Finishing maple syrup on the stovetop is the very last step in the maple syrup process! Learn how to do it here!
Finishing your maple syrup indoors is the time period where all your hard work pays off, or everything goes very wrong. Fortunately, I’ve never burned my syrup yet. BUT I’m completely committed to staying right by it the whole time so no catastrophe overtakes it! I’d recommend the same for you.
After all that sap hauling and evaporator building and wood chopping and sap boiling, you don’t want to mess it up here! The great news is that if you have a big enough pot, and you stick close to the syrup as it comes to a boil, you’ll be just fine!
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Supplies you’ll need:
Set with jar lifter, magnetic lid lifter, and canning funnel
Mason jars and lids – I have quart here but I really like pint jars or jelly jars for our family.
Here’s what came in my canning set. There’s a jar lifter, a magnetic lid lifter, and a canning funnel. I have used these over and over and over in my canning endeavors and it was so worth the money!
The jar lifter has silicone on it that allows you to grab jars out of boiling water without having them slip and slide all over. The silicone gives you a firm grip and lets you hold the jar and tilt it upside down so that you can pour the boiling water out of it safely.
The magnetic lid lifter is just a little plastic stick with a magnet in the end. It gives you the ability to grab the lids and rings out of the simmering water without hurting yourself.
Calibrating your thermometer:
Since the temperature is really important, I usually calibrate my thermometer to make sure it’s correct. At our elevation, water boils at 212 degrees. So I just pop the thermometer into my jar water since I need to bring that to a boil anyway. Once it boils, I make sure it’s at 212 degrees.
My particular candy thermometer is actually able to slide up and down within the metal housing, so it’s especially important for me to slide it to the correct temperature when the water boils. Once it’s calibrated, I’m ready to get started!
Finishing maple syrup on the stove top:
To get started, you’ll want to add water and canning jars to the canning pot and bring the water to a boil. Add the lids and rings to a smaller pot and cover with water. Bring these to a simmer, but do not boil the water. Once the jars are boiling and the lids are simmering, you’re ready to start heating the syrup!
To get started, just turn on the syrup. Once you start, you won’t want to leave it alone, so make sure you’re ready to attend to it for a while. I normally start this on high and let it get boiling. If it seems like it’s going too fast, you can always back it down to medium or medium high.
How to finish maple syrup on the stovetop:
- Put maple syrup in a large pot that has plenty of room for the syrup to expand.
- Place candy thermometer in syrup and turn heat to high.
- After the maple syrup begins to boil, keep a very close eye on it!
- Syrup will start foaming and climb the sides of the pot.
- Once the syrup reaches 7 degrees above your boiling point for water (at our elevation, that’s 219), turn off the heat and can or freeze your maple syrup!
How long will it take?
I have no idea. Usually ours takes forever…like at least an hour! But this pot pictured below only took 5 minutes! It totally depends on how far you cooked it down outside on the fire. I think I normally am really cautious and would rather bring it in early because I’m terrified to burn it outside! But I have to say that it was super nice to have such a quick process in finishing the maple syrup this time.
Getting to a good rolling boil:
The goal of syrup is to get it to 219 degrees. Technically, we need to get it to 7 degrees higher than the boiling point of water. At our elevation, that works out to 219 degrees. I’ve found that once it’s boiling, you need to wait for it to climb up the side of the pan as it gets closer and closer to the finishing temperature.
Climbing the pan:
Once it starts climbing the pan, you’re almost there! I like this pot because I can see in relation to the rivets on the side how high the syrup has risen. At this point I checked and the temp was around 215 but it vaulted up to 219 SO fast!!
Final stage – 219 degrees
This was 219 degrees — actually I think it went higher than that. It moved so quickly that I couldn’t turn it off fast enough! At this point it’s ready to can.
Canning Maple Syrup:
Simply grab a jar out of the water and dump the boiling water back into the pot. Use the funnel and ladle to fill the jar with syrup. Dip the corner of a clean towel into the boiling jar water. Wipe the rim of the mason jar to make sure that no drops of syrup are on it. Then use the magnetic lid lifter to get the lid and ring out of the simmering water and gently twist on to mason jar.
I usually cover my jars with a towel and wait to hear the “click” sound that lets me know it sealed. If any of the jars do not vacuum seal, simply store them in the refrigerator and use immediately.
How to can maple syrup:
- Place canning jars in canning pot and cover with water.
- Bring jars to a boil.
- Meanwhile add lids and rings to a saucepan and cover with water.
- Bring rings and lids to a simmer. Do not boil.
- Once the jars and boiling and the lids are simmering, start finishing the maple syrup.
- After the syrup is at the proper temperature, lift a mason jar out of the boiling water and dump the water back into the pot.
- With a funnel and a ladle, fill the jar with maple syrup.
- Take a clean kitchen towel and dip the corner into the boiling water.
- Wipe the rim of the mason jar to make sure no syrup is on the edge.
- Using a magnetic lid lifter, lift the lid and ring out of the simmering water and gently twist onto jar.
- Cover jars with a towel and wait to hear the “click” that it has sealed.
- If any of the jars did not seal, store in the refrigerator and use immediately.
Can I freeze maple syrup?
Yes! I had this same question because I was super tired and did not want to wait and complete all the extra steps needed in order to can the syrup. Fortunately, I found that you absolutely can freeze maple syrup. I found that I didn’t need to leave much head room for expansion. Additionally, when I defrosted the syrup, it was very slushy since the sugar content doesn’t allow it to freeze solid. It was so easy!
How to freeze maple syrup:
- Gather clean mason jars, lids and rings.
- After maple syrup is finished on the stove top, use a funnel to pour the syrup into the jars.
- Make sure to leave a little head room in the jar for expansion.
- Gently screw on rings and lids.
- Allow jars to cool in the refrigerator overnight.
- The following day, pop into the freezer.
- Pull the jars out of the freezer as needed and allow to defrost.
I think that’s it! That’s my comprehensive guide on how to finish maple syrup on the stovetop, how to can it and how to freeze it. I really hope you try this at home because it’s so rewarding! If you do, let me know how it went in the comments below!