Brown sugar is one of the most commonly used ingredients in the kitchen.
That is just a fact, no matter what you are doing, whether you are making some coffee, preparing breakfast, baking cookies, chances are that you will need to use brown sugar at some point or the other.
That is why one of the most irritating, but way too common, problems is when you open up the brown sugar jar to find it has become clumpy and brick-like. When it turns rock-hard, it’s difficult to revive and use.
Luckily, we have a solution to help you deal with these difficulties: brown sugar savers. These handy devices are designed to solve the problem of dried out sugar for you with no trouble at all.
What are the best brown sugar savers? The best brown sugar savers are made from terracotta and other porous materials (usually other ceramics). They should be large enough to hold enough moisture but small enough to fit inside your sugar container easily.
For this guide, we’ll delve deeper into how exactly these sugar savers do just that. We will also recommend some of the best brown sugar savers you can get in the market today. So, be sure to keep reading!
The Problem with Brown Sugar: Why You Want a Brown Sugar Saver
Before anything else, we must take a closer look at the problems that come with brown sugar. In a nutshell, the whole situation arises when your naturally soft and fluffy package of brown sugar turns into rock.
Now, you may be asking yourself: how exactly did that happen?
The short answer to that is that the brown sugar’s natural moisture has all but evaporated. Without this moisture content, you are left with a densely packed lump of sweet rock.
While it is still perfectly safe to consume, it presents a difficulty in recipes, since there is no way for you to accurately measure it as you normally would.
Needless to say, this simply won’t do.
That’s why we’re taking a closer look at some ways you can remedy this and how you can prevent it from happening in the first place.
That is why we have deemed it necessary to tackle the important questions first. This way, you can better see why brown sugar savers are so indispensable in the matter at hand.
How Do You Keep Brown Sugar Soft?
Now that the question of why brown sugar hardens has been effectively answered, it is time that we look at the different things we can do to prevent this problem altogether.
So, how exactly do you keep brown sugar soft? Surprisingly, there are a few ways to approach it.
Listed below are some of the different ways to ensure that brown sugar doesn’t lose moisture:
- Proper Storage – One of the best ways to prevent brown sugar from hardening is to ensure that it is stored properly. This means keeping your brown sugar in a sealed and airtight container. Remember, air exposure and the loss of moisture is your underlying problem. Limiting air exposure is the best way to address this. That is why we recommend using resealable containers or ziplock bags to do the job. Just make sure that there are no cracks or holes in your container, otherwise, the seal will be broken and the problem will reoccur.
- Pack it with Moist Food – Packing your sugar with a couple of marshmallows, some apple slices, or even a bit of bread is a great way to prevent it from turning into bricks. It may seem strange but this method is a tried and tested method of keeping brown sugar soft. This is because of their high moisture content. It is simple enough and involves basic science. The idea behind this solution is that the sugar will be drawing moisture away from the marshmallow, bread, or fruit that you have put in so it can remain soft. However you must be able to watch your sugar often and swap out the food if it starts to go bad.
- Use a Brown Sugar Saver – Brown sugar savers, as their name would tell you, serve as a perfect solution to this problem. Made from terracotta clay or other porous materials, these devices come in the form of small discs. The concept behind it is similar to the idea of packing moist food in with the sugar. The discs are specifically designed to reintroduce moisture into your sugar. This is what effectively keeps it from turning hard in its container. Unlike food, brown sugar savers can’t go bad, so there is no risk to your brown sugar if you drop the saver in the jar and forget about it for three months!
How to Rehydrate Brown Sugar?
Of course, as experience would tell us, preventive measures are not always enough. It is important to know how to actively solve a problem should you encounter one.
That said, there are a couple of handy solutions that you can try.
Listed below are some of the things you can do to restore moisture to your brown sugar:
1. Microwave Method
This is probably the quickest way to soften brown sugar.
Simply put the hardened lumps of brown sugar lump into your microwave-safe bowl and put a damp paper towel on top of it.
Set it on a low setting and microwave in 10-second bursts until the sugar begins to crumble again. Break the sugar lumps between bursts using a fork.
Keep a close eye on the sugar though as there is a risk that the sugar may start to liquefy once it gets too hot.
2. Oven Method
Similar to the microwave, this method will entail applying high levels of heat to your brown sugar.
To do this, pre-heat the oven to 250° F. Then, using an oven-safe bowl, place the hardened sugar lumps in the oven.
You will need to closely monitor the progress of the sugar by periodically checking its texture every couple of minutes. Once it has regained softness, you can proceed to take it out of the oven.
3. Bread and Apple Method
The idea behind this method is to give the hardened sugar a source of moisture so it can be restored to its original state. It is as simple as putting the fresh bread or the sliced apples in the sugar container and waiting for the sugar to regain its original texture.
4. Brown Sugar Saver Method
This method is simple enough.
All you need to do is soak the brown sugar saver for 20 minutes before placing it in the airtight sugar container. After that, the sugar should go back to its soft state after a day.
At this point, it should go without saying that the brown sugar saver is the best option available to you.
Not only will it effectively address the immediate problem of rehydrating your sugar, but it will also serve as an effective means of preventing the problem from happening again.
Moreover, the brown sugar saver method doesn’t come with the drawbacks of the previous methods.
For instance, it doesn’t require the use of any appliances or electricity to get the job done. At the same time, you wouldn’t have to deal with the potential problem of mold growth or rot as you would when using bread or apple slices.
How Do Brown Sugar Savers Work?
Now, you may be wondering, is a brown sugar saver worth it? The brief answer to that is: yes, it definitely is.
Especially at its normally cheaper price range, it is a device that is certainly worth investing in. After all, sugar is a staple in all kitchens. Moreover, you will always want to keep it soft and fresh at all times anyway.
The brown sugar saver is designed to do just that. Now, you may be wondering, how exactly does this small disc go about the task of turning hardened sugar blocks back to reusable brown sugar?
Lest we forget, this is also the device that can easily keep your brown sugar soft for months on end.
However, before we delve into the explanations, let us first examine how to properly use this device.
How to Prevent Loss of Moisture With a Brown Sugar Saver
As explained above, the brown sugar saver is your best option. After all, using this device is incredibly simple. Yet, it never fails to deliver the desired results. This efficacy is what makes the brown sugar saver so appealing.
That said, be sure to follow these steps closely:
- Soak the brown sugar saver in water. Make sure that it is properly soaking for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Once done, take it out and make sure to pat the disk dry. After all, you wouldn’t want to put it in the container while it’s still wet as the sugar will only end up sticking to its surface.
- Once properly dried off (but not totally dry), put it on top of the brown sugar and seal the container. Leave it and forget about it if you want!
For the best results, make sure that you are using an airtight container. If done properly, your brown sugar saver should keep your brown sugar soft for as long as 3 months.
When signs of hardening begin to appear, simply repeat the process presented above.
How to Rehydrate With a Brown Sugar Saver
The process of rehydrating sugar with this device is also pretty similar. Make sure to follow these steps:
- Take your brown sugar saver and soak it in water for as long as 20 minutes. Make sure that it is totally steeped in water during that whole duration.
- Pat the disc dry.
- Place the sugar saver in an airtight container along with the hardened sugar.
- Let the device do its job. When dealing with hardened brown sugar, the duration of the rehydration process may vary.
Typically, it can take as little as 8 hours to a whole day for the brown sugar to regain its original soft texture with a brown sugar saver.
After following these steps, it would be highly advisable to leave the sugar saver in the container. This way, it can prevent any further loss of moisture down the road.
Again, we must reiterate that an airtight container will ensure the best results.
Understanding the Science of Brown Sugar Savers
It has a lot to do with the fact that most brown sugar savers are made from terracotta.
Remember that one of the primary characteristics of this material is its porosity. This means that that it has no trouble absorbing moisture once it has been dipped in.
Once you pat it dry and put it in the container with your hardened sugar, the device will gradually reintroduce moisture to the sealed environment. In turn, the sugar will then absorb all the excess moisture.
As this process continues over a couple of hours, the sugar can return to its original state.
Despite its name, this device is also incredibly versatile. That means that you can also use it to keep other ingredients moist. For instance, you can put in with your fruit cakes and cookies to keep them from becoming crumbly.
And if you grab a set of multiple brown sugar savers, you can also use it to keep food dry! The porous terracotta will easily absorb any moisture that enters your container, meaning less will get absorbed by your ingredients.
Now that’s a versatile kitchen tool.
Best Brown Sugar Savers
We have explained the science behind brown sugar savers and how these devices work.
At the same time, we have also explored why they remain the best option available to you. Now, it is time that we take a closer look at the actual devices that you can try.
Listed below are 5 of the best brown sugar savers that you can get for your kitchen:
|Brown Sugar Bear
|OXO POP Container Brown Sugar Saver
|Designed for OXO Pop containers
|JBK Terra Cotta Brown Sugar Saver
|Now Designs Terracotta Brown Sugar Saver Set
|Whale design, 3-pack
|JBK Brown Sugar Savers Set
|Set of 6 terracotta designs
Be sure to look at each brown sugar saver closely to see which one best fits your needs.
1. Brown Sugar Bear
First, we have the Brown Sugar Bear. This sugar saver can maintain your sugar’s moisture levels for as long as 6 months.
Made from ceramic, this sugar saver is completely reusable. It can also be used to keep baked goods like cakes and cookies moist and soft.
That said, make sure to rinse it with clean water between uses.
Don’t use soap to clean this or any other brown sugar saver. It will be difficult to get all of the soap out and the chances of having soap residue left in your saver are high. Needless to say, you don’t want soap near your cooking ingredients.
2. OXO POP Container Brown Sugar Saver
If you are looking for a brown sugar saver that sports a minimalist design, then look no further than the OXO POP Container Brown Sugar Saver.
Made from terracotta, this small disk can be attached neatly to the underside of your OXO Pop Container lids. It’s not clear if you can attach this to another container, though if you want to experiment, this should still work as a normal brown sugar saver, even if it doesn’t attach to any other container.
When it attaches, it can keep your sugar fresh without even being noticeable. Just soak it in water for 15 minutes, pat it dry, and place it in there.
It should last you for as long as 6 months, though the actual time may vary depending on the volume of the sugar.
3. JBK Hummingbird Terra Cotta Brown Sugar Saver
Featuring a hummingbird pattern, this brown sugar saver evokes an impressive and classic design.
It has the capacity to rehydrate brown sugar as well as keep it soft for a period of up to 3 months, which is standard. It works best when paired with a sealed container.
Similar to other sugar savers on this list, the JBK Hummingbird Terra Cotta Brown Sugar Saver is reusable and it comes in a lovely design sure to make you smile every time you pull out the brown sugar to bake with.
4. Now Designs Terracotta Brown Sugar Saver Set
This brown sugar saver from Now Designs is incredibly easy to use and a joy to look at.
Shaped like a whale, this device is made from food-safe, high-fired terracotta material. It is specifically designed to help keep your brown sugar nice and soft for a period of 3 to 6 months.
Each one measures 2.5 x 2 inches and can easily fit a wide array of airtight containers with ease, so you shouldn’t have to worry about any narrow sugar jars if you like to use a pinch of brown sugar in your morning coffee or tea.
5. JBK Brown Sugar Savers Set
This last one is perfect if you have multiple ingredients that need constant hydration.
This set of 6 brown sugar savers offers unique, delightful designs and can help ensure the freshness of your sugar as well as other ingredients in your kitchen.
And there you have it, the complete guide to brown sugar savers!
Not only did we cover the science behind rehydrating sugar and the various ways you can preserve its moisture, but we have also shown why these terracotta discs are the best option for the job.
Be sure to check out our list of recommended sugar savers and pick one that best fits your kitchen!