What Is The Difference Between A Standard Flat Pan And Divided Pan?
Open pans that do not contain any dividers are called “Flat Pans” while pans that contain a series of channels are called “Divided Pans”. There are many different styles of pans that have dividers. However, for simplicity sake, we will illustrate only the standard Divided Pan in this article.
Flat Pans are for “Batch Boiling” which means you are creating one big batch of syrup. You simply continue boiling until the entire pan of syrup has reached 66% or greater sugar density. When that batch is done, you cannot make any more maple syrup unless you start a whole new batch from the beginning.
Generally speaking, Batch Boiling creates darker, more robust syrup than Continuous Flow boiling. If your goal is to make lighter, more delicate-flavored syrup, you may want to consider a Divided Flat Pan instead. Note: Regardless of what type of pan you use, late season syrup is always darker and more robust-tasting.
- Standard Flat Pans are very economical. Great for entry level hobbyists.
- This style of pan is very straight forward to operate.
- A maple thermometer can be used to monitor syrup progress.
The channels inside a Divided Pan enable “Continuous Flow” boiling which basically means that you do NOT have to wait for the entire pan to become finished syrup. Rather, you will you will periodically draw off finished syrup in smaller amounts until you run out of sap and/or decide to quit for the season.
- Generally speaking, Divided Pans can make lighter, more delicate-flavored syrup than Standard Flat Pans because the sap does not sit in the pan as long of a period of time. Note: Regardless the style of pan you use, the sap collected toward the end of the maple season will produce darker and more robust-tasting syrup.
- Adding colder raw sap to the back corner of a Divided Pan will not kill the boil of the entire pan. In that regard, a Divided Flat Pan could be slightly more efficient than a Standard Flat Pan.
- A Divided Pan allows you to boil for as long as you have sap. If you run out of sap, just shut ‘er down and pick up where you left off when more sap is available. You do not drain the pan until the end of your season.
- The Divided Flat Pan is reversible. Reversing the flow of your sap through the channels will help deter sugar sand buildup on the bottom of the pans.
- Continuous Flow Boiling allows you to filter and bottle your syrup as you go rather than needing to wait and do everything at the end.
- Some beginner maple syrup producers are intimidated by the dividers or find them to be initially confusing. However, after you use a divided pan the first season, you won’t think twice about it. Plus, we’ll send you an instruction guide to help you get started. No sweat.
Related Article: How Does a Divided Pan Work?
There is a Chinese company out there who is manufacturing beginner maple syrup evaporator pans and is illegally trying to sell them under our brand names (Smoky Lake and Badgerland Mapleworks). WARNING! The counterfeits are NOT properly constructed and will NOT function as they should. Do NOT be fooled by fakes!!!! Jim and Angela have made a video to show you the differences.