Brown sugar is a baking pantry staple, but how do you keep brown sugar from hardening? You need the right brown sugar container! Especially if you don't use your brown sugar that often.
These containers were designed specifically for brown sugar, and with brown sugar's unique storage container needs in mind. Each one has an airtight seal and built-in reusable terra cotta disk that can keep brown sugar soft for up to six months.
Unlike my roundups of flour storage containers, sugar storage containers, and countertop salt cellars this brown sugar container list is a whole lot shorter. That's because a lot of companies don't make storage containers specifically for brown sugar.
What Size Container Do I Need for Brown Sugar?
Here in the United States, brown sugar can be purchased in a variety of sizes. The most common, "standard" size bag of brown sugar weighs two pounds. But that's a weight measurement.
Most food storage containers have their capacity measured by volume.
What size brown sugar container do you need by volume?
- 1.5 quarts
- 8 cups
- .4 gallons
- 48 fluid ounces
- 1.5 liters
These are minimum estimates — go slightly bigger if you'd like to leave room for a scoop, etc.
How to Keep Brown Sugar Soft
Brown sugar is just white sugar that has molasses added to it. When you add molasses to sugar, you are also adding moisture. That's what makes brown sugar so soft and chewy. When the moisture in brown sugar evaporates, brown sugar hardens and clumps up.
To keep brown sugar soft, store it in an airtight container to keep that moisture from escaping. If you don't use brown sugar often, it will harden eventually even in the most airtight of airtight containers.
The good news is you can prolong the time before your brown sugar hardens by using a terra cotta brown sugar disk.
How do terra cotta brown sugar disks keep brown sugar soft? Terra cotta is porous — it will absorb water without being wet to the touch. Soak the disk for 10-15 minutes, then pat it dry and stick it in your brown sugar container. It will slowly release moisture into the container without dissolving or crystalizing the sugar, keeping your brown sugar soft for 3-6 months! When the terra cotta disk dries out, simply soak and repeat the process.
The terra cotta disks can even be used to soften already hardened brown sugar. According to Food Network, if you add a terra cotta disk to a container of hardened brown sugar, it will be soft again in about an hour.
All of the containers on this list are designed to include terra cotta disks to keep brown sugar soft. It's really up to you which design appeals most to you!
And if none of these work for you, you can use any airtight food storage container and simply add a terra cotta disk to it.
1. Progressive International ProKeeper Brown Storage Container
Okay, so, this is the brown sugar container that I use, and I'll admit I'm biased. It's the best container for brown sugar I've ever had. And it's served me well for many years now! Progressive actually makes three versions of this container (all of which are on this list), so in some ways it's up to you which design you like best, but this is my top pick.
I like that the terra cotta disk clips to the lid in the most unobtrusive way possible. I like the clean lines of the brown sugar container design, I like that I can stack my smaller Progressive containers on the lid without them sliding off, and I like that the latch has a really satisfying, sturdy locking mechanism. When it's locked, you know it is LOCKED.
And with a 1.5 quart capacity this storage container holds exactly 2 pounds of brown sugar, with a little room to spare.
Progressive ProKeeper Brown Storage Container
Progressive's ProKeeper+ brown sugar container has a terra cotta disc that serves two functions. It both clips into the lid so to keep the brown sugar soft, AND it has a little handle on top so you can use it to pack brown sugar into a measuring cup. We love a multi-purpose tool around here!
The containers in Progressive's ProKeeper+ collection have soft rounded corners and a flat grey lid with stainless steel flip down locking tab.
I like that there is a silicone gasket under the lid and around the hole for the terra cotta disk to create an airtight seal. And the flat lid with raised lip makes it easy to stack other containers on top of it in your cupboards.
The markings on the side of this container go up to 6 cups. But with plenty of room to spare above the top line, this brown sugar container can easily hold a standard 8 cup bag of brown sugar.
Progressive Prep Solutions Brown Storage Container
Progressive's Prep Solutions collection is its most budget friendly line of food storage containers. With a clear square body and flat lid with red locking mechanism, this brown sugar container has a lot of the same features as the ProKeeper+ and International models.
From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the Prep Solutions brown sugar keeper doesn't look as high-end as the other two Progressive models. But with a 1.5 quart capacity, silicone gasket for an airtight seal, and terra cotta disk, it works just the same.
Like the others, the terra cotta disk is removable, designed with a hole in the middle so it can clip on to the red peg on the underside of the lid.
Unlike the other models, it doesn't have any volume measurements up the side of the container, something to keep in mind if that matters to you.
OXO Good Grips POP Top Brown Sugar Terra Cotta Disc Accessory (Containers Sold Separately)
Okay, let's get the bad news out of the way first. Unfortunately, you can't buy OXO's classic POP top brown sugar container with the terra cotta disk already attached. What OXO does sell a detachable terra cotta disk attachment that you can add on to its existing containers.
In order to use the disk, you'll need to buy the new version of OXO's classic POP top containers. The new models have a feature on the underside of the lid so you can attach the terra cotta disk.
To be honest, I almost didn't include this brown sugar container on the list because I think it's really annoying that you have to buy the disk separately.
But since I know a lot of you love the OXO containers (and they're great otherwise!), I didn't want to leave it off. I really only recommend going with this option if you already have a set of OXO containers at home. I wouldn't start building your collection around this one.
The OXO container that can fit 2 pounds of brown sugar is the 1.7 qt OXO POP Top. Again, make sure you get the new model which has the thing to attach the brown sugar disk to the underside of the lid and keep your brown sugar from hardening.