Does Brown Sugar Go Bad? How Long Does Brown Sugar Last?

Have you ever opened the pantry, ready to bake, and wondered if your brown sugar was still good? Have you ever noticed that brown sugar does not always have an expiration date?

Quick Answer

The short answer to the question Does Brown Sugar go bad is no. Brown sugar will not go bad if it is properly stored. With age brown sugar may become hard. Brown sugar can go bad if improperly stored. Improper storage can lead to bugs or insects in the sugar. If Brown sugar gets wet and is not immediately being used it can get moldy and go bad.


Read on to learn more about Brown Sugar. How can Brown Sugar go bad? How to store Brown Sugar to prevent spoilage. What are the best ways to store Brown Sugar?

Does Brown Sugar Go Bad? How Long Does Brown Sugar Last?

Properly stored Brown Sugar will not go bad. Find out below: How long does Brown Sugar last in the pantry? Can it be stored in the fridge? Can it be frozen?

How Long Does Brown Sugar Last Outside

The ideal place to store Brown Sugar is a cool, dark, and dry place in your kitchen. Brown Sugar that has been properly stored will last indefinitely.

Unopened Brown Sugar will remain unclumped longer than open Brown Sugar. Open Brown Sugar will begin to clump and harden. The Sugar is still good but will be harder to remove from the container.

While Brown Sugar does not go bad if properly stored, using it by the Best by date (if it has one) is ideal. Using Brown Sugar by the best by date will ensure less clumping and it will be easier to add it to the recipe.

How Long Does Brown Sugar Last in the Fridge

Brown Sugar should not be stored in the fridge. Food stored in the fridge can get damp. Damp brown sugar will begin to mold.

How Long Does Brown Sugar Last in the Freezer

Brown Sugar will last indefinitely in the freezer if stored properly. Brown sugar should be kept in a sealed container. Do not thaw all the Brown sugar, only thaw what you need.

If you live in a hot or warm climate where brown sugar cannot be stored in a cool, dry place then storage in the freezer is the best option.

If you live in a mild climate, where it does not get too hot, storage in the pantry is the best option.

Brown Sugar can be stored indefinitely in the freezer or pantry. The temperatures in your area will determine which will work best for you. Read on to learn more about how to tell if your brown sugar has gone bad.

How To Tell If Brown Sugar Has Gone Bad / How To Know Brown Sugar is Fresh

While Brown Sugar that has been stored properly does not go bad, improper storage can lead to bad brown sugar.

How to Tell if Brown Sugar Has Gone Bad: Brown Sugar can go bad two ways. If Brown Sugar gets too wet or damp it will begin to mold. Moldy Brown Sugar should be thrown out immediately. If the container that Brown Sugar is stored in is not properly closed insects and bugs may get into the sugar. If you find anything that looks like dead or alive bugs, insects, larvae, or eggs throw out the sugar immediately. If the Brown Sugar container is not sealed properly and the brown sugar smells bad, or unlike Brown Sugar then throw it out.

How to Know if Brown Sugar is Fresh: Brown Sugar will remain usable indefinitely when stored properly. If there are no signs of mold or insects, then the sugar is probably still good. if the smell of the sugar is what you expect of brown sugar (maple or molasses like) then the sugar is still good. Brown Sugar will clump together as it ages. This is natural and is not a sign of the sugar going bad.

Read on to learn the proper way to store brown sugar.

How to Store Brown Sugar?

Brown Sugar should be stored in a cool, dry place.

Sealed Container: Brown Sugar should be stored in an airtight sealed container. For example, plastic Tupperware or Ziploc Bag.

Preventing or lessening clumping: There are a few ways to prevent clumping. One way to prevent clumping is to purchase a Brown Sugar Saver. A Brown Sugar Saver’s job is to prevent or lessen clumping. If you cannot find one there are other options. You can place some small marshmallows in the bag. Another option is to place a slice of bread or some crackers in the bag. If using the bread replace the bread weekly.

Un-clumping Brown Sugar: There are a few ways to unclump Brown Sugar. One way to unclump brown sugar is with a fork or mixer. You can also put the sugar in a Ziploc bag and crush it against the counter. Another way to unclump brown sugar is to add slices of apple or some orange peel for a couple hours. Do not leave the fruit in more than 8 hours. The fruit can go bad and cause the sugar to go bad. You can also microwave the sugar. If you microwave the sugar, cover it with a damp towel and microwave for 30 seconds at a low temperature.

Can You Freeze Brown Sugar? How?

Yes, you can freeze Brown Sugar.

When to Freeze Brown Sugar: Freezing Brown Sugar will not increase the time it will remain good. It can even cause the Brown Sugar to go bad if stored improperly. If you live in a hot climate or if you prefer to keep your house warm, then storage of Brown Sugar in the freezer may be the best option.

How to Freeze Brown Sugar: To freeze Brown Sugar open the brown sugar and pour it into an airtight container. This container can be a Tupperware container or a Freezer-safe Ziploc Bag. Place in the freezer. Consider thawing the sugar in measurements of 1 cup in order to make thawing and use in recipes easier. You can place each 1 cup of brown sugar in a smaller freezer bag and place all the smaller bags in one larger freezer bag. This double bagging will also help prevent freezer burn.

How to Thaw Brown Sugar?

To thaw frozen Brown Sugar, place it in a microwave safe bowl or container. Place a damp towel on top and microwave at a low temperature for 20 seconds. Continue thawing in 20 second intervals until the sugar is thawed.

Only thaw as much sugar as you plan to use.

Frequently Asked Questions About Brown Sugar’s Shelf Life

Why doesn’t my Brown Sugar container have an expiration or best by date?

Brown Sugar will stay good indefinitely if properly stored. This is why Brown Sugar does not always have an expiration or best by date.

Even though there is no expiration or best by date the sugar may lose quality overtime. Using Brown Sugar within 2 years of buying it is recommended.

How can I use my Brown Sugar before it clips? Can I substitute Brown Sugar for White Sugar?

If you are wondering how to use Brown Sugar before it clumps, the answer is easy. You can use brown sugar in place of White Sugar. If you like Brown Sugar this is the easiest way to ensure you use the Brown Sugar quickly. Brown Sugar will add a slight Maple or Molasses flavor to your recipe.

Wrap Up

In summary, Brown Sugar will not go bad if it is properly stored. Proper storage and a Brown Sugar Saver will keep your Brown Sugar fresh and delicious. Go forth and have no fear of wasting your sugar.

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