Tips from The Kitchn

This $6 Tool Saved My Rock-Hard Brown Sugar

published Aug 24, 2021
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Small bowl and measuring spoon of brown sugar
Credit: Joe Lingeman

I love to bake. (Fun fact: I even went to pastry school!) But I actually don’t do it as often as one would think — despite the fact that making a batch of chocolate chip cookies or an unassuming (but no less fantastic) olive oil cake is one of my favorite weekend activities. That’s because my household is small (just me and my husband) and we can, reasonably, only eat so many sweets.

This is all to say: Baking ingredients tend to stick around for a bit in my pantry. Which is one of the main reasons I invested in a substantial set of OXO POP containers to house my essentials in between baking sessions. And they’ve worked great, with one exception: My brown sugar would turn rock-hard. (Which is no fault of the POPs — it can happen with any container.)

This would end up with me trying to chip away at the brown sugar with a butter knife, using it like an ice pick in a rescue attempt. And while there are ways to revive hard brown sugar, it all seemed (after running through this cycle many times), much more difficult than simply finding a gadget that would stop the sugar from turning into stone in the first place.

So, I began my research. There are lots of brown sugar savers out there in various shapes and forms. But then I saw a $6 version made specifically for an OXO POP container and bought it immediately. And if you have POP containers or are thinking of investing in them, you should absolutely get this — or, maybe, get them because of the sugar saver. It’s that good.

Credit: Riddley Gemperlein-Schirm

To use OXO’s brown sugar saver, you simply soak it in water, pat it dry, and attach it to the underside of the POP container’s lid. I like that — unlike standard brown sugar savers — there’s no need to remove it before scooping out your sugar. (Note: If you have an older POP container around, check to make sure its lid has a circular holder on its underside, as that is what the saver hooks onto.) And, reader, it took rock-hard brown sugar and made it pliable again, like the sugar had just come out of the bag.

To date, I’ve been using the sugar saver for five months. And, since then, there has not been a clump in sight. Once the sugar does start to harden, all you have to do is re-soak the sugar saver, pat it dry, and add it back to the container. That’s it! The only thing I regret? Not having gotten one of these sooner — it would’ve saved a whole lot of sugar and frustration and meant a whole lot more cookies.

Do you have a favorite brown sugar saver? Tell us about it in the comments!