Sugar is one of the most common ingredients in every household. There are different types of sugar. However, no matter which type you are using, it adds a flavor that no one can resist.
In addition to sweetening almost everything, sugar can be used in barbecues. This is because it has the ability to burn.
The question is: “does brown sugar burn faster than white?”
Brown Sugar vs White Sugar
Brown sugar is made from cane or beet sugar and molasses. It also contains some other ingredients like corn syrup, barley malt, caramel color, etc. On the other hand, white sugar or white granulated sugar is simply refined cane or beet sugar. Refined sugar does not contain any molasses.
When making brown sugar, firstly, the raw sugar is mixed with molasses. Then, it is heated until it becomes liquid. At this point, the mixture is cooled down so that it does not get sticky anymore.
After cooling, the mixture is filtered and dried for several days. Finally, the product is ready to use.
The process of making brown sugar is very similar to how white sugar is made. However, there are some differences between them.
White sugar is produced by removing all the impurities from the raw sugar. In contrast, brown sugar is made by adding more impurities into the raw sugar.
Does Brown Sugar Burn Faster than White?
Yes, it does, but why? To answer this question, let’s first explore the differences between the two types of sugar in more detail.
Both white and brown sugar come from the same source: sugar beets or sugar cane. The whole difference lies in the amount of sucrose in each. Brown sugar is basically white sugar with the addition of molasses content. While white sugar is 99% sucrose, brown sugar is 94% or less.
Although they’re used interchangeably, they have different colors and flavors. White sugar gets its color from sucrose, which is naturally white. Brown sugar, on the other hand, gets its color from the added molasses. In addition, the molasses in the brown sugar gives it a richer flavor.
Contrary to popular belief, brown sugar isn’t a healthier choice. True, it includes more minerals and vitamins due to being less processed. However, this doesn’t make it healthier in any way.
That said, brown sugar burns faster because of the touch of molasses content. This is why it is used in barbecue sauce or meat rubs.
Is Sugar Flammable
Yes and no! While regular table sugar isn’t flammable, it can be under certain conditions. For instance, powdered sugar can be highly flammable and even explosive in some cases.
Table sugar (Sucrose) melts around 366°F and requires a temperature of 662°F to burn.
However, powdered sugar can burn at lower temperatures. It’s made of smaller particles that can get oxidized easier. This allows reaction between the small dust particles, causing a fire.
So, yes, sugar is flammable given the right temperature and form. However, there’s no need to worry if all you have is table sugar at normal room temperature.
Why is Sugar Flammable?
Heat causes the decomposition of sucrose, turning it into an evaporative chemical called hydroxymethylfurfural. This chemical ignites easily and can create huge fires, sometimes.
In easier terms, sugar is a hydrocarbon. This means that it contains hydrogen, carbon, and oxygen. When in contact with fire, these three compounds melt, forming caramel.
This is all good until you make a simple mistake like leaving the caramel on the stove longer than necessary or increasing the temperature than required.
How to Prevent Sugar from Burning?
Sometimes, sugar is deliberately burned for some baking recipes or to make caramel. However, if left on the stove longer than necessary, it can be disastrous.
To prevent sugar from burning, stir it constantly while adding hot liquid. At any point, if you notice any smoke or any weird smell, turn off the stove immediately.
How To Melt Sugar
Melting brown sugar is very easy. You just need to constantly stir while adding liquid over the required cooking temperatures. You have to stir it until you get your desired consistency to achieve the taste of your favorite recipes.
How to Melt White Sugar
The best method of melting white sugar is the stove-top method. Here’s how to do it:
1. Get your pan heated enough.
2. Pour in a thin layer of sugar at a time. Keep the pan in a little bit in motion to spread the melted sides.
3. Once it gets completely melted, add another batch of sugar. Repeat until you get the exact amount of melted sugar for your dish.
How To Melt Brown Sugar
Melting brown sugar is usually done to achieve a perfect caramel syrup. Follow these steps to achieve a perfect melted brown sugar.
1. Place a medium-sized pot above the heated stove.
2. Turn heat to low and pour an ample amount of sugar.
3. Use a wooden spoon to stir constantly since brown sugar tends to clump.
4. Stir until it completely melts. Add another batch of sugar if needed.