Turbinado Sugar

Turbinado is a “raw” large-crystal sugar, which is to say it’s made and packed at a sugar mill close to the point of harvest, not at a refinery. It’s a product of the first crystallization that occurs at at mill. Like all crystal sugars it’s spun in a centrifuge to (mostly) rid it of molasses, but it’s the only sugar that I’m aware of that actually takes its name from the machinery (a centrifuge is also called a “turbine”). The processing removes nearly all of the original molasses (turbinado sugar is 98-99% sucrose) but it still has a more interesting flavor than white sugar since that original molasses often contains fresh grassy aromas and flavors from the cane plant. Because turbindo sugar has hints molasses flavor but is still mostly sucrose, it’s frequently used to top crème brûlée where it forms a flavorful — yet still quire hard — crust.

6 thoughts on “Turbinado Sugar”

  1. Ah hah. The plot thickens this is what we call in Australia Raw sugar. Does it also go by the name Demerrera in the UK? Please help or my pop tarts will never be authentic Joe style!

    1. Keep reading Rick! It’s pretty much the same as Demerara. Both are “raw” sugars.

      – Joe

  2. I use turobinado sugar in my BBQ rubs, for it’s higher melting point, the long cooks over 250 degree wood charcoal. I”m having problems finding this in smaller crystals. I know the nature of this sugar is larger crystal, dew to the way its harvested. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Shady

    1. Hey Shady!

      Ever considered giving the large-crystal stuff a spin in the food processor? That’s how I make superfine sugar out of regular granulated.

      Might be worth a try!


      – Joe

  3. The food processor cuts it, into dust. making it way to sticky for my use. I was hoping someone would tell me, they sell it in a granulated form, and where I could get it.


    1. Have you tried just pulsing the food processor? There may be a happy medium. Sadly though I have no sources for you. Best of luck!

      – Joe

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