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How to Store Maple Syrup So it Doesn’t Go Bad

Wisconsin is one of the top maple syrup producing states in the country, so we always have real maple syrup on hand. We'll share how to store maple syrup so it lasts, including tips for which containers to use and where to keep it.

The Best Way to Store Maple Syrup

What is Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is tree sap that has water removed to thicken it to syrup. Small producers eliminate water via boiling the sap, big maple producers often use a combination of cooking and reverse osmosis. See “How to Make Maple Syrup” for more information.

Maple syrup contains vitamins and minerals including some amino acids, Vitamins B2, B5, B6, folic acid, biotin, and niacin.  The exact contents vary with the tree sap being harvested. Maple syrup has a lower glycemic index than table sugar or honey.

What's the best way to store maple syrup?

For best shelf life, store unopened glass containers maple syrup in a cool, dark location. Plastic containers of syrup, even if they are not opened, will keep better in the refrigerator or freezer.

Unopened pure maple syrup in glass containers will last a very long time.  Once you open a container, keep it in the refrigerator or freezer and use your bottle of maple syrup within a few months.

What about the “best by” date?

Lots of maple syrup is sold with a best by date. If it is real maple syrup in glass bottles, odds are it will last long past the date.  If it is maple flavored syrup, use by the “best by” date, or shortly thereafter.

For best quality, most guides recommend using the syrup within 1-2 years.

How to extend the shelf life of Maple Syrup?

The high sugar content of maple syrup slows down spoilage, but doesn't prevent it entirely. Unlike honey, which has a pH between 3.5 and 5.5, the pH of maple syrup is around 6.5 to 7. This means it's easier for your syrup to grow mold or spoil.

Air, time, and temperature can break down your stored maple syrup. Syrup that is hot packed in glass containers has the best shelf life.

Keep your syrup in an airtight container (plastic breathes, so repackage if needed), and keep it cool. Don't leave your bottle sitting open on the kitchen table. If you buy a large package and don't think you'll be able to use it within few months, repackage part of it and store it in the freezer.

How can I tell if Maple Syrup is bad?

If the smell of the maple syrup is off, or mold is visible, it may be spoiled. Some people skim off any mold and boil it again, but we do not recommend this .  The mold can shed mycotoxins into the syrup that you can't see, so skim at your own risk.

Anything added to maple syrup reduces the shelf life. If you see high fructose corn syrup or anything other than pure maple syrup on the ingredients label, it will not last as long. Even adding water reduces the shelf life.

bottle of maple syrup

Can you freeze Maple Syrup?

The sugar content of maple syrup acts like antifreeze, so it doesn't freeze solid, but it's safe to keep it in the freezer for longer storage. It will expand a little in the freezer, so make sure there's room in the top of your container.

Some people enjoy mixing maple syrup with water and freezing it in ice cube trays to add to drinks as a natural sweetener.

Can you dehydrate Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup doesn't dehydrate well in a dehydrator or oven. The best way to dry down maple syrup into maple sugar is to cook it down, which takes some effort.

Maple sugar lasts better at room temperature than maple syrup. You can substitute maple sugar one for one for cane sugar in recipes.

You can add water to rehydrate it, or use it as maple sugar. Use maple syrup made from rehydrated maple sugar within a few days for best quality, and store it in the refrigerator.

Can I store maple syrup in reused bottles or jars?

Maple syrup absorbs moisture and odors, which means you need absolutely clean jars or bottles to store it. If you are set on reusing containers, make sure any jar or bottle is washed until it doesn't smell.

Does storage temperature affect the shelf life of maple syrup?

The best temperature range for maple syrup storage is room temperature or colder. Cold and even freezing temperatures have no effect on maple syrup. 

High temperatures alone will not cause maple syrup to go bad. Warm temperatures above 80℉/26℃ may reduce nutrient value. They may also encourage mold growth if the storage container was contaminated.

Higher temps, sunlight, or other direct heat (like your attic, stove or oven) can cause maple syrup to darken and cause flavor changes.

How much does Maple Syrup Weigh?

One quart of maple syrup weighs about 2.85 pounds.  One gallon weighs about 11.3 pounds, and a five gallon container weighs about 56 pounds. 

If you're buying in bulk to stock up, make sure the shelves of your maple syrup storage area are sturdy!

Maple Recipes

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