How To Properly Store Sugar So It Lasts Forever In Your Pantry

sugar in a glass bowl
sugar in a glass bowl - Bymuratdeniz/Getty Images

Sugar is the sweet cornerstone of countless recipes, but did you know that improperly storing sugar in the pantry can cause it to deteriorate despite its long shelf life? With a little time and care when putting your sugar away, the ingredient can last well beyond its printed expiration date. So, let's get the scoop on how to keep your sugar fresh and ready to be used forever (or at least a good long while).

Moisture is a major enemy of sugar. Though granulated sugar does not contain any of its own moisture, it can draw out and retain moisture from other foods and even the air, eliminating the potential for bacteria to thrive. And when sugar is exposed to moisture, it can cause the sweet ingredient to clump together faster than you expect. This leaves your once fluffy granules with hard lumps throughout the bag.

Light also poses a threat to your sugar's longevity. Exposure to light can cause your sugar to deteriorate over time too. Sugar should also be placed in an airtight, and ideally opaque, container to seal it from light, moisture, and air.

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Sugar Can Last More Than Two Years In The Pantry

tablespoon of granulated sugar
tablespoon of granulated sugar - Knape/Getty Images

Of course, sugar that is exposed rather than stored properly can also attract pests such as ants and roaches. To avoid this, keep your sugar stored in a cool, dark place like the back of your pantry to protect it from these pesky culprits.

With proper storage and longevity in mind, your granulated sugar can last at least two years and likely much longer. While nothing truly lasts forever, especially if you're an avid baker, sugar does not spoil. Given the best atmosphere for storage, it can last many years longer thanks to its preservative capabilities.

Don't be quick to toss out sugar because it's past its expiration date. Instead, rely on your senses. If your sugar looks or smells off, it is best to toss it. But if the sugar still looks and smells as dry and sweet as when you first bought it, the ingredient is likely just as delicious and safe to use.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.