How To Keep Brown Sugar From Clumping In Rub [3 Ways]

Using clumpy brown sugar is a pain in the neck. It also makes a few of the spots in the bbq too sweet. It is another frustrating fact.

how to keep brown sugar from clumping in rub?

As humidity and moisture make the sugar clump, keeping the sugar in the fridge is a great solution. Or use molasses or white sugar, that is what brown sugar is. You can also use clump-free sugar in the first place. 

There are more to each of the methods. And we have given a full description of each of the processes you need to follow. 

3 Methods Keep Brown Sugar From Clumping

Sometimes it feels like there’s no way you can re-use that brick of brown sugar. Also, the clumps are ripping the meat fibers. Well, using the right method, you can solve this issue.

So let’s jump into the methods. 

Method 1: Refrigeration And Corn Starch 

The main reason behind brown sugar clumping is moisture. When there is moisture that is making contact with the sugar, the sugar will clump. So, how to keep brown sugar from clumping?

By refrigerating, you can limit the excess moisture or humidity. In the refrigerator the temperature is low. Also, the moisture is exhausted by the fridge. So your sugar will stay granulated. 

Again, you must use an air-tight bag to store the brown sugar. The best is to use a ziplock bag where you can push the excess air out. 

Avoid using a container or jar. Even though you can make an air-tight seal, there will be excess air in the jar. But if you have to use a jar, you can use a paper or plastic film. Use them to push the sugar down. 

You can also use corn starch. Corn starches are great to collect excess humidity from the environment. Mix 1 tsp of cornstarch with 1 pound of dark sugar. Although, the amount of corn stretch might vary depending on the sugar.

If you are using light brown sugar, you mix 1 tsp of cornstarch. But if you are using dark brown sugar, mix up to 2 tsp of corn stretch. Do remember, mixing too much corn stretch can make your food slimy. 

By the way, if you’re looking for some good quality corn starch, the here goes our suggestions-

365 by Whole Foods Market Corn StarchNon-GMO organic product 
Argo 100% Pure Corn Starch100% pure and good for baking purposes 

Method 2: Use Molasses And White Sugar

There are two parts of brown sugar. The sugar and the molasses. Molasses makes the sugar brown. 

Since the 19th century, people started preferring white sugar more than brown sugar. So producers started to extract the molasses from the sugar. But sometimes they use harmful chemicals. 

In this case, you might think using brown sugar might be healthier. But to cut costs, producers mix the molasses again with the sugar afterward. 

So this way you can mix molasses in your white sugar as well. There are jars of molasses available in the market. 

If you are looking for molasses in the market, you can find it at your grocery store. But there are many brands, we have selected the best for you.

Golden Barrel Bulk MolassesSulfur-free and good source for natural nutrients 
Plantation Organic Blackstrap Molasses Unsulfured molasses in heavy glass jar

These molasses are free from harmful chemicals. Also, they can be found in small jars. 

You can mix 1 to 3 tsp depending on how dark you want the sugar. Mix 1 tsp for molasses with 3 cups of white sugar for light brown sugar. Use more to make the sugar dark.

The benefit of mixing the molasses by yourself is, it’s easy to store white sugar. White sugar doesn’t clamp up when you keep them for a long period of time. The main reason behind clamping is the molasses. 

So when you are mixing the sugar with the molasses, it will turn into brown sugar. You can also store the sugar normally. Keep molasses and sugar in your kitchen separately. The next time you need brown sugar, just mix those up. 

Method 3: Use Clump Free Brown sugar

If you use sugar that is clumped, to begin with, it will clump in the rub. Brown sugar clumps really easily. It’s hard for them to evenly spread in the rub. 

Brown sugar clump after you leave it open or the air has access to it. Producers vacuum pack the brown sugar, to begin with. But if you break the seal, it is hard to keep them air-tight.

Using brownulated sugar can also be an option. You might ask, what is brownulated sugar? In that sugar, the moisture is removed so it doesn’t clump. But it might taste a bit different. 

It is best to keep the sugar in a zip lock bag where the air is pushed out. You can also use air-tight jars, but the air still can make the sugar clump.

Now let’s say you have clumpy sugar. Does that mean you cannot use them anymore? No, clammy sugars are absolutely okay to use. You just need to make it granulated again. 

Brown sugar can turn into a brick. Or it can just be clumpy. You can put it in the mixing blender. But there is a possibility of it turning into powder. The best way will be using your towel if it is brick. 

Put the sugar brick in a towel or a cloth. And beat the hell out of it. Do remember to keep the sugar in a bag. If the sugar is clumpy, put it in a Tupperware box or jar and shake it up.

So these are the ways you can prevent sugar from clumping in your rub. 

Why Do Brown Sugar Clump?

Brown sugar clumps mainly because of the molasses in the sugar. Molasses is the element that gives the sugar brown color. It also provides the brown sugar flavor. 

When white sugar is produced, the sugar granules are separate sugar crystals. But molasses is a sticky syrupy thing. So the grains of white sugar stick up with the molasses. 

But as we said before, if you use molasses and white sugar together, it works perfectly. White sugars don’t stick together, because the sugar crystals are separated. But molasses keeps the sugar crystals together. 

How to Mix Sugar in the Rub Properly?

The perfect rub is when you can taste all the flavors properly. Sweet, salty, spicy, and tangy. All the flavors or elements of tastes need to exist for the perfect rub. 

Using all the spices in the right amount is important. But if you have mixed too much of one spice, it can be fixed.  

So mixing sugar with your rub is important. But using the right amount is important. You don’t want to over-sweeten your BBQ meat, right? So the best amount is to 

Use 3 parts of sugar, if you are using 10 parts of salt. But if you use white sugar, use 2 part sugar. 

Sugar and salts are the base flavor of your BBQ. so make sure you use the current amount. Use clump-free brown sugar. Don’t be afraid to use your fingers to rub the mixtures in the meat. 

Let the sugar and salt dissolve inside the meat fibers. 

How to Rub properly?

Using the best rub you can get your hands on is not the only step. Properly using the rub plays a great role. Although, if you have purchased rub from the store, you can follow the package instructions. 

Each of the elements of the BBQ is important. But having the proper rub is the most important.  

But usually, using clumped sugar will damage the meat fiber. Clumped sugar will tear apart the meat fibers. Clump-free granules of sugar dissolve between the meat fibers. You will be adding flavors to the meat from inside. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Stop Brown Sugar From Hardening?

Keeping the sugar away from moisture and in a cool place is always a good idea. Don’t let the sugar come in contact with the air. Store the sugar in a zip lock bag. Even if you have the sugar in a jar, push it down with a film. 

Can You Only Use Brown Sugar In rubs?

Using any of the sugar in the rub is fine. So, you can use only brown sugar in rub.  Brown sugar will give you more flavors than white sugar. It will also give you the perfect color you want in your brisket. 

Does Amount of Humidity Affect Brown Sugar to Clump?

Humidity is one of the things which affects the sugar from being clumped. More the humidity, the more the moisture. And this makes our sugar clump to each other. To reduce the humidity, keep the sugar in a zip lock bag and store it in the fridge. 


That’s everything you need to know about, how to keep brown sugar from clumping in rub. 

Clumpy brown sugars can damage the meat fibers. The sweetness will not be evenly spread out. 

Happy grilling!!