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Brown Sugar

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Bought a large bag of brown suger at costco. Made it half way through but today, I notice I have a "brick" of brown sugar. Just hard as a rock. I hate to waste all that sugar. Is there a way to bring it back from the rock hard state?

I'm assuming I should have kept it in a more air tight place than a zip lock bag.


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  1. I've done the apple thing, which works. And no amount of air-tightness will prevent this, in my experience. Brown sugar was apparently a brick in a previous life, and it keeps trying to revert back to that state.


    4 Replies
    1. re: small h

      I actually put mine in a lock and lock container and it never goes hard.

      1. re: LaLa

        i've seen those lock and lock containers advertised. you like them a lot?

        1. re: alkapal

          I have a cupboard full of lock and lock. Some are the dollar store clones (just as good) I love them. They lock securely and you don't have to pry to lid to get them off. There is a silicone seal in the lid and they are airtight. Just love them.
          Did I mention that I love them? Just in case I forgot...I love them.
          Junked all my tupperware.

          1. re: alkapal

            I love them....they are very easy to use and everything stays so fresh. I would put it in the top three best things I have ever bought for my kitchen.

      2. I just keep mine in a zip top back in my pantry. It never goes hard.


        1. I seal the bag with a zip tie and then put that bag in a 1 gallon zip-lock bag. If it still get hard, put the brown sugar in the microwave on the lowest setting for 1 minute the next time you need it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Kelli2006

            I dealt with this recently. I put it in a tupperware and poured a couple of tablespoons of water over it. If I recall it took a couple of minutes but it did get soft again

            1. re: CoryKatherine

              haha forgot to mention that i put it in the MICROWAVE for a couple of minutes. I'm dumb.

              1. re: CoryKatherine

                I don't even use that much; just a few drops'll do. But then, I also put a limited amount of sugar into a convenient container, keeping the rest tightly sealed in its original bag for later use.
                Bit of water, bit of a shake, and about ten minutes later, perfectly soft brown sugar once again.
                Also, this is Demerera I'm referring to. I make no claims for other brown-hued sugars.

            2. And if you don't have an apple around, a slice or two of fresh white bread will do the same thing. Transfer the sugar to a large zip-lock bag, add the bread and the sugar will suck all the moisture out of the bread and be soft again in 24-48 hours. Toss the bread and reseal the sugar.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mcsheridan

                I do the bread trick also; works like a charm.

                1. re: mcsheridan

                  Ditto, I keep me in 2 ziplocks, FL humidity ... but I double bag, but sometimes it still gets hard. I usually just whack it with my meat mallot and it is fine or put a slice of white bread in it and 1 day later, soft. But I don't mine hitting it a few times. Still tastes the same. It doesn't bother me if it is hard, I can still use it.

                2. Haven't tried this for quite a while, but a few seconds in the micro seems to have done the trick. Maybe start at 15?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: corneygirl

                    i'm surprised you're the first to suggest this, but i nuke mine every time. it works like a charm. depending how much you have, 20-30 seconds usually does the trick (and I have a high-powered microwave).

                  2. I've never been happy with my results when I've tried to rehabilitate brown sugar, but for the future,, I always buy my brown sugar in a zip lock bag, then store it in the refrigerator and it NEVER dries out.. EVER!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Caroline1

                      Storing it in the fridge.. I'm going to have to try that. Usually I just dump the contents of the bag into a ziplock or airtight glass container. Keeps it soft for months.

                      1. re: Caroline1

                        I actually keep mine in the freezer, it defrosts fairly quickly. Although now that I think about it, the fridge makes more sense. I think I'll move mine tonight.

                      2. Lots of options.


                        Apple trick

                        Or ... just take it with you into the bathroom next time you take a nice long hot steamy shower.

                        1. You have some answers to soften the sugar. To prevent the bag of sugar from getting hard , you can place it in the ziplock bag and keep it in the refrigerator. I also use a teddy bear disc

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LadyCook61

                            Dontcha just love the Mast general store? Best gadgets ever!!

                            1. re: LadyCook61

                              A friend gave me a teddy bear disc and it works well - but it's a ridiculous expense for a hunk of clay. I bought a plain uncoated flowerpot and smashed it. I brushed off the dusty edges, then soaked the pieces to keep in with my dried fruits, which works just fine.

                              If you microwave brown sugar keep watch on it or you will have caramel sauce.

                            2. Ziplock bag inside a Click-Clack storage container works wonders.


                              1. Get a pack of cheap dollar store sponges, soak one full of water, squeeze most of it out. Put the brown sugar in whatever airtight container you have and put the sponge on top and seal. Tomorrow everything will be just fine. Works great for cigars too!

                                1. Stick it in the freezer and forget about it for a while (a month isn't a bad idea). When it thaws, it'll be like new but will eventually harden again (just leave it in the package--no need to get fancy). You can keep freezing and thawing but it's probably easiest to just store it in the freezer.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MacGuffin

                                    I also keep mine in the freezer and it works beautifully. It takes about 10 minutes for a 1 lb box to thaw out.

                                  2. it depends on the sugar. Demarrera is quite moist and does that. Just hack away. Reminds me that I like brown sugar in tea more for that smokey flavour, I need to get some.

                                    Plus, I thought this was one of my topics for a second.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Soop

                                      I also subscribe to the just hack away method. I keep in a reasonably sturdy bag so that I can whap the bag on the edge of the kitchen counter and loosen up enough sugar to fit my needs.