Backordered items will ship fall 2024

10 Reasons Vermont Evaporator Pans Are Better Than Amazon’s

Mar 21, 2024 | Our Company, Products and Customers

Here at Vermont Evaporator Company, we pride ourselves on selling pans that are made to last, are good quality, and are reasonably priced for the backyard sugarmaker. Although buying evaporator pans from Amazon might seem like a cheaper and/or easier option, looking more closely at reviews reveals a plethora of complaints about the quality and functionality of the pans themselves and the experience of buying them. By buying one of these pans, you might actually be costing yourself extra time and money.  Here are 10 reasons why our sugaring pans are better than Amazon’s.

1) Our Pans are Actually Continuous-Flow Pans

Let’s start with one of the biggest complaints first: the dividers in Amazon’s pans. Our Sapling Evaporator Pan and Seedling Evaporator Pan both have dividers (“baffles”). Baffles allow for continuous flow boiling, meaning that sap is channeled around the pan as it thickens. This configuration allows syrup to be drawn off and more sap added without emptying the pan or killing the boil. Continuous-flow boiling is more efficient than “batch” boiling on an undivided (or “flat”) pan and reduces the time it takes to make maple syrup.

Many of the evaporator pans on Amazon are advertised as having dividers or being “continuous-flow” pans. Although some do have a piece of metal going across the pan, this divider provides little more than structural support and does not create the channel required for continuous-flow boiling. The most popular evaporator pans on Amazon, the VBENLEM Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan and VEVOR Maple Syrup evaporator pan, either have no divider or a divider that does not reach the bottom of the pan, even though they are advertised as being “continuous flow” pans. By looking at this picture, we can tell that these companies don’t understand what continuous flow is. But we do! (Do you? If not, you can read more about continuous flow here.)

Bad Maple Syrup Pan  

2) Our Pans have High Quality Welding

Another big complaint about Amazon pans is bad welding. Bad welding can lead to a leaky pan. One customer who bought a VBENLEM Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan reported that “there’s a crack in a weld.” Another reported that “[t]he baffle inside has bad welds, one corner [is] not even welded.”

Our pans are welded and tested by experts in fabricating food-safe, stainless-steel vessles right here in sugar country. All of our welds are food-safe. And, if a pan’s welds don’t hold up or are defective, we replace the pan at no cost and with no hassle, even if it is outside the window in our return policy.

3) Our Pans Don’t Rust

Some people have reported that their Amazon pan rusted the first time they used it. In addition to the possible leakage that rusting can cause, it also isn’t good for your syrup. If you have rusting on your pan, you most likely don’t have a stainless-steel pan, which means that it your pan might not be food-safe. This means your syrup might be dangerous to consume, or, at best, taste bad. Rusting is indicative of poor quality materials. At Vermont Evaporator Company, our pans are made with 18-gauge, 304-B stainless-steel with food-grade welds. We can’t remember ever fielding a complaint about a rusty pan.

Rusty Amazon Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan

This picture is from Amazon (VENBLEM Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan). 

4) Our Pans are Well Made from High Quality Materials

People also complain that Amazon pans are cheaply made with poor-quality, thin metal. When you buy a pan, you expect it to last you a long time, and definitely more than one boil. The evaporator pans on Amazon don’t live up to this expectation. Some customers stated that the pans were “cheaply made and unusable,” and several people stated that their pans warped after just one use. This is because the pans are made with low-quality steel, which might also mean they are not food-safe. This complaint relates back to the divider issue discussed, above. In Amazon’s “divided” pans, the divider appears to only be there to stiffen the pan, which isn’t the purpose of a divider in a continuous-flow pan, and isn’t necessary for pans made of high-quality materials.

We have only been in business since 2015, but we have yet to see one of our pans (or any of the products we design and sell) wear out! You can rest assured that when buying from Vermont Evaporator Company, your pans will last you a good long time.

5) Our Pans are Designed so that Pouring Off Syrup is Easy

At the end of a long day, you need to pour off your syrup (or “almost syrup”) to bottle or finish inside. This is why sugaring pans have drain ports with pour-off valves. Here at Vermont Evaporator Company, we worked hard with our fabricators to ensure that our pour offs were as flush as they could be with the bottom of our pans. This ensures an easy and convenient pour off of your syrup at the end of a long day.

A big complaint about the pans on Amazon is that the drain port is too high, which makes pouring off difficult. One Amazon customer reported that the ​​“drain port is too high to drain the pan without having to pitch it to one side.” Trying to do that while the pan is hot is difficult and potentially dangerous. 

Our Sapling Evaporator Pan

maple syrup evaporator pan - maple syrup supplies

Our pans were designed with care. Wow! Look how low that pour-off is!

6) Our Pans Don’t Leak

One thing you absolutely do not want your pan to do is leak. This is one of the most widespread complaints about Amazon pans. Leaking is primarily due to bad welding. Some customers on Amazon reported that they had to weld the pans themselves to fix leaks, and said that they “[d]on’t recommend unless you can repair at home.”

No Vermont Evaporator Company customer is ever put in the position of having to weld their own pans. Although leaky pans are not a common complaint for us, if any of our pans leak, we offer free exchanges even outside of the return window in our return policy

7) Our Pans Don’t Have Leaky Valves

The ball valve on your sugaring pan is how you get your hot maple syrup from the inside of the pan to the outside of the pan! The ball valves for the Amazon evaporator pans have been reported to leak. This is likely because of bad or mismatched pipe threads.

Our pans are made with high-quality pipe nipples and high-quality ball valves with matching threads. We can’t remember ever fielding a complaint about a leaky valve.

8) Our Customer Service is Accessible and Excellent

If something goes wrong with the operation of your pan or you just have a question, it’s helpful to be able to contact the company who sold you your pan. Although it’s easy to contact Amazon customer service, it can be hard to directly contact the company you are buying from. One person who bought the VBENLEM Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan said that there was “[n]o contact info for [the] seller.” Others have made similar complaints.

At Vermont Evaporator Company, you can always reach us by phone at (802) 261-0120 or by email at info@vermontevaporator.com.This information is easily accessible on our website, or can be found by a simple Google search.  We usually get back to you within a day—faster during the sugaring season—and we always work our hardest to help you solve your problems, even if it means spending time on the phone, over Zoom, or in person to troubleshoot with you!

9) Our Orders Ship Complete

One of the most common complaints about Amazon sugaring pans was that the pan shipped without key hardware. Many people complained that the VBENLEM Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan shipped without the feeding pan that was advertised to come with it. People also seemed to have trouble getting the company to fix that problem.

We make mistakes here, too, of couse, but forgetting an entire pan doesn’t happen often. If we make a mistake and forget to ship you something, we will answer your phone call or email, own up to it, and get you what you ordered as soon as possible.

10) Our Pans are Accompanied by Usefull and Accurate Product Information

At Vernont Evaporator Company, we know a lot about backyard sugaring because it’s one of our favorite hobbies. Each of our staff members makes maple syrup in their backyards on one of our evaporators. We have free educational resources for all things sugaring, from tapping to boiling to finishing, and do our best to educate people about the process!  We put a lot of time and effort, and a lot of trial and error, into learning as much as we can about making maple syrup, and we are always learning more. We do this so that we can help our customers, and design our products to be effective and efficient. We never sell anything that we haven’t used ourselves!

The companies on Amazon that sell evaporator pans know very little (or nothing) about sugaring. One example of this is the instructions that came with the VEVOR Maple Syrup Evaporator Pan, which stated that the pan was “mainly used to cook maple branches to make maple syrup.” As you know, you should absolutely NOT put branches in your evaporator and try to boil them. In addition to that, the instructions are unhelpful. Take a look! 

 

In contrast, each of our pans comes with a four-page instruction manual that goes over everything from assembly and preparation for your first boil to operation instructions to cleaning and maintenance. A copy of our product manual ships with each pan, but is also available in perpituity on the product pages themselves. In addition, we blog about how to use our pans and why our pans work to improve our customers’ experiences using our products.

Amazon pans are also accompanied by bad product information. The product descriptions of both the VEVOR and VBENLEM Maple Syrup Evaporator Pans are false and nonsensical. Amazon states that the VEVOR pan could “handle nearly 23.6 gallons of sap in total, meaning 357 bottles of 250 ml maple syrup can be made.” Unfortunately for VEVOR customers, 357 bottles times 250 milliliters equals approximately 23.6 gallons. This means VEVOR is representing that the ratio of sap to syrup is 1:1. VBENLEM pans are accompanied by the same false nonsense, stating that their pan “[h]andle[s] nearly 35 gallons of sap in total, meaning 535 bottles of 250ml maple syrup can be made.” Simillarly to the above, 535 bottles times 250 milliliters is approximatly 35 gallons. This is the same, false 1:1 ratio. 

The average ratio of sugar maple sap to syrup is 40:1, and the capacity of sugaring pans is measured in boil-off rates. Our Seedling Evaporator Pan boils off 3 to 5 gallons of water per hour and is appropriate for hobbies of 3 to 30 taps. Our Sapling Evaporator Pan boiils off 4 to 8 gallons of water per hour and is appropriate for hobbites of 5 to 50 taps. We know these things because we make maple syrup in our own backyards with our own products.

Don’t trust a company that doesn’t know anything about what they are selling!

Additional Reading

Want to do your own sleuthing? Check out the reviews of these pans on Amazon. These two companies are the most popular on Amazon: 

A Final Note

Amazon is well known for its poor treatment of its workers, negative environmental impacts, tax avoidance, undercutting of small businesses, and much more. You can learn more here:  WikipediaUndercutting Small Businesses, Treatment of Workers, Carbon Footprint + Environmental Impacts  

Vermont Evaporator Company pays a living wage in a safe workplace, is a good steward of the environment, is in good standing with all tax authorities and gives back to the community. We also have souls and a sense of humor.

Thanks for reading! We hope you buy our pans.

Share

Sign Up for Our Newsletter