The Easy Way To Rescue Clumpy Brown Sugar

Unless you use brown sugar often enough that you can go through a whole bag or box without having to store it for very long, you've probably opened it up at least once to find large, hardened clumps of brown sugar. This is mostly because of one key brown sugar component that gives it its distinct look and flavor: molasses. According to the Food Network, the culprit behind hardened brown sugar is a lack of humidity. The moisture that's an inherent part of molasses evaporates out of the sugar over time. Fortunately, if you find that you've been left with hard, dry brown sugar, the fix for this lack of water is actually quite simple.

You can always add a slice of bread to the brown sugar when you go to store it in an airtight container. This reportedly helps to ensure that the container has enough moisture inside for the brown sugar to maintain its texture. But perhaps that doesn't sound appealing to you, or you would just rather eat the bread. Or it could be that you need that brown sugar rehydrated in a hurry. 

In that case, one of the fastest ways to rescue clumpy brown sugar is to use the microwave. Simply heat the sugar in 10- to 20-second increments while stirring it with a fork in between (via Allrecipes). Just make sure that the sugar doesn't start to melt, which would cause it to harden into another sticky problem.

This is the best way to save dehydrated brown sugar

While using the microwave to eliminate lumps of brown sugar may work for time crunches, a bit of planning can save you a whole lot of trouble. All told, the very best method that gives the best results every single time is to use a terra cotta brown sugar saver (via Food Network). For one, they can be aesthetically pleasing. These small pieces of pottery come in all kinds of adorable shapes, like teddy bears. As for practicality, brown sugar savers are easily implemented. All you have to do is soak the terra cotta for about half an hour, then immerse it in the brown sugar inside an airtight container. Like bread stored with brown sugar, the moisture in the terra cotta provides just enough water to prevent or resolve those troublesome hardened clumps.

The only downside to this method is that it does take a bit longer to restore dried-out sugar. For the terra cotta to work, you'll need about an hour. It isn't an incredibly long period of time, sure, but it is longer than nuking the brown sugar in the microwave (though with a greatly reduced risk of melting).