Does Brown Sugar Go Bad?
Question: does brown sugar go bad? Read on to find out.
Most people tend to forget about that one old bag of brown sugar that they stored in the kitchen cupboard. This often happens when you’re certain that you already used the bag, then you happen to stumble upon a half-opened bag of sugar when reorganizing the kitchen cupboard.
The first thing one would wonder is whether on not brown sugar goes bad. As you already know, sugar can last for a very long time, but we always aren’t sure of the exact length of time it can stay in its original state. Also, since brown sugar has a habit of clumping up after storage, one can’t be sure if it’s safe to consume brown sugar which has hardened up. If you want to learn more about brown sugar, continue reading the article.
How Brown Sugar Can Be Stored
Brown sugar should be stored the same way white sugar is stored. This means that it has to be stored in a cool and dry place. A kitchen shelf or a cupboard in your pantry will work perfectly. All you’ll need to do is ensure that the leftover sugar is kept away from all heat sources such as heaters or ovens.
One of the most important things is to make sure that it stays in a dry place because sugar can easily absorb water when it gets in contact with it. We’re all aware of what would happen once water gets in sugar.
If the package isn’t opened, the brown sugar can be left in the bag it came in. However, once the bag is unsealed, make sure that it is stored in an airtight container or the package is covered with another bag.
Brown sugar that has been in storage for a long time tends to dry out, become hard and clumps form in it because it lacks moisture. With a sugar server, you’ll be able to retain moisture in sugar and of the required levels which will prevent it from hardening and clumping up. If your sugar is clumped up, you’ll need to soak it before putting it in a storage container. You can keep resoaking the sugar every time it becomes dry.
If the brown sugar keeps hardening, there are a couple of ways of handling the situation as well.
How You Can Soften Hard Brown Sugar
As you already know, brown sugar easily gets dry which in turn makes it form clumps. Note that when your sugar hardens, it doesn’t mean that it is spoiled but can be quite difficult to use (for instance in baking.)
Luckily, there are 2 ways in which you can soften brown sugar that has clumped up. The first one is to loosen it manually, which can be done in various ways:
- By using a fork to break down the clumps
- By placing the sugar in a plastic bag and gently smashing it against the counter or a wall
- By breaking the clumps in a blender or an electric beater
The second method is by providing another source of humidity so that the molasses found in the granulated brown sugar can soften. The following are the various methods you can apply:
- Add an apple slice in the storage container, tightly close it before putting it away for a few hours
- Place a piece of bread in the storage container
- Put an orange peel in the storage container and let it stay till morning
- Cover the brown sugar using a slightly wet towel or moist paper towel, then heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds (use little or average heat setting)
How To Know When Brow Sugar Has Gone Bad
When confirming whether the brown sugar is still safe for consumption, check for the following:
- Lifeless (and alive) insects, eggs or larvae in the packet. There are instances at which they manage to get into the storage container, which will mean that the brown sugar is not safe for consumption.
- Mold and any kind of organic growth. When moisture or water comes into contact with the packaging and mold or some other kind of organic growth forms in the sugar, it will become bad and not safe for consumption.
On the other hand, if everything to do with the brown sugar seems fine, then it is very safe for consumption. Remember that sugar can get clumps and there are several ways of softening it.