My old barrel stove was getting dangerous. I bought it on Craigslist for $25 or$50 almost a decade ago now. It was rusty when I bought it, and all that heat and snow over the years has made it really crumble. To give you an idea of how dangerous it was – at the end of it’s life I had to prop it up with a log (one leg rusted off completely). The log started to catch fire due to small holes in the barrel. Time for something new! 🔥

I got a BSK1000 Camp Stove Kit from Amazon for $60. They’re likely cheaper to get at a local hardware store or farm & fleet warehouse, usually for less than$50: https://www.menards.com/main/heating-cooling/fireplaces-stoves/fireplace-wood-stove-tools-accessories/wood-stove-accessories/united-states-stove-camp-barrel-stove-kit/bsk1000/p-1444445447395.htm

First of all this is really just a bunch of poppycock. You don’t need any of this stuff to enjoy real maple syrup at home. In 2015 I had done a cook very shortly after some very heavy sap collecting days. This yielded the lightest syrup I had ever made, so Jessi encouraged me to enter it in the Minnesota State Fair competition.

It was fun and I’d like to improve on my process a little, but doing these things by no means should preclude you from enjoying real maple syrup.

You’ve collected enough sap, and now it’s time to boil down to syrup. The first weekend of April was it for 2014, the freeze thaw cycle is over until next year. So let’s talk about turning that sap into syrup.

First, plan on dedicating an entire day to cooking. Every year I’ve made syrup, it has taken me 12 hours from start to finish. When I make my boiling rig more efficient, I happen to get more sap and for some magic reason it always takes all day. Also, you want to boil outside. 5 Gallons of sap yields one pint of syrup. Would you be willing to dump 5 gallons of water in your kitchen?