Marshall
dijon mustard in a wooden spoon

While decluttering the fridge, you’ve found a jar of Dijon mustard.

It doesn’t appear to be spoiled, but its best before date was a long time ago.

Before you throw it away, a question might pop up in your head – does Dijon mustard go bad, like ever?

You’ve come to the right place to find the answer.

In this article, we’ll talk about everything, from shelf life to proper storage.

Let’s dive in.

How Long Does Dijon Mustard Last?

Dijon mustard doesn’t go bad in the traditional sense of the word. But it does decline in quality after a certain amount of time. That’s why every store-bought mustard will have a best before date printed on the label.

But this date shouldn’t be taken for granted. It’s more of an indicator of how long the manufacturer believes the packaging of Dijon mustard will stay fresh. Because of high acidity, the real shelf life will be much longer than the printed expiration date.

Generally, unopened Dijon mustard can last as much as three years past the expiration date. Again, this is a rough estimate, so there’s a good chance it will stay fresh for longer than that. 

Once you open the jar, the shelf life will become somewhat shorter and you’ll have to keep it in the fridge. If you store it the right way (we’ll get into that later in the article), Dijon mustard can stay fresh for up to two years. Then, it will slowly start degrading in quality.

Shelf LifeUnopenedOpened
Dijon Mustard~3 years~2 years

When it comes to homemade Dijon mustard, you can’t expect its shelf life to be anywhere near as long. Unlike store-bought mustard, homemade versions contain natural preservatives. And they can only last for so long. 

Depending on the ingredients you’ve used, homemade Dijon mustard can last as little as a few weeks or as much as half a year. Of course, you’ll have to keep it in the fridge at all times, in an airtight container. 

How To Tell If Dijon Mustard Is Bad?

dijon mustard in a jar

As we already established, Dijon mustard doesn’t spoil like cheese or veggies. But it can’t last forever either. After some time, it will show signs of degradation.

The first thing you’ll notice is that Dijon mustard has darkened in color and become dry in texture. That’s often accompanied by a weakened flavor. Fresh Dijon mustard is tangy with a bit of spice, so you can easily notice the change in taste.

But even if these signs appear, that doesn’t have to mean your Dijon mustard is inedible. There’s a quick fix you can do in case the degradation process has started only recently. Just add one or two tablespoons of vinegar and stir thoroughly. 

Dijon mustard can also start to separate over time. Again, this doesn’t mean it’s not safe for consumption. Not right away, that is. But it’s only a matter of time before it becomes inedible.

In case you don’t seal the jar properly after each use, moisture will inevitably get inside. And as a result, it can cause bacterial or mold growth. 

Another way Dijon mustard can go bad prematurely is if you don’t use clean utensils to scoop it out. Dipping food into it is even worse. In both cases, you can easily contaminate it with bacteria. So unless you’re just trying to get the last bit of mustard out, don’t double-dip.

Luckily, there will be visible hints that show your Dijon mustard is spoiled.

If you notice the bottle is swollen, that’s usually an easy clue of spoilage. The same goes for pressure in the packaging. If you hear a popping noise when opening a jar, that’s also a sign it has gone bad. 

Like other foods, Dijon mustard will smell and taste bad when spoiled. Bitter flavor and pungent odor are clear indicators of bacterial or mold growth.

How To Store Dijon Mustard?

Unopened jars of Dijon mustard don’t actually have to take up space in your fridge. You can store them in your pantry or a kitchen cabinet, for example. Just make sure the storage place of your choice is dry, cool, and dark. 

Let’s say you plan on going through the entire jar in a short amount of time (a month or so). Then, you can keep the Dijon mustard stored at room temperature, without worrying it will go bad. The only important thing is to keep it sealed properly. If exposed to air for a longer time, mustard will dry out at a fast rate.

Dijon mustard can also be frozen. Doing that will extend the shelf life for about a year longer than it would last in the fridge. But there’s no guarantee it will taste as good once thawed.

Freezing Dijon mustard can cause ingredients to separate, because of its oil content.

Here’s what happens:

As it reaches the freezing point,  tiny ice crystals will form. Once you take it out to thaw, those crystals will turn back into the water. As you know, water and oil don’t mix, so you won’t have the uniform texture anymore. What’s more, the taste will be weaker as well. 

As we already mentioned, Dijon mustard stays fresh for up to four years in the fridge. So there’s really no need to extend it even further at the cost of separated ingredients. 

But if you insist on doing so, make sure you freeze it in an airtight container or releasable bags. Don’t just put it in the jar it came in, as it’s probably not freezer-safe.

Final Thoughts

Unopened jars of Dijon mustard can last for years when stored in a cool and dry place. Once opened, the shelf life becomes somewhat shorter. Still, as long as it’s kept in an airtight container in the fridge, it will still be good for one or two years. 

But don’t expect a homemade version to last as much. 

Depending on the ingredients, your own product can last anywhere from two weeks to six months in the fridge. Just make sure it’s sealed well and protected from air and moisture. 

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I’m not a pro chef by any means, but years of tinkering inside the kitchen have taught me a thing or two about preparing delicious, healthy food. So whether you’re interested in how to properly store food, figuring out side dishes for your main course, or even learning how to use a knife properly – I've got you covered.