How to Store Brown Sugar

If you ever opened a container of brown sugar from your cabinet and found that it was clumpy and the clumps were too hard to break apart, you are probably wondering what you did wrong and what is the proper way to store brown sugar.

Brown sugar is a bit finicky because you have to both keep it moist so it doesn’t dry out but you have to keep the moisture out so that it does not clump up. Ideally, you need to store brown sugar in an area where there is moisture but in an airtight container, so excess moisture doesn’t get in and ruin your brown sugar.

In this article, we are going to talk about some tips and tricks for keeping your brown sugar fresh and clump-free so you will not have to worry about throwing it out again. We will also talk about things you can do with brown sugar if it gets clumpy.

How to Store Brown Sugar

How to Store Brown Sugar Properly

Storing brown sugar does not have to be complicated. The two main things you need are an airtight container and a way to help maintain the moisture. Airtight containers do not have to be expensive and they do not have to be made specifically for keeping brown sugar.

Rubbermaid Container, BPA-Free Plastic, Brilliance Pantry Airtight Food Storage, Open Stock, Brown...
  • Rubbermaid Modular Food Storage Containers can hold pasta, baking ingredients, or other pantry staples; save space and keep pantry organized
  • Great for pet food; easy to clean and scoop food from, and tight lids keep out moisture and humidity
  • Lids snap tight to help keep food fresh

When you combine a good airtight container with a brown sugar saver, you should be all set for 3 to 6 months before you have to refresh your sugar saver. A brown sugar saver is generally made out of terracotta or clay, and you can soak it in water so that it absorbs and holds moisture. Make sure to pat it dry before using it.

Brown Sugar Bear Original Brown Sugar Saver and Softener, Terracotta, Pack of 2
  • Brown Sugar Bear maintains moisture in brown sugar for approximately 3 to 6 months
  • Made from specially fired clay; food safe and reusable
  • Soak in water for 20-minutes and place in brown sugar, baked goods, cakes, cookies, marshmallows, even dried fruit to soften and maintain moistness

If you are wondering how a sugar saver works, basically, when you keep it inside the container with your sugar, it will help keep your brown sugar fresher longer.

Other Tips for Storing Brown Sugar

There are other less expensive ways that you can store your brown sugar as well, if you are not sold on the idea of a brown sugar saver. Though brown sugar savers are a highly recommended, must-have gadget for any kitchen, there are always justifications for not using them.

If you would prefer to try another way of storing your brown sugar, keep in mind that moisture is key! This is why you can use a slice of sandwich bread inside your brown sugar container. As long as the bread is not moldy or crumbly and dry, it will help to keep your brown sugar fresh as the sugar absorbs the moisture in the bread to keep itself fresh.

If you are not a fan of the bread idea, fluffy marshmallows will do the trick too. Toss in a few large marshmallows with your brown sugar, make sure the lid is on tight and you should be all set.

You can also slice an apple and put a few apple slices in your brown sugar container, and it will have the same effect. The most important thing is to keep something in your brown sugar container that contains moisture, without actually pouring water in the container itself.

How Long Can Brown Sugar Be Stored?

Generally, brown sugar has a shelf life of about 18 months, but that can be extended if stored properly.

How to Store Brown Sugar

How to Tell if Brown Sugar Has Gone Bad

Clumpy brown sugar does not mean it is spoiled. In fact, as long as your brown sugar does not smell moldy or have an unpleasant odor, it should still be good to use.

If you suspect your brown sugar might have gone bad, first look to see if it appears to be discolored or if it has something that looks like mold growing on it. Though moldy brown sugar is uncommon, it can happen due to the natural presence of moisture in brown sugar.

Then do a sniff test to make sure it still smells like brown sugar and nothing else. If you do not see or smell anything unpleasant, you should be all set to continue using your brown sugar, clumps and all!

How to Soften Clumpy Brown Sugar

If you have discovered that your brown sugar is clumpy, do not throw it out! There is still hope! There are quick and easy ways to save your brown sugar.

If you have time to wait and you don’t need it until tomorrow, you can put some of the clumpy brown sugar in a container lined with tinfoil. Then cover the brown sugar with a damp, not dripping wet, paper towel and put a lid on the container. Wait 8-10 hours or overnight for best results, and you should wake up to a like-new container of brown sugar.

If you need your brown sugar quickly, you can run it through a food processor to break up the clumps, or you can pop it in the microwave in a sealed plastic baggy with a moist paper towel for 20 seconds at a time until you are happy with the texture.

Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Brown Sugar

Here are a few mistakes you should avoid when storing brown sugar:

Storing it in the Original Container

Do not, for any reason, store brown sugar in the container it originally came in. Usually, brown sugar will come in a plastic or paper bag, and as much as we try to keep them sealed, chances are, unwanted air is still seeping into your brown sugar and this can cause it to dry out.

Storing it on the Counter in a Dry Climate

If you know that you live in a place that is very dry or it is wintertime and the heat inside makes the air drier than normal, you can easily store your brown sugar in the freezer. This will keep it moist and help to extend the shelf life. But it is important not to store brown sugar in an extremely dry area.

Maintain Your Brown Sugar’s Freshness & Flavor

Moisture and an airtight container are necessities for keeping your brown sugar fresh! How you go about making sure your brown sugar stays moist is kind of up to you, but you have plenty of options to choose from so you do not have to throw away brown sugar again!