How to Store Bearnaise Sauce

Bearnaise sauce, a classic French sauce derived from the famous hollandaise, is known for its rich, buttery flavor with hints of tarragon and shallot. It’s a popular accompaniment to steak, fish, and eggs but can be a bit tricky to store due to its delicate ingredients. In this guide, we’ll walk you through how to store Bearnaise sauce to maintain its freshness and flavor.

What Is Bearnaise Sauce?

Bearnaise sauce is a creamy, emulsified sauce made primarily from clarified butter, egg yolks, white wine vinegar, and herbs, notably tarragon and shallots. It’s similar to hollandaise sauce but with a distinct flavor profile provided by the addition of the herbs and a more vinegar-forward taste. It’s a staple in French cuisine, often served with grilled meats and fish.

Can Bearnaise Sauce Go Bad?

Like any sauce made with fresh ingredients, especially egg yolks and butter, Bearnaise sauce can indeed go bad. The primary concerns with Bearnaise sauce are the risks of separation and bacterial growth, particularly Salmonella, due to the raw eggs. Proper storage is essential to extend its shelf life and maintain its safety for consumption.

How to Tell If Bearnaise Sauce Is Fresh

Fresh Bearnaise sauce should have a smooth, creamy texture and a vibrant, tangy flavor. If the sauce starts to separate, turn lumpy, or develop a dull color, it’s a sign that it’s no longer fresh. Additionally, if there’s any unpleasant odor or the development of a sour or rancid taste, the sauce should be discarded immediately.

How to Store Bearnaise Sauce in the Refrigerator

To extend the freshness of Bearnaise sauce, it’s crucial to store it properly in the refrigerator. Here are some tips:

  1. Cool It Down: Before refrigerating, allow the sauce to cool down to room temperature. However, don’t leave it out for more than two hours to avoid bacterial growth.
  2. Airtight Container: Transfer the sauce to an airtight container. This reduces exposure to air, which can degrade the quality and lead to contamination.
  3. Label and Date: Label the container with the date of storage. Bearnaise sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, although fresher is always better for both taste and safety.

How to Store Bearnaise Sauce in the Freezer

While freezing is not typically recommended for Bearnaise sauce due to the risk of separation and texture changes, it can be done if you accept the potential quality compromise. Here’s how:

  1. Portion Control: Freeze the sauce in small portions, perhaps in ice cube trays or small containers. This way, you can thaw exactly the amount you need without defrosting the entire batch.
  2. Seal Tightly: Use airtight containers or freezer bags to prevent freezer burn and absorption of other flavors from the freezer.
  3. Thawing: When ready to use, thaw the sauce overnight in the refrigerator rather than at room temperature to minimize the risk of bacterial growth.
  4. Re-emulsifying: After thawing, the sauce might separate or curdle. Gently reheating and whisking the sauce over low heat can help re-emulsify it. Adding a bit of warm water or more butter while whisking can also help restore its creamy consistency.

Remember, while freezing can extend the shelf life, it’s best used as a last resort due to potential changes in quality.

Best Containers for Bearnaise Sauce

Choosing the right storage container is crucial to maintaining the freshness and quality of your Bearnaise sauce. Here are some options:

  • Glass Jars: Small glass jars with tight-fitting lids are ideal for storing Bearnaise sauce in the refrigerator. Glass is non-porous, meaning it won’t absorb smells or flavors, and it’s easy to check the contents without opening.
  • Airtight Plastic Containers: If using plastic, make sure it’s BPA-free and airtight. These containers are lightweight and less fragile than glass.
  • Freezer Bags: For freezing, sturdy, leak-proof freezer bags are best. Press out as much air as possible before sealing to minimize freezer burn.

For more information on the best containers for storing sauces like Bearnaise, visit best food containers or check out Amazon for food containers

How to Reheat Bearnaise Sauce

Reheating Bearnaise sauce can be tricky, as high heat can cause the sauce to separate. Here’s the best method:

  1. Low Heat: Reheat the sauce gently over low heat, stirring constantly to prevent it from separating or scrambling.
  2. Double Boiler: Using a double boiler can provide a more gentle and even heat, reducing the risk of ruining the sauce.
  3. Add Liquid: If the sauce is too thick or starts to separate, whisk in a small amount of warm water or melted butter until the desired consistency is reached.


Proper storage is key to maintaining the freshness, flavor, and safety of Bearnaise sauce. By following these tips, you can enjoy your Bearnaise sauce for a little longer while reducing food waste. Always prioritize safety by storing the sauce properly and discarding it if you notice any signs of spoilage.


Can I microwave Bearnaise sauce for reheating? It’s not recommended to microwave Bearnaise sauce as it can heat unevenly and cause the sauce to separate. Gently reheating over low heat on the stove is best.

How long can I keep Bearnaise sauce in the freezer? While freezing is not ideal, Bearnaise sauce can be stored in the freezer for up to one month. Remember, there may be a noticeable change in texture after thawing.

Is it safe to eat Bearnaise sauce left out overnight? No, Bearnaise sauce should not be left out at room temperature for more than two hours due to the risk of bacterial growth. Always store it in the refrigerator when not in use.

Feel free to explore our best food containers for optimal storage solutions that can help maintain the quality and extend the shelf life of your sauces and other food items.

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