Sugar is a staple ingredient in many American diets and knowing how to store it correctly long term is essential for preppers and survivalists.
Letting your sugar go bad is not only a waste of money but it could also mean you don’t have vital ingredients available to you if an emergency or food supply shortage occurs.
We’ve researched the best way to store sugar for long-term storage so that you can feel confident you’ll be fully stocked up incase SHTF.
Here’s How to Store Sugar Long-Term
Sugar can be stored indefinitely if you make sure that you store it correctly. This makes it a great ingredient to have in your emergency food shortage supplies.
Sugar’s unlimited shelf life is largely down to the fact that it doesn’t support microbial growth so as long as you don’t expose it to other elements, you can feel confident that it won’t rot or go bad.
Some of the basics you’ll need to remember when storing sugar long-term include:
- Keep it away from moisture
- Keep it in a cool, dark place
- Consider storing it in your fridge or deep freeze
- Use air tight containers or food grade buckets
When you decant sugar out of its original container, always make sure that you write the expiry date (from the packet) and the date that you decanted it onto the container. This will help you if you decide to rotate your stores and allow you to quickly identify which container of sugar needs to be used up first.
It’s important to remember that there are different types of sugar so let’s take a look at some of the different sugars and how to store them correctly.
How To Store White Sugar
White sugar is very popular for preppers wanting to buy in bulk. It’s much cheaper than other types of sugar and it’s also more widely available in larger quantities.
The amount of white sugar you’ll want to buy will depend on the amount of storage that you have.
Some survivalists and preppers might consider buying white sugar in larger quantities (2kgs and over) but then decant them into other containers to store them long term. You could portion them into smaller containers or zip lock bags which you can then divide up into different places such as your bug out bag or emergency food shortage supply.
Remember that by decanting them, you’ll be exposing them to the air and possibly moisture so it’s really important that any new containers are sterilized and completely dry before you put the sugar in.
You can keep white sugar in the original paper bag that it comes in, but you should place this paper bag within an airtight container to prevent any exposure to moisture.
How To Store Brown Sugar
Did you know that there are different grades of brown sugar? We’ll look at light brown sugar here as it’s the most popular one to be bought in bulk and stored for emergency food shortage supplies. Light brown sugar is cheaper to buy than dark brown sugar.
Light Brown sugar has a very similar texture to white sugar so the storage options are in line with the options above.
The main ways to store light brown sugar include:
- In a deep freeze or refrigerator
- Decanted into a glass, air tight container
- Decanted into a ziplock bag
- Placing the original paper packaging in an air tight container
How To Store Treacle Sugar
Treacle sugar is a darker brown sugar and is normally sold in plastic packets rather than paper bags.
The plastic packaging on treacle sugar helps to seal moisture in as this type of sugar naturally contains moisture. This is the opposite to white sugar which does not contain moisture and requires storage solutions that keep moisture out.
Due to the moisture content in treacle sugar, it does not last as long as white sugar but it can last several years if properly stored.
Some of the storage options for treacle sugar include:
- Keeping it in its original packaging as this is sealed to keep moisture in and will prevent the sugar from hardening
- Decant treacle sugar and place immediately into air tight containers or zip lock bags
- Do not keep treacle sugar in the fridge as the low temperature can cause hardening
How To Store Powdered Sugar
Generally used for dusting the top of cakes, pancakes and desserts powdered sugar is a different type of sugar.
Powdered sugar is rarely sold in bulk size bags so you’ll probably need to consider buying several smaller bags if you want to keep a large supply of it in your home.
It should always be stored in an airtight container. You can buy a large air tight container and store multiple bags of powdered sugar in the same one.
Some people like to use honey as a substitute for sugar, and it’s a really useful food supply staple.
Whether you add it to cooking or use it on a spread for bread and toast, honey is easy to store and doesn’t go bad easily. Honey’s shelf life, just like white sugar, can be indefinite.
You can store honey by keeping it in its original container in a cool location that is out of direct sunlight.
If you do want to decant the honey, you can use a glass jar or an air tight container. Always avoid storing honey in metal containers as it can oxidise and spoil.
When you decant honey, it’s important to always use a dry spoon to prevent mistakenly starting off the fermentation process.
Do not keep honey in the refrigerator as it will cause it to harden.
How To Soften Hardened Sugar?
The ways to soften hardened sugar depend on the type of sugar. As we’ve seen, sugar can vary between white and brown as well as powdered. All of these sugars have different properties and will need to be treated in different ways.
Softening White Sugar:
If your white sugar becomes hard, you can sprinkle it over parchment paper on a baking tray. Put the baking tray in the oven at bake at 390F for approximately 15 minutes, checking it regularly for any discoloration.
After 15 minutes, turn the oven off but leave the tray in the warmed oven for approximately 75 minutes.
You should be able to loosen the sugar granules with a fork by gently agitating them and shaking the tray.
Softening Brown Sugar:
If your brown sugar supply has gone hard, don’t worry. You might be concerned about having wasted money as this is an expensive food item to buy, but there are ways of softening brown sugar.
Simply place a piece of bread into the container with your brown sugar. Leave it for approximately 24 hours.
The bread helps to moisten the sugar and it should return to its original state. Repeat if necessary, and always remember to take the bread and any crumbs out of the container afterwards.
Sugar VS Honey For Long Term Storage
Although they can be used for similar reasons, honey and sugar are different food items and many people will want to include both in their emergency or long term food shortage supply.
If you are tight on space, you may want to consider your individual preferences and whether you will use honey or sugar more. Some people don’t mind using honey to sweeten hot drinks such as coffee or tea.
Always consider decanting large quantities of sugar and storing these smaller quantities in air tight conditions. This gives you the best chance of avoiding wasting larger quantities of sugar as you’ll only be exposing small amounts at a time to the air.
It’s obvious that learning how to store white and brown sugar the right way for long term storage will be really useful to you and your family.
Understanding the moisture content of different types of sugar and the best ways to treat them when it comes to long term storage will help you to avoid expensive mistakes and food wastage.
Overall, glass and plastic are the best materials to use when storing brown and white sugar long term.
We hope you feel confident in knowing how to store white and brown sugar the right way and can now include it as a key ingredient in your long term food shortage supplies.