What Happens If You Freeze Maple Syrup?

Maple syrup is — without a doubt — king of the Sunday brunch condiments. What plate of pancakes, waffles, or French toast doesn't benefit from a sweet, sticky dousing of maple syrup? But just what do you do with your leftover syrup when you put away the brunch dishes? Luckily, that giant jug you bought on your trip to New England will last you plenty of time, since, according to Still Tasty, maple syrup, like its sticky-sweet counterpart honey, is one of those rare foods that can remain usable for years if you store it right.

According to the USDA, maple syrup can be stored in a cool pantry, unopened for about a year without suffering any ill effects, then should be refrigerated. In the fridge, the jar can last for about another year without issue, though its lifespan can be extended even further if it is kept in the freezer.

Perfect preservation

If you're wondering how you can get the most time with your delicious bottle of fresh maple syrup, syrup producer Maple Roch says that not only can it be frozen, but it should be in order to extend its shelf-life and keep it tasting as fresh as possible. And, since it can be repeatedly frozen and thawed without sacrificing its consistency or quality, you don't need to worry about trying to meticulously portion it out before popping it in the freezer.

One thing that does need to be taken into consideration, however, is how syrup freezes. Goodwin Maple notes that while syrup can be frozen, it does not freeze solid because of its high-sugar content so it is best to pour it into resealable glass or plastic jars before freezing. Additionally, Maple Roch advises making sure to leave extra room in the containers to avoid a mess, since the syrup expands like any liquid when frozen, even if it does not solidify. 

When you're ready to use it again — whether for breakfast, baking, or even in a cocktail – simply take it out of the freezer and place it into the fridge or a cabinet for a few hours, or dip the container in a jar of warm water to defrost, explains Maple Roch. It'll be good as new and ready to use in no time.