Maple syrup is simply delicious and is the perfect accompaniment to a warm, soft waffle. Maple syrup is made in the North-Eastern area in North America and is made nowhere else. It comes from the concentration of maple sap from a maple tree, which gives it the distinct, rich flavor everyone loves.
Pure maple syrup is 100% natural, and because of this, it has a shelf life, much like other food products. While it might be tempting to finish the new container of maple syrup in a few days, there might be a need to extend its shelf life.
Freezing is a popular way to extend the life and quality of certain foods, but does maple syrup freeze? Maple syrup does not freeze, but placing maple syrup in the freezer can extend its shelf life for longer, while still keeping its great quality. The maple syrup will not freeze solid, but it does become very thick and tends to expand in the freezer.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about freezing maple syrup. We’ll show you the best way to do it so that the flavor profile stays the same. After all, that’s the reason we eat it, right?
Freezing Maple Syrup
Maple syrup can be stored in the freezer to keep for longer.
When placing the maple syrup into a freezer-friendly container, or if you are leaving it in the original container, you need to make sure that there is sufficient room for the maple syrup to expand to avoid a mini-explosion once it has frozen.
If kept in the freezer, the maple syrup should be used within 1 year. By freezing the maple syrup, the natural deterioration of the flavor, color, and quality is slowed down, which helps to preserve the overall quality of the maple syrup for longer.
When it is time to use the maple syrup stored in the freezer, it can be heated up slowly in the microwave to get some of its consistency back, breaking down the thickness it turns into when it is placed into the freezer.
You can also remove the maple syrup from the freezer and leave it in the fridge or at room temperature overnight to lose some of its thickness.
Storage Containers for Maple Syrup
It is best to leave the maple syrup in its original pitcher when it is being placed in the freezer, but if you have bought quite a large portion of maple syrup, you might need to decant it into smaller containers to be able to place it into the freezer.
Glass jars work really well for this, as long as the jar is fine to be placed into the freezer. The glass jar can be used to freeze the maple syrup, as well as to store the maple syrup after it has been taken out of the freezer.
The glass jars will also protect the maple syrup from oxygen and moisture, which can cause a deterioration in quality and taste.
If you do not have glass jars, you can also pour the maple syrup into freezer-safe plastic containers.
Make sure that these plastic containers seal shut tightly and keep any excess air or moisture away from the syrup. These containers can also be used to store the syrup once it has been taken out of the freezer.
You can choose to use plastic freezer bags, but it can become quite messy pouring the maple syrup into the plastic bags to be placed into the freezer, and then out again when it is time to use the syrup.
However, if you have quite a bit of maple syrup to freeze, using plastic freezer bags can be a great option. You can portion the maple syrup into several freezer bags and place them flat, one on top of the other, to save space in the freezer.
This is also great when you don’t want to take all of the maple syrup out of the freezer in one go, instead, you can take out one bag at a time, leaving the rest to keep great quality in the freezer.
Storing Maple Syrup
Maple syrup, if unopened, should be left in a cool, dark area, such as a cupboard or a closet.
While maple syrup left unopened can be kept indefinitely, it should be consumed within 6 months if in a plastic container, or 1 year if kept in a glass jar.
Once the maple syrup has been opened, it should be placed in the fridge. If it is a large amount of maple syrup, you should consider freezing half of it. The syrup kept in the fridge is fine for day to day use but should be used within a few months.
You can also try dehydrating maple syrup. You can find out how to do that in this article.
How Long Does Maple Syrup Last?
Many people think that maple syrup lasts indefinitely, but this is not true.
Once opened, the maple syrup is exposed to oxygen, which then begins a natural chemical reaction which results in the deterioration of the texture, flavor and color. After some time, mold might appear to grow on the walls of the maple syrup bottles, which can be dangerous to consume.
There is a way to get rid of any mold that forms in maple syrup.
To do this, you can pour the maple syrup into a pot and bring it to a slight boil. Once the syrup begins to bubble, you should skim the surface of the syrup and discard this.
Then, pour the rest of the maple syrup into a new, clean container and place it back into the refrigerator.
However, some people choose not to do this as you can never be sure of the mold that has formed and how dangerous it might be, but some people do this to help their syrup last a little bit longer.
How To Tell If Maple Syrup Has Gone Bad
While most people will never get to the point of finding their maple syrup has gone bad, it definitely does have a limited life span.
It is fairly easy to tell whether or not the maple syrup has spoiled. The first sign that the maple syrup has spoiled will be spots of mold.
This can be dealt with by boiling the maple syrup and scooping out the bad bits, but it is not always the best choice.
After this, the maple syrup will have an off smell. This could be a sour, yeasty or funny smell that does not at all smell like the golden goodness everyone loves. If the maple syrup has even the slightest off smell, it should be thrown away.
You might notice that there is settled sediment at the bottom of the bottle, but this does not mean that the syrup has spoiled, and it is not harmful. This only means that the syrup was not filtered well, or that it was bottled while the maple syrup was too hot. There is no need to, but you can filter out the sediment if it bothers you.
So if the maple syrup smells slightly off, or if it does not have its completely normal taste, you should rather throw it away and buy a new bottle to top your pancakes and waffles.
Can maple syrup be stored at room temperature?
Unopened maple syrup is fine to be stored at room temperature, but can opened maple syrup be stored at room temperature as well?
You might be able to get away with storing maple syrup at room temperature when it is opened, but, you will find that the taste and texture of the maple syrup might deteriorate sooner than what it might if it is kept in the refrigerator.
It is safer than to just store the maple syrup in the fridge and use it within 6 months. Keeping the open maple syrup at room temperature can also quicken the growth of mold.
Do I need to refrigerate store-bought, imitation maple syrup?
Imitation maple syrup is made mostly of corn syrup and has a small amount of maple syrup, or even artificial maple syrup, mixed in to give it that rich taste.
These store-bought imitation syrups are often made with preservatives, which means that these syrups can be kept at room temperature for a longer period of time.
You do not need to refrigerate these imitation syrups, but it is a good idea to do so just to be safe. You often do not need to freeze these imitation syrups either to prolong their shelf life, as the preservative allow them to keep for long enough to be enjoyed before spoiling.
Freezing Maple Syrup
While maple syrup does not actually freeze, it can be placed in the freezer to prolong its lifespan and quality. The maple syrup will not turn frozen in the freezer, but it will thicken more than what the consistency usually is.
Freezing the maple syrup helps to slow down the deterioration of the color, quality, and taste of the maple syrup.
The chemical reaction that happens when the maple syrup is exposed to oxygen does start the count down to the maple syrup spoiling, so keeping the maple syrup in a tightly sealed container in the freezer allows it to stay fresher for longer, and close by for when you need a topping for your pancakes and waffles!