Don't make this mistake when melting brown sugar

If you've ever tried to melt any kind of sugar, then chances are you know it burns very easily. That's why you have to take certain steps to prevent this from happening. It's important to understand the difference between regular granulated sugar and brown sugar to really get the process for properly melting either.

White sugar and brown sugar both come from sugar cane and sugar beets. The only difference is how processed it is. White sugar is made when the sugar source is crushed to remove the juice, which is then boiled down into a syrup. The syrup is made up of both sucrose and molasses. For white sugar, the molasses is removed and it's left to dry so nothing but the sucrose, or white sugar granules, are left behind (via My Fearless Kitchen).

Brown sugar goes through the same process as white sugar, but it has some of the molasses added back. Light brown sugar is about 94 percent sucrose, and therefore has less molasses than dark brown sugar. The more molasses in the sugar, the richer the flavor. Since brown sugar has molasses added back in, it naturally has more moisture in it too, which is key. Sugar has to have more moisture to melt. Often butter or water is used (via Leaf TV). This is why white sugar burns faster than brown sugar if moisture is not added to it.

Follow these steps to keep it from burning

To properly melt brown sugar, pour it into a microwave-safe bowl and partially fill another bowl with water. This will help keep the brown sugar moist, especially if it has hardened some or started to get dry. Next, microwave both bowls at the same time for 30 seconds on high heat. Afterward, stir the brown sugar, which should be visibly softer now, carefully with a spoon.

Microwave both bowls again for 30 seconds. Once that's finished, stir again and notice the difference in the texture. Continue to microwave the sugar in 30-second segments until it is as melted as you'd like it to be. Just remember to stir it in between intervals, and make sure there's still water in the bowl.

By following these steps, the brown sugar should have enough moisture in the microwave to melt successfully without scorching. You won't have to worry about wasting a batch of sugar again thanks to this tip.