You’ve impressed friends and neighbors for years with the skills you exhibit at the grill. Your chicken wings are to die for, your burgers can’t be beat, and you're always game for something cool and unusual.
Ready to turn heads and stake your claim as grilling extraordinaire? We have a new challenge for you: maple syrup. Just know there’s a little bit of work to be done, so the process isn’t for time savers, but that the reward is oh so sweet. Here’s what you need:
- Galvanized pails or plastic buckets with lids
- Metal spile
- Stainless steel pan or pot
- Tall stainless steel or copper pot
- Candy thermometer
- Cheesecloth or other cotton fabric
- Metal or silicone funnel
- Metal or tempered glass bottle
- Protective gloves
- Fresh Blue Rhino tank – search for an exchange location near you!
Now comes the fun part: tap, sap, and grill. Follow these instructions to make homemade maple syrup on your grill:
- Preheat your grill or portable stove to medium-high.
- Sterilize all buckets, pans, and tools in boiling water. Avoid using any soap or chemicals.
- Locate a sugar maple tree at least 30 inches around. Sugar maple trees typically grow in heavily wooded areas, but you can also find them near creeks and even backyards.
- Set bucket or pail at the base of the tree, then insert the metal spile into the tree’s trunk. Sap should start to flow.
Tip: Make sure the sap you’re collecting is clear. Cloudy sap will result in spoiled syrup.
- Collect sap until your bucket or pail is ¾ full, then remove spile from tree trunk. Now onto grilling!
- Put on your protective gloves and pour sap from bucket into your stainless-steel pan or pot. Place on preheated grill.
- Bring sap to a boil. Let boil until the majority of the liquid has evaporated.
Tip: Boiling time depends on the moisture content of sap and could take anywhere from 1-2 hours.
- Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature every 15-20 minutes. Remove sap from heat when the temperature reaches 219ºF. Now your sap is syrup!
- Set pot of syrup aside to cool.
- Prepare your filter by adding cheesecloth to a funnel. Insert funnel into a bowl or bottle.
- Pour mostly cooled syrup through cheesecloth and filter 2-3 times. This removes any excess sediment.
- After filtering, pour syrup into storage container of choice and store in refrigerator for up to one year.
Now that you’ve conquered the art of grilling maple syrup, it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. Pair it with basic breakfast favorites like fluffy pancakes and savory brunch waffles, or use it to make maple-brined turkey or glazed salmon for dinner. With an unmistakable abundance of options for maple syrup, you’re sure to get the most out of your efforts. Sweet!