People who like to cook usually buy sugar in bulk to save money. But if they don't store it properly, that sugar can go stale and taste terrible. Here are the tips on how to store sugar for long term and keep it fresh for months on end. This will help you save money and have good-tasting food.
Defining sugar: what is it?
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that provides plenty of calories for energy in its simplest form. In addition to refinement, the granules are purified and whitened with the help of a natural carbon filtration system. Chemically pure sucrose is the result.
Sugar is available in dry form (as crystals) or liquid form (like maple syrup). Many of our most delicious foods taste delicious when they are laced with sugar. <source>
White sugar, also called granulated sugar or table sugar, is made from refined sugar cane or sugar beets. First, food processors juice the sugar cane or beets, then boil the cane juice to evaporate the water.
Clarifying the raw sugar is done in centrifuges that spin the sugar at high speeds to strip away the sticky brown syrup or molasses that coats sugar crystals.
What are the different types of white sugar?
There are slight differences in the size and shape of processed table sugar compared with white sugar, including:
1 Granulated sugar
Also known as white sugar or regular sugar, granulated sugar is refined sugar processed in a food processing unit to whiten and reduce to salt-like granules. Such sugar is often used in baking.
2 Superfine sugar
Often referred to as caster sugar, superfine sugar has a similar processing method to white table sugar. Superfine sugar is ground into a smaller crystal size than regular table sugar at the sugar refinery. Superfine sugar is essential for desserts such as meringue, mousse, or whipped cream. Cold drinks, such as iced tea and lemonade, are commonly sweetened with fine sugar crystals instead of table sugar, which dissolves much faster.
3 Powdered sugar
Powdered sugar or confectioners' sugar consists of finely ground white sugar (it's ground to a powder) diluted with cornstarch (to keep it from caking). The fast-melting attribute of powdered sugar makes it an essential ingredient in frosting, icing, and creamy desserts.
4 Sugar cubes
Sugar cubes are simply pressed pieces of white sugar. Most commonly, they are used in hot drinks for sweetness.
Sugar comes in 4 different types.
Other than white granulated sugar, other common sugars are available at your local grocery store. Sugar beets and sugar cane are both used to produce granular and loose sugar; however, there are wide differences in how these sugars are refined.
1 Brown sugar
Molasses is usually added back into refined white sugar to create brown sugar, the most common type. Brown sugar has a soft texture because of the moisture in molasses. In contrast, dark brown sugar, which has more molasses than regular brown sugar, has a darker shade of brown and a sharper taste than light brown sugar, which has a delicate caramel undertone.
2 Turbinado sugar
Also known as raw sugar or turbinado sugar, turbinado sugar is slightly
refined sugar made from cane pulp. Molasses preserves more flavor and natural sweetness, and it also has larger crystals than white sugar.
3 Muscovado sugar
While white sugar is refined, muscovado sugar contains molasses in its natural state. To produce muscovado, sugar cane plants are heated and their liquid extracted. As a result, most of the liquid evaporates, leaving molasses-flavored sugar with a dark brown color.
4 Demerara sugar
The hallmark of demerara sugar lies in its minimally processed and is made by evaporating sugarcane juice while retaining its natural molasses. The sugar crystals of demerara are large, and it has a dry consistency similar to white sugar.
Is there a difference between brown sugar and white sugar?
There are many types of sugar available on the market, but the two most common are brown sugar and white sugar. The main difference between brown sugar and white sugar is the molasses content.
- Brown sugar contains more molasses, which gives it a darker color and a more robust flavor. This means brown sugar is simply white sugar with molasses added back in, and the two can be interchangeable in some recipes.
- Brown sugar contains slightly more minerals than white sugar because of the molasses content. Otherwise, the two sugars are very similar nutritionally.
- White sugar has had all of the molasses removed and is commonly used in baking where a delicate flavor is desired.
Molasses have been removed from white sugar, making it a lighter color and flavor. Because of this processing, white sugar dissolves more easily than brown sugar. This leaves the sugar with a very delicate flavor, perfect for baking.
In contrast, brown sugar undergoes less processing or is reconstituted with molasses. Sugar becomes more flavorful this way, perfect for caramelizing onions and making BBQ sauce.
Swapping white sugar for brown sugar in recipes will affect both the flavor and the color of your dish. If you're trying to make a white cake but only have brown sugar, don't worry. The color difference will be negligible. However, the flavor of your cake will be noticeably different. If you're looking for a more intense flavor, using all brown sugar will give you a deeper molasses flavor.
Is raw sugar better than processed sugar?
There isn't a definitive answer to this question. Both raw sugar and processed sugar have their benefits and drawbacks. Raw sugar is less processed and retains more molasses; this gives raw sugar a deeper flavor and a darker color. Raw sugar is also moister than processed sugar, which can be beneficial or detrimental, depending on how you intend to use it.
On the other hand, processed sugar does not contain any molasses, giving it a lighter flavor and color. Processed sugar is also less moist than raw sugar, so it can be a plus or minus, depending on what you want to use it for.
So, which sugar should you use? The answer depends on your needs. If you want sugar with a strong flavor and a dark color, raw sugar is your best choice. If you are looking for sugar with a delicate flavor and a light color, refined sugar is what you need.
Sugar: how do you store it?
There are many ways to store sugar, but the most common is in an airtight container. Keeping it airtight will help prevent the sugar from turning stale and tasting nasty. You can also store sugar in the freezer to help it last even longer.
The key to storing sugar is keeping it dry. When sugar gets too much moisture, it forms clumps that make handling difficult. You should store sugar in an airtight container to prevent this from happening. You can also put a piece of wax paper or a desiccant packet in the container to help keep the sugar dry.
Keeping sugar in the freezer is the best option for long-term storage. When sugar is frozen, it will last for many years. You can thaw sugar at room temperature when you are ready to use it.
Choosing the right packaging
Sugar should be stored in opaque, airtight containers that are moisture and odor resistant. When sugars are sold at retail, they are packaged in paper bags, complicating long-term storage.
Choose a suitable container to store dry sugar.
- Mylar-type bags
- food-grade plastic buckets
- Ziptop bags
- glass canning jars
- #10 cans
When it comes to liquid syrups and honey, glass canning jars and #10 cans are best.
The conditions of storage
Sugar hardens when exposed to moisture, resulting in problems with usage, and lumpy sugar is not easy to restore. It is best to store sugar at room temperature (not in the refrigerator).
Storing sugar in an odor-free environment is crucial since sugar binds to odors – even if it's packaged in plastic. Don't let sugar syrup get too hot or frozen - this will cause it to crystallize. A heat source will also darken the color and affect the taste of syrups and honey.
Product shelf life
The antimicrobial properties of commercial sugars (granules, syrups, and honey) keep them shelf-stable indefinitely. Lumpiness occurs due to the hardening in granulated sugar or crystallization due to storage in honey and syrup. It can last forever if you store sugar in a cool, dry place. Despite this, you should use sugars within two years after the best-if-used by-date due to quality concerns.
While it may be lumpy or crystallized, it still works fine. The color and flavor may change depending on how the liquid sugar is stored.
Although this baking essential has a long shelf life, it's always best to buy a new one if you're unsure how old the item is. If you are going to chuck everything in the trash next time you clean out the pantry, you might want to bake some cookies instead.
How to store sugar for long term?
Sugar comes in various textures, colors, and flavors, each with its own storage needs. We have shed light on how you can store the most common types of sugar to retain their quality and taste for when you need them the most.
1 Granulated sugar
Granulated sugar is the most common type of sugar, known as white sugar, table sugar, or refined sugar. The final process of producing sugar involves refining and granulating sugar cane or sugar beets.
The fine, sandy texture of granulated sugar makes it perfect for measuring purposes. This kind of sugar dissolves easily in liquids, making it the most popular ingredient in baking.
How should you store granulated sugar?
Food-grade buckets are useful for storing sugar granules. Others prefer to keep it in an airtight container in the pantry. It is beneficial if the bucket is lined with wax paper to prevent clumping. In addition, by lining it with a mylar bag, you prevent contaminants from reaching the sugar while blocking out oxygen and light. You can also add a desiccant packet to the container to help keep the sugar dry.
Exposing sugar to a moist place can develop clumping and store it away from spices because they will absorb the sugar's moisture and cause it to become hard.
You can also store granulated sugar in the freezer. Just be sure to use an airtight container so that the sugar does not absorb any odors from the freezer. When ready to use, thaw the sugar at room temperature.
2 Brown sugar
Brown sugar is a type of sugar that has been refined and then mixed with molasses. The molasses gives brown sugar its characteristic color and flavor.
If you use brown sugar for the first time, you'll find it soft. Yet, it is possible, over time, for it to harden up, making it difficult to use. Unless it is protected from the air, brown sugar can develop a brick-like texture, quickly losing its moisture.
Moisture is an important characteristic of brown sugar. When working with white sugar, you are trying to seal out moisture, but with brown sugar, you are trying to seal in moisture. You cannot leave it out in the open.
You cannot store brown sugar in the refrigerator because the low temperature causes it to harden. If you look at the packaging, you will see that you should use the product within six months of purchase. A warning is given because the package has been opened and airtight packaging has not been used.
This has never been an issue for me. I store it in my Tupperware container, and it stays fresh and tasty there. This sugar does not last as long as white sugar due to its high moisture content. Generally, it will last one year if stored properly.
Whenever you have a bag of brown sugar that has hardened, stick a slice of bread into it. In effect, the bread will moisten the sugar, bringing it back to its original form.
How should you store brown sugar?
There are five options if you want to store brown sugar for an extended period.
Option 1 Store it in an airtight container.
A Tupperware container in your pantry is the preferred way to store brown sugar. The container does not matter. As long as it is airtight, you're good and help keep it from hardening.
Your choice of a container should depend on the amount of sugar you intend to store. You can store sugar in a smaller container if there is less sugar. When packing the sugar in its container, be cautious of any cracks or openings.
Option 2 Place it in a covered container/glass jar with a slice of bread.
Slices of bread are easy to keep brown sugar from drying out. When you top off your brown sugar container with white bread, the sugar will absorb moisture from the bread. This will result in the brown sugar softening while the bread hardens, returning it to its soft state.
Continually check the bread and replace it if it becomes hard.
Option 3 Store in a resealable plastic bag with a damp paper towel.
Before sealing, adding a damp towel to a Ziplock or resealable bag will prevent brown sugar from drying out. This will help keep the sugar moist and prevent it from hardening. Adding a desiccant packet to the bag will also help absorb any moisture in the air.
Option 4 Store in a brown sugar saver.
If you're a frequent brown sugar user (and are a bit forward-thinking), a terracotta brown sugar saver would be perfect for keeping nearby.
Earthenware discs are fantastic moisture trappers and release moisture into sugar as they sit.
Basically, you need to soak the terracotta disc in water and let it dry before adding the brown sugar. Using a saver will allow excess moisture to evaporate, thus keeping the sugar moist and preventing it from hardening.
Option 5 Store in the freezer.
Transfer brown sugar to an airtight container and keep it in a deep freeze. This will help keep the sugar from hardening and prevent it from absorbing odors from the freezer. When ready to use, thaw the sugar at room temperature. This is a good option if you do not plan on using the sugar for an extended period.
3 Powdered sugar
Powdered sugar is also known as confectioner's sugar or icing sugar. It is made by grinding granulated sugar into a fine powder. Sugar in powder form is more vulnerable to bug attacks than other forms of sugar.
This, however, is not the only issue. Sugars like this can form big lumps if not stored properly and take on unpleasant odors that can alter their taste. Keeping powdered sugar away from moisture is essential to prevent it from sticking together and becoming lumpy.
How to store powdered sugar
It's better to store powdered sugar in an airtight container than in original packaging. If you must use the paper or plastic bag that it came in, make sure to transfer it to an airtight container as soon as possible.
You can also put the sugar in a glass jar or Zip-top bag and then place it in a larger container with a lid. This will help keep out moisture and pests.
You can also store powdered sugar in the freezer. Just be sure to use an airtight container so that the sugar does not absorb any odors from the freezer. Let the sugar come to room temperature before you use it.
4 Raw sugar
Turbinado sugar, or raw sugar, is crystallized and has a light brown color. It differs from more common sugars because it is extracted from the first pressing of sugar cane, thus retaining a more natural molasses taste. During this pressing, the sap is boiled into crystals and spun to isolate the crystals from the liquid.
Approximately 96–99% of the composition is sucrose (with fewer molasses. One teaspoon of raw sugar has roughly the same calories as one tablespoon of table sugar.
Due to its presence of molasses, raw sugar may have a different flavor than table sugar. However, raw sugar can be used as table sugar for baking or to sweeten beverages such as coffee and tea. (source)
How to store raw sugar?
The hygroscopic nature of sugar allows it to absorb moisture, which is beneficial when baking, but detrimental when storing, as sugar tends to stick together with moisture or when stored in humid conditions. As a precaution, place the sugar in a cool, dry, and airtight container.
If sugar needs to be stored long-term, glass or plastic is its best friend. Plastic Ziplock bags can also do the trick.
You can begin by decanting what you will be using into a Ziploc bag container and storing it until needed. Three months of sugar exposure is unnecessary because you need to open a sugar packet.
As you buy sugar, please mark each bag with the date you purchased it. Whenever possible, put the newest bags at the back.
An airtight storage container, a food-grade bucket, or a hold-all will also help protect your sugar from ants and other creepy crawlies. My biggest pet peeve is opening a beautiful sugar pot only to discover that it's been infested-- they're only meant to be used as serving vessels, not as storage containers.
It is vital to store sugar in airtight containers because sugar absorbs odors too. Leaving sugar open next to garlic is a bad idea. Sugar will lose its taste if it is exposed to strong odors. Make sure you don't store sugar near anything smelly.