My favorite pressure cooker discovery yet – Instant Pot Vanilla Extract! Rich, dark, aromatic extract in minutes instead of months!
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Use the coupon code “TIDBITS” to get 7% off my favorite Beanilla Madagascar Vanilla Beans
The art of making extracts in the Instant Pot never gets old. To see such a fast transformation is so rewarding.
This post is all about Vanilla Extract, but be sure and check out these other incredible flavors: Cinnamon, Lemon, Maple, and Peppermint.
If you like to play around with different notes of Vanilla Extract, try these Gourmet Vanilla Extracts: Chocolate Vanilla, Coconut Vanilla, and Cinnamon Vanilla. The coconut is hands down my favorite!
Now let's talk about the most loved extract of all time – Vanilla Extract. Dark, beautiful, aromatic, heavenly vanilla extract that can be made in less than an hour in the pressure cooker vs the traditional method of vanilla beans soaking in vodka for 2-6 months in the back of your pantry.
I’m 100% impatient, so Vanilla Extract that can be made in under an hour, just speaks to my soul!
This is what I cover in this Instant Pot Vanilla Extract Post:
(feel free to skip ahead to each section by clicking the links below)
- Why make vanilla extract in mason jars vs. directly in the pressure cooker pot?
- What supplies do you need?
- Can I use cheap vodka?
- Where do I find decent priced vanilla beans?
- What's the best type of bean to use?
- How do I store my vanilla extract?
- What is the shelf life of Instant Pot Vanilla Extract?
- Do I have to use alcohol?
- Can I use different types of alcohol?
- How many beans should I use?
- How soon will my Instant Pot Vanilla Extract be ready to use?
- Is it okay to cook with alcohol in the Instant Pot?
- Why does my Vanilla Extract smell really strong of alcohol?
- Why do I want to make my own Vanilla Extract?
- Best bottles for gifting Vanilla Extract
- How to pour extract into small bottles for gifting
- Suggested Recipes to use Vanilla Extract
- More Vanilla Extract Resources
- Recommended Tools/Ingredients when making Vanilla Extract
- Jump right to Instant Pot Vanilla Extract recipe card
Here's a quick video to show you just how quick and easy you can whip up amazing vanilla extract plus a little comparison to the “be patient and wait” Traditional Method. I think the color difference alone will convince you but even the smell of my pressure cooker vanilla was much stronger than the 6-month-old traditional jar. Check it out and then share it with all your suspicious friends!
HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT VANILLA EXTRACT
Why make Instant Pot Vanilla Extract in Mason jars vs directly in the pressure cooker pot?
- Make a little or make a lot! You have the choice between making 1 pint of extract or up to 3 pints in a 6-quart pressure cooker.
- Making vanilla in a jar with a “fingertip tight” lid helps prevent the alcohol from evaporating from your extract which means your alcohol percentage will remain nice and high. This is important for 2 reasons:
- a higher percentage of alcohol means the vanilla flavor will continue to extract even more flavor over time
- higher alcohol percentage creates a more antimicrobial environment for safer long-term storage
- Having a lid on the jar prevents condensation from dripping into your extract while cooking which would dilute your alcohol (lower percentage of alcohol = less extraction overtime, dilution in taste, and shorter lifespan)
- I love that after my extract is done cooking and has cooled, I can leave the beans in the jar, tighten the lid and pop it into the cupboard. Easy Peasy!
- The mason jar lid keeps your alcohol from extracting other food smells from your pressure cooker, because vanilla extract + last night's roast = yuck and ewww gross.
*To prevent the incredible disappointment of a jar breaking under pressure, always use canning quality jars like Mason or Kerr and even consider using a new jar, not one that has been used for canning many times over the years.
What supplies do I need to make Instant Pot Vanilla Extract?
Not much! Mason jars, kitchen shears, vanilla beans, vodka, and optionally these amazing Mason jar pourable lids.
Can I use cheap vodka to make vanilla extract?
Yes, but I don’t use the cheapest and here’s why. Pricier vodka means cleaner taste which results in faster, more amazing vanilla extract. However, if you want to make it with the cheapest vodka, just plan on letting it hang out longer in your cupboard for a richer, vanilla taste. I’m partial to red label Smirnoff. Rich Lum, AKA Famous Instant Pot Master Chef (have you heard of him) oftentimes uses Tito’s brand vodka which is pricier but has a very clean taste so the vanilla can shine through. I’ve also heard many praise Costco’s Kirkland Signature Vodka, which I’ve never tried, but has excellent reviews.
Where do you find decently priced vanilla beans?
I hope one day I can update this post with a better answer, but for the moment, there is a serious shortage in vanilla beans so the prices have gone way up. I’ve ordered from several companies and my favorite beans BY FAR are from Beanilla. To get a good price on them, my sisters and I bought a pound of them together. They ended up being about $2 a piece and they are the biggest, most wonderful smelling beans I've ever had. I only use 5 of these beans per jar and it is the best extract to ever come out of my kitchen. I buy the Madagascar Grade B Vanilla Beans. Use the code TIDBITS to get 7% off your order at Beanilla.
What’s the best type of bean to use?
Across the board, the most commonly recommended beans for extract are Madagascar Vanilla Beans, Grade B. Grade A beans will work, but they are typically more expensive and some believe they don’t extract as well. Mexican and Tahitian beans are also quite popular.
How do I store my Vanilla Extract?
Store extract in a cool, dark place. I keep mine in the cold storage room in my basement, but the back of a cupboard or pantry, as long as it’s away from the oven and lights, will work great.
What is the shelf life of Instant Pot Vanilla Extract?
When done in a jar with a loose-fitting lid, your alcohol percentage should stay high. This means when properly stored (as discussed in the above question), the life of your vanilla is infinite.
Do I have to use alcohol to make Instant Pot Vanilla Extract?
Nope! Here is a food grade glycerin version!
Can I use different types of alcohol to make vanilla extract?
Absolutely. I have experimented with bourbon and rum and I thought they smelled amazing! Keep in mind the taste of bourbon and rum will come through more than vodka, of which I wasn’t exactly a fan. However, for some people and certain recipes, that is exactly what they want.
How many beans should I use?
I have tried everything from 3 to 10 beans per cup of vodka and finally settled on about 3 beans per 1 cup of vodka (or 5-6 beans per pint).
How soon will my Instant Pot Vanilla Extract be ready to use?
You could use it that same day. However, after a week or 2, the alcohol smell will mellow significantly and the vanilla taste and aroma will be more intense.
How did you settle on 30 minutes for the cook time?
I experimented with times from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. My experience was that I didn’t have much difference in taste for anything after 30 minutes, but the breakdown of the vanilla bean was more pronounced at 60 minutes leaving the extract quite hazy. So 30 minutes it is!
Is it okay to cook with alcohol in an Instant Pot AKA Electric Pressure Cooker?
I questioned several engineers, the health department, and the Extension Services before I felt comfortable doing just that. After I posted the recipe, I was met with a lot of questions about it. Long story short, I would never ever ever do this with a stovetop pressure cooker or anywhere near an open flame. Always, always allow for a full natural release so you're not releasing alcohol vapor into the air and make it in a Mason jar with a lid to decrease the amount of alcohol vapor that could be released. You can find more details on my research on this post: Vanilla Extract Research.
Why does my vanilla extract smell really strong of alcohol?
First off, any pure Vanilla Extract will have a bit of alcohol smell and taste. For this pressure cooker method, your extract may still smell strongly of vodka right after you make it (especially if you use a cheaper vodka). I suggest letting it sit for 1-2 weeks and then give it another whiff. The alcohol smell should have mellowed and the vanilla smell should be lovely and rich. If not, throw it back in the pressure cooker for another 30 minutes.
What do I do with used Vanilla Beans?
See this post, How to Get the Most out of Your Vanilla Beans, for several ways to get the most out of your beans.
Why do I want to make my own vanilla extract?
Because you can! And you can make it in the world's greatest appliance – the Electric Pressure Cooker/AKA Instant Pot. Plus homemade vanilla extract is just plain incredible. For me, it’s a truer, more rich vanilla flavor, and depending on where you buy your supplies, it can be more cost-effective. It also makes the best gift ever! A homemade bottle of vanilla extract with a custom label and a pretty bottle is the ultimate gift for any occasion.
Best Bottles for Gifting Vanilla Extract:
For long term storage, it is best to store vanilla extract in an Amber Colored Glass Bottle. These bottles often come with a small funnel to make it very easy to fill with your prepared extract. Another option for gifting is this Clear Glass Bottle with Shrink Capsule Lid. These look very pretty and professional so they are perfect for gifting!
How to Pour Extract into Small Bottles for Gifting?
I like to use a small funnel to pour the extract from mason jars into the small bottles. Be sure to add one of the vanilla beans from the main jar into each small bottle so it will continue to infuse and become stronger over time.
I hope that covers it! If I’ve missed anything, please leave your question in the comments and I will add it to the post. Beanilla is a great source for questions and has absolutely amazing customer service.
Suggested Recipes to use your Vanilla Extract
Now go put that incredible homemade vanilla extract to good use in a Triple Chocolate Cheesecake (No words, just heart eyes) or my favorite beverage of all time- Crio Bru, Hot or Cold.
Here are some other favorites:
- Instant Pot Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- Instant Pot Peaches and Cream Coconut Tres Leches Cake
- Pressure Cooker Peppermint Vanilla Crio Bru
Be sure and check out the other extracts: Cinnamon, Lemon, Peppermint, and Maple.
Also, Cami has designed the most perfect extract labels for all your gift giving! There are 2 looks for each flavor of extract so be sure and check these out!
WANT TO DIVE INTO MORE OF THIS VANILLA WORLD WITH ME?
Check out these additional posts about Vanilla Extract where I share all I've learned:
- Homemade Gourmet Vanilla Extract
- Vanilla Extract Research
- How to get the most out of your Vanilla Beans
OUR MOST POPULAR INSTANT POT RECIPES
- Perfect Pressure Cooker Pasta
- Instant Pot Pot Roast
- Pressure Cooker Turkey Breast
- Healthy Instant Pot Soup Recipes
- Instant Pot Cinnamon Oatmeal
RECOMMENDED TOOLS/INGREDIENTS TO BUY AND MAKE INSTANT POT VANILLA EXTRACT
- Vodka – try your local liquor stores
- Food Grade Glycerin
- Mason Jars
- Pourable Mason Jar Lid
- Reusable Mason Jar Lids
- Bottles for Gifting
- Instant Pot electric pressure cooker
- Beanilla Vanilla Beans USE CODE TIDBITS FOR 7% OFF YOUR ORDER
- Kitchen Shears
Instant Pot Vanilla Extract
Instant Pot Vanilla Extract! Rich, dark, aromatic extract in minutes instead of months!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: 1 pint 1x
- Category: Miscellaneous
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
- 5–6 Grade B Madagascar vanilla beans
- About 2 cups Smirnoff Vodka 80 proof (40% alcohol) or Food Grade Vegetable Glycerin
- Using a sharp pointed knife or kitchen shears, cut each bean in half and then split in half lengthwise leaving about an inch still connected. If beans are too dry to split, cut them into 1 inch pieces.
- Place the vanilla beans in a pint-size Mason jar and add vodka or glycerin, leaving 1 inch of headspace. Top with a canning lid and ring and barely tighten.
- Add 1 cup of water to the pressure cooker pot and place trivet inside. Put the Mason jar on the trivet. Secure the lid and turn pressure release knob to a sealed position. Cook at high pressure for 30 minutes.
- When cooking is complete, unplug the pressure cooker and use a natural release.
- Carefully remove the Mason jar, swirl it lightly to release more vanilla seeds from the pod, and place on a cooling rack overnight.
- Once cooled, top with a pourable lid and use in all your favorite recipes that call for vanilla extract.
- Caution: Never make Extract in a stovetop pressure cooker or near an open flame. My recipes are written for electric pressure cookers only. Always use a Natural Release, never a quick release. Avoid any type of open flame for the entire duration of cooking, including when the lid is removed after the natural release.
- Alcohol smell may be strong at first but will diminish over a week or two. If still overpowering at that point, return to the pressure cooker for another 30 minutes.
- When vanilla extract is gone, let the beans air dry, then add to sugar for vanilla infused sugar.
- The pressure cooker will fit up to three jars at a time, so feel free to double or triple the recipe.
Keywords: instant pot, electric pressure cooker, instant pot vanilla extract, alcohol free vanilla extract
Hello, so I want to make some vanilla in a week or so. When you link your beans are you referring to the Grade B Boulanger vanilla beans. Because when I click on link those are the only Grade B ones. Thank you
Grade B Bourbon I meant sorry
Christie, Yes, the beans I get are the Madagascar Bourbon Grade B beans. They are excellent from Beanilla!
I’m so excited to have made this as Christmas gifts this year! One question is that there appears to be a lot of sediment at the bottom of my pint jars. I am assuming this is normal but wondering if I should filter it out? I used six beans per pint jar and Tito‘s vodka. Thank you!!
Chelsea, that’s likely the “caviar” or seeds of the bean. Keep them! They add flavor and look beautiful in ice cream and whipped cream.
I really want to make some and gift them. Every group says to not use alcohol in the IP. And I’ve read where the glass jars can break/explode during the process since the IP is not a canner. This scares me horribly. How can I avoid this happening?
Tammy, Make sure the lid is barely grabbing the jar, meaning I screw it just until I meet resistance, then back it off a little.
I have a question for you I made the recipe but I didn’t add enough vanilla beans to an 8 oz batch I cooked it 30 minutes in the pressure cooker and wondering if I can add more fresh beans to it and then put it back in the pressure cooker again for another 30 minutes what should I do? (P.S. it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve made them and there’s no vanilla smell at all) thank you
Sherri, you could definitely try adding more beans and pressure cooking it again. How many beans did you add? I’ve found I can get away with 4-5 per jar and still get an amazing extract.
I just finished making my first batch and have a concern. It looks like weak tea, not that deep dark brown I see in your photos. It does smell wonderful in my house! Have I done something wrong!
Tammy, let it sit a couple of weeks and the color will darken. It will be amazing!
Only because I trust you would I consider this…. 😊
It’s in the pot now. Lots of steam coming out. Still making me a bit nervous.
At least I know what’s in it after my kids sent the Castoreum link 😱. Lol.
Hoping my beans are good quality. All that was available was Bourbon Natural Vanilla pods.
Well I lost 1/3 of the liquid, it looks like tea, BUT I didn’t blow up my house 🙌. The lid, mason jar, sealed, so I’ll leave it a couple of weeks before opening it up.
Michele, Hmm, was your pot sealed well? OR was their steam coming out the sides of the lid?
I just tried my first batch. I used 6 Beanilla beans and 2 cups Tito’s, pressure cooked for 30 minutes with natural release, swirled to release any more seeds, then let rest for ~4 hours. I just opened it and tasted it and it tastes more like vanilla-infused vodka than vanilla extract? 🙂 Should I add some more beans and put it on for another 30 minutes? I’m making these as Christmas gifts and trust that the alcohol smell will dissipate in a couple of weeks, but do want to make sure there’s enough vanilla flavor for them to recognize what it is. 🙂
Tracy, pure vanilla extra will always have an alcohol taste if tasted straight from the jar (even store-bought tastes like alcohol). But the vanilla flavor shines through when you cook with it. I would personally let them sit until you’re ready to gift them and gift them with beans in the jars so it will continue to infuse evermore. Your recipients will love you!
Thanks, Marci! Happy holidays!
I am curious, I posted I was making this on one of my instant pot FB pages and people talked about this having to age for a year. Is this true with your recipe? I just finished my first batch. ;o)
Kathleen, Oh no, this one could be used the next day if you want. I always wait 2 weeks because the alcohol smell diminishes a lot by then. My IP version was stronger than my friend’s that had been sitting in her cupboard for 6 months!
I think I really messed up! I made the vanilla extract a couple of weeks ago and it still really smelled of vodka. Today, I added a couple more beans and popped it back in the pot for another 30 minutes but forgot to turn off keep warm and ran out to the store. The jar sat in instant pot on warm for 3 hours+. Is it ruined (it is very cloudy now-wasn’t before the boo-boo!)
Bonnie, I think it will be just fine. Let it sit for a few days. The cloudiness typically settles. Also, the extract will always have a vodka smell to it, even after sitting for months. Even storebought pure extract has that smell so don’t stress that too much. You should smell amazing vanilla as well.
Can I use bothalcohol and the food grade glycerin, use half and half of each?
Rowena, I can’t say I’ve ever tried it, but I think that would be fine. What are you wanting to do half and half?
Do you have a link for the cute pro tables? I would love to use them as my client gifts for Christmas this year. Thank you!
Chelsea, Can you clarify what you mean by “pro tables”? I’m not sure if that’s a typo or if I’m just not sure what you’re saying 🙂
Jennifer Ciarleglio says
I’ll bet she means lables 🙂
Oh my gosh! Printables* Sorry! Spellcheck is driving me crazy!
Oh, haha! That makes sense now! My sister has them on her page here https://www.tidbits-cami.com/printable-vanilla-extract-labels/
Only a day before I found this Instant Pot recipe, I found a bottle of vanilla beans and poured vodka in a small mason jar to begin the long process of waiting (forever!) to be ready to use. I happened on this recipe to use my Instant Pot, and immediately put the same jar inside and did the 30 minute process. Thank you! I have not opened it, but will wait 2 weeks until I do that!
Lor, isn’t it awesome?! I love pulling it out of the cooker and seeing its beautiful dark color. You’re going got love it!
Kelley I made some on November 24 and they are cloudy. Is that normal? Wanted to make sure it’s not mold which would be weird since it’s in vodka. There is some goo on the beans that are submerged in the vodka says
I followed the instapot recipe and made my vanilla on November 24. Is it supposed to be a little cloudy? There was some goo on the vanilla beans that were submerged in the liquid when I went to shake them 3 weeks after making it. Is this normal? Just want to make sure it’s not mold which would be weird since it’s in vodka.
Kelley, Hmm, I’m not sure what you mean by “goo”. If it was submerged there shouldn’t be mold. The cloudiness is okay. I’ve decided that varies from bean to bean.
Hi, Marci. I’ve used your instant pot vanilla extract before with amazing success. Wondering how the glycerine version compares and whether you have attempted the gourmet versions with glycerine? What are your thoughts and experiences? Thank you for sharing your experiences and recipes!
Renee, the glycerin version is a tad weaker. I much prefer the vodka route. I haven’t tried the gourmet version with glycerin. I worried it would be really weak on the coconut. I hope that helps!
Hi Marci, I am commenting back to your reply. To make coffee extract, which I add to anything that contains chocolate, you roughly chop some quality coffee beans (probably about a 1/2 cup to 1 cup vodka) and process it the same way, but you would have to strain out the beans after they have been fully extracted. Any type of fruit can be done in the same way. Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, etc., but you can leave the raspberries whole since they will break down. The vodka also preserves the fruit so that it won’t ferment. I also love chocolate extract in chocolate recipes rather than vanilla, but you need the raw cacao beans to make it. Those are hard to come by in North America so I just buy the extracts from Olive Nation. They have THEE best pure extracts aside from homemade. I have found recipes online for various flavors plus speedy methods which I wouldn’t recommend to anyone with a gas stove. Your speed method is the safest I have seen thus far and I can’t wait to get started. I have put it off long enough and wasted a ton of money on pre-made extracts because it wasn’t a good idea to have alcohol in the house with a newly recovering alcoholic (my husband, I have 29 years of sobriety), but he assured me that he was alright with it so it’s game time!
I will let you know how it goes and thank you again. I need all of the help I can get with my InstaPot and my Vortex Pro. I love them both, but sometimes I don’t feel the love. LOL!
Donna, that all sounds so fabulous! I’ve made lemon extract but never used berries. I sent my husband for vodka right now, haha!
I’ve made chocolate extract with Crio Bru grounds and it’s absolutely amazing. The cacao beans were roasted, is that a problem? I’ve made a coconut vanilla version to and that’s my favorite of all time. Let me know how it goes!
Putting alcohol under pressure is pretty dangerous with how flammable it is at an instapot temperature. . I know something won’t happen every time but having spend 3 weeks in the second ranked burn unit in the USA… it’s really not worth the risk.
I am so sorry to hear that you were in a burn unit. It is understandable that you don’t want to cook this recipe.
I just took my jars out of the instapot and the lids were super loose. After I removed them form the instapot, I tightened down the lids and I noticed I could see the liquid bubbling/slight boil actually. Now that the jars have cooled, the inner lid is sealed on to the jar. The jar is like warm to the touch. Is it normal that the inner lid is sealed down on the jar? Should I apply pressure to remove it or just wait for it to naturally loosen? Thanks so much for this awesome IP recipe!!
Susan, When that happens, I just leave it be. I stick it in my cupboard until I’m ready to use it. It will smell amazing!
Is this ratio considered single fold 1C vodka to 1oz beans-yikes!)? Or because it’s stronger closer to double fold?
Gina, taste-wise, I think it is much stronger than any extract I’ve ever bought. But when I look up how double fold is made, this recipe doesn’t use quite that many beans per pint of vodka. I’ve actually only been using 4 beans per jar lately because the beans I bought from Beanilla are so long and fragrant.
You should really go by weight for vanilla beans. Each vanilla a bean is different. I have some kinds that are .05 oz and one that is .5 oz big difference. 1 ounce beans to 8 oz alcohol. Double is 1 oz to 4 oz
I’m so excited to try this! I live in Europe and for whatever reason, vanilla extract is difficult to come by – and wicked expensive when you do find it!! And I love that this totally speeds up the “aging” process. I had considered the traditional method of making extracts, but was so discouraged when I realized it takes months when my precious little bottle of vanilla (/liquid gold) is nearly used up! Thanks for sharing this recipe, Marci!
Jennifer, I wish I could ship you some of my stash! The prices have started to come down here on vanilla beans. Let me know how it goes! I love this recipe so much.
Finally had a chance to give this a try! I was nervous about putting lids on the jars, so instead I tightly covered with foil and that seemed to work well. I did 300ml of vodka + 4 vanilla beans, 150ml of light rum + 3 vanilla beans, and 150ml of bourbon + 3 vanilla beans. Just finished their natural release and are cooling now. Can’t wait to see how they taste! Thanks again, Marci!
Jennifer, that is going to be such a fun mix of flavors. Keep me posted!
I’ve never canned before and I want to make this recipe but have questions – Do you sterilize your mason jars before making the vanilla? If you’re putting them into small bottles for giveaway do you sterilize the small bottles?
Anna, I typically just run them through a hot dishwasher cycle, but this isn’t officially canning so they don’t have to be technically sterile. I would also be sure that the smaller bottles are clean, sterilizing wouldn’t hurt! Enjoy!
Can you make nut extracts using an instant pot? I desperately want pistachio extract, but can’t find it in town and ordering it online would take a long time.
Eden, I’ve never heard of pistachio extract! I had to look it up because it sounds amazing. There are recipes for it out there, I almost think doing it this “Instant Pot” way would work even better at extracting the flavor. Let me know if you give it a go. I wrote it down on my “to test” list 🙂
My one jar exploded and one jar ok ? . It still smells like vodka and I used a good brand. I already had in fridge 4 months . Do I have bad beans ? I can’t remember where on line – I just remember Madagascar beans
Lori, are you saying you were storing the jars in the fridge then put them in the pressure cooker? Or were you storing the beans in the fridge? I’m not quite sure what you’re saying, but I’d love to help!
I love homemade vanilla, but this is my first try making it in the IP… with my typical shelf vanilla, I will refill the jars with vodka again and again and just rotate through the bottles, letting the beans steep as long as possible and this has worked for a long time for me! My question for you is, do you think this IP method could be repeated with the beans I cook today when this jar is gone?
Jen, I do the same rotation with this method. When my jars are half empty, I add more vodka and move them to the back of the line. I’ve also used the used beans to make a new batch of pressure cooked extract, but I usually add 2 fresh beans. Does that make sense?
Can you also just use the bottles that you’re using to gift in the instant pot or cook everything directly in the instant pot bowl?
Hakeem, You’ll differently want to use a canning jar because they are stronger and can handle the pressure.
Made my first jar yesterday- so easy! I opened the lid and gently swirled the liquid once it was done and much of the alcohol vapor evaporated that way, leaving a much stronger vanilla scent with less of an alcohol burn. I lost a little volume but I’m left with a more pure vanilla scent. I can’t wait to bake with this!
Amy, amazing! You’re going to love it!
I made the instant pot vanilla extract and although I don’t have an “Instant Pot”, I have a Power Cooker XL, I was able to follow your recipe. My vanilla extract came out cloudy. It’s been a few weeks and the extract smells great but it’s just not as appealing to look at. Will that be an issue and do you know why it happened?
Rebecca, that’s great! Don’t worry about the cloudiness. I think it can depend on the brand of beans, but the taste will still be good and it will become more clear as it sits. Don’t stress it!
Have just made this & I’m wondering how many beans you leave in the bottles that you’re storing it??
Signey, I just leave everything in the bottle as is and store it that way. It just keeps getting stronger!
Great post! I’ve got the beans on order and am excited to get started.
Wondering if the reusable metal lids (vs. traditional canning lids) are ok to use with the mason jars in the instant pot?
Also, have you ever tried making the extract using vanilla-flavored vodka? Am thinking this would really punch up the vanilla flavor.
Also, have you ever tried this using vanilla-flavored vodka? Thinking that would send the vanilla flavor through the roof! 🙂
Jill, I haven’t, but I’ve wanted to. Let me know if you try it! I tried with raspberry vodka once and that was nasty 🙂
I know that your comment was submitted in January, but I thought that I would chime in about the vanilla flavored vodka. The vanilla flavor is just that… Flavoring in most brands, especially the bottom shelf brands which should be used in making vanilla. It would leave a funky taste in vanilla extract.
And thank you Marci for posting and InstaPot version for vanilla extract. I have been waiting for the price of beans to come down as well and I do a lot of baking and I also use vanilla in French toast, pancake and waffle batters and also when I make any type of fruit syrup for the above mentioned so I go through a 16 ounce bottle in less than 6 months. I will probably used this method for all of my extracts (I use several different flavors) so I just wanted to thank you! And for the yogurt recipe too. So grateful that I stumbled onto your website!
Donna, thank you so much for chiming in! Also, I”m like you, I use vanilla extract in SO MANY THINGS! I just love what it adds. You have me so curious what other flavors your making. Do tell!
Thank you for such nice comments. You lit my morning up with your comment 🙂
Thanks for the heads up on this. I’ve been too chicken to make a batch with vanilla vodka for the reasons you mentioned. I def. won’t do it now! Thanks for the heads up.
Jill, yes, I always use used lids.
Thanks, Marci. Sorry about the duplicate posts–computer/user errors! I think I’m going to try making a single jar with vanilla vodka first. If it tastes good, I’ll make the rest of the batch with VV. Would hate to blow the lot on nasty-tasting extract! Will let you know how the experiment turns out!
This is my 3rd time trying the recipe over the course of a couple weeks since I saw the recipe. All of my extracts are still overwhealmingly strong smelling of vodka/alcohol when you open it. I returned the 1st set to the instant pot past week, still smelled of alcohol and its been sitting for a week and still VERY strong. What do I do here?
Lori, it’s okay that you can smell the alcohol. Even storebought real vanilla has an alcohol smell. But you should be able to smell the vanilla as well. When you cook with it, the alcohol will burn off. Where did you buy your beans?
It doesn’t smell much like Vanilla. I purchased from Beanilla
Lori, well now I’m even more boggled. I adore Beanilla beans. I do think at this point if they can sit with the beans in it, it will get stronger and smell amazing over time. If you’re gifting them, just put a bean in each bottle and that will also work.
I got my beans last year from Beanilla and am just getting around to making extract. The package gives 12 months as shelf life, but my beans are very dry. I’m trying it anyway. Will I need to strain when I bottle it? It was almost like sticks and bits of bark with some beans. Hope it’s not a total fail.
Amy, I asked Beanilla about that because I had some that were nearly 2 years old and they told they would be fine to use. My extract had some bits like that. I haven’t strained it yet, but I’m guessing once I get closer to the bottom of the jar, they might start spilling out. It should still be amazing extract though!
Thanks for your response. I’m transferring to small jars for gifting, so will probably need to strain. You think that’s fine? Also I did some with vodka and some with glycerin and the glycerin is very light in color. Should I put it back in the pressure cooker or is this normal for the glycerin? Thanks again!
Amy, the glycerin tends to take longer to darken up, but if you’re wanting to package it soon, I’d go ahead and pressure cook it another 30 minutes to hurry it along. As far as straining goes, the extract will continue to get stronger if there are vanilla beans in it. If you have any large pieces, I would go ahead and put those in the gifting bottles. That’s what I would do 🙂
Eda María says
When I opened the instant pot my jar wa broken… was it cause I didn’t unplug?
Eda, Oh no, that is so disappointing! Like with pressure canning, sometimes there can be a hairline crack in the bottles and they can break, so that is one possibility. Did you tighten the lid?
Eda Maria says
I did but barely…. was that it? Im thinking the issue might have been that the vodka was cold…. and perhaps the temperature clash? 😉
Eda, Was your vodka significantly cold? Like from a fridge, cold? That could definitely have an effect. I’ve made that mistake before when trying to quick cool down a hot jar of Crio Bru in the snow. Won’t make that mistake again!
Do you use wide mouth pint jars or regular mouth when you say 3 will fit in the IP? I want to be sure I get the right ones.
Melissa, I always use wide mouth, but I’m pretty sure regular would also fit.
This worked great – thanks! I did mine about a week ago but would like to help it along a little bit (I know, I know, patience…). There is no harm in putting it back in for another 30 minutes to cook, right?
Harmony, It might decrease the alcohol percentage a bit more is the only thing I’m thinking could be a problem. If you’re using it within the year though, that’s not likely a big deal. In truth, I’ve done the same thing before, and it worked great 🙂
Marci davis says
I could only find half pint jars. How many vanilla beans per jar?
Marci, I would do 2-3 depending on how big and fragrant they are.
You never said how many vanilla beans to use per pint????
Cheyenna, scroll down to the recipe card, that has everything you need!
I hope I didn’t mess this recipe up!! I’m such a novice that I did quick release instead of natural. Please tell me it’s not ruined!
Kristen, if the color is dark and the smell strong, I’d go with it! If it seems weak, just process it again.
Hello! Your recipe and tips were so helpful. I decided to make vanilla extract for holiday gifts but it took a while for my beans to arrive to me. Now that I have them, this process really sped things up! However, even after 30 mins at high pressure with natural release, my extract looks a little cloudy and more pronounced like you mentioned could happen after being in too long. Not sure if this if normal or not. Some of the beans almost seem empty but not all. Is this extract still okay to use? Still smells great. Thanks
Abigail, yes, it sounds great! Let it sit a few days, the cloudiness will clear, and it will be amazing.
so… if i made it yesterday (19), when can i gift it? Should i tell them to wait XX amount of time? do i need to stick a bean in their contaners?
Edisa, I’d have them wait at least a couple of weeks, and for sure stick a bean in each! That will make it even stronger.
Can I use quart size mason jars, say one at a time?
Mary, the quart size jars are too tall to fit in the pot on top of a rack, you’ll need to stick with pint or half pint. I hope that helps!
Linda Brngal says
Hi Marci, I tried two pint jars for my first time. I finger tightened the lids, as least I thought I did, but I lost about an inch of liquid from one jar. The other was ok. Can I just add more vodka? Can I add more and run it through the instant pot again? Or should I remove the beans, maybe add another fresh bean, and start over with fresh vodka? I’m afraid I lost the alcohol content.
Linda, Yes, I would just top it off and let it sit a couple of week, it will be great! I had this happen a couple of times and tested the alcohol percentage and it was still good.
I made vanilla extract in my instant pot over 2 and a half years ago, just like you. Not from your recipe.
JESSICA VARNER says
Hi There, I made vanilla for the first time! My jars came out light tan, not dark at all. Is this common? Did I use the wrong beans or something? (I used the madagascar vanilla beans). Thanks for your help.
I just did the same and it’s not very dark. Wondering if it is ok like that? I hope I didn’t waste anything cause this has cost more than I initially thought.
Kayla, give it a couple of weeks then smell it, I’ll bet it still works!
Jessica, from my experience, the beans do make a difference. I always order from Beanilla and it turns out dark every time. I had a couple of batches from some beans I bought from Amazon that were disappointing. However, chances are, if you let it sit a couple of weeks, it will smell amazing!
When making alcohol free, just use the same amount of glycerin in place of the alcohol?
I made vanilla extract like this almost 2 years ago. I smells better the longer it sits. So, how can you claim copywrite when this recipe has been around for years?
Emily, I was first for this technique, not vanilla extract itself, sorry for the confusion!
OMG! Never use the instant pot to make vanilla! Those mason jars with alcohol could burst! That much alcohol should never be put under pressure! Also, look up standards for making vanilla extract such as what constitutes single or double fold. The Vanilla Bean Co Op group on FB is an excellent resource for anything vanilla and they also sell beans direct from the supplier.
Here is a direct quote from Instant Pot…” Regarding cooking alcohol in Instant Pot, there are many factors which could generate source of ignition of the alcohol fume. These are not part of the Instant Pot product and beyond the control of Instant Pot device. We cannot officially endorse such use given the possibility of unforeseen risks. – Robert Wang, CEO, Instant Pot”
Bonnie, Yes, I discuss that in the post. Read my thoughts on that 🙂
Marci, I have read your thoughts and research and I still totally disagree. Since the manufacturer of the Instant Pot does not endorse its use for vanilla making I believe they know what’s best for their machine. I have read posts on jars bursting in the pot. Why take a chance? Sorry, but I have lost all credibility in your recipes. The only thing we agree on is to disagree. 🙂
Bonnie, I understand. No hurt feelings. Enjoy your Instant Pot!
I am really clueless when it comes to using mason jars, etc….when you say to barely tighten, does that mean as long as the cover is threaded enough not to fall off, or tighten to close it like you would for any jar? Hoping this makes sense 😁
Dawn, haha! I totally understand! So I twist it until I meet some resistance, then back off just a bit. So it’s on enough to stay on if I pick it up, but if I tipped it over, it would leak. I hope that helps!
Mary Showalter says
I am so eager to make this vanilla extract using my Instant Pot! I have a box of half pint jars that have only been used once. Five of them fit nicely at once. If I use them, would you suggest keeping the cooking time at 30 minutes? How many beans per jar? Thank you so much for sharing this method. Love it when I can use my IP!
Mary, yep still do 30 minutes. I would do 3 beans per jar. You’re going to love it!
I made this recipe today using (2)1/2 pint jars and only 1 bean in each because I didn’t read the directions clearly. I cut each bean in half so hopefully that will help. I was surprised that the vodka in one of the jars bubbled for hours after coming out of the multi cooker. I’m wondering how long it will be before the vanilla can be used.
Cheryl, It can be used immediately, but I find that it’s even better at 2 weeks. I’m curious how your extract turned out with 1 bean!
Hi Marci, after cooling, I transferred the vanilla into another container and taste-tested it next to my store-bought vanilla. They were very similar in taste. I would even say that there was less of an alcohol taste in my homemade version.
Cheryl, yay! Great news!
Can I use 1/2 pint jars to process the vanilla extract? Would the timing be different?
Bonnie, Yep, that will work. Cook time will stay the same!
If I transfer the processed extract to other bottles do I also transfer the beans?
Jackie, Yes, I always keep the beans with the extract. It just keeps getting better!
Elizabeth Peters says
Hi, I followed the recipe exactly and one of my jars leaked out into the water. Help!
Elizabeth, It sounds like one of your lids might have been looser than others and it evaporated a bit. Just top it off with vodka and let it sit a couple of weeks. It should be great!
Elizabeth Peters says
I wish that were the case. The vodka definitely leaked into the water.
When you say to put the trivet in, do you put it in with the base (meaning flat part) of the trivet at the bottom of the pot so it is submerged in water, then the jars on top of that? Or do you put it in ‘feet’ first & the jars go on top of that, raised out of the water? And if it is the latter, do the jars touch the sides of the pot?
Patti, I place the trivet in the pot with the feet touching the base, then set the jars on top of that. Does that make sense? If I have my jars centered on the trivet, they don’t touch the sides of the pot. I hope that helps!
I have 2 questions: First, I bought some grade B Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Beans (vaccum packed) around March 10 of 2019. Are they still good to use or should be tossed? And, i have an 8 quart Instant Pot. What should I do differently to make this? Help!!!
Donna, When I asked Beanilla about this (mine were over 2 years old) they told me as long as they were stored in a cool environment and vacuum packed, they were fine. So I’d say you’re good to go!
Great! I’m so glad I can use these beans!! But with the 8 quart Instant Pot, do I do anything different? More water, more time, anything? I don’t want to mess this up!
Donna, I’ve never done anything differently in the 8 quart, cook time stays the same! You might want to add 1 1/2 cups water since it’ll evaporate more in the bigger pot. I’m excited for you to try it!
I forgot to unplug my instapot and it NPR’ed for about 20 minutes, then…I forgot to take it out after I NPR’ed it. Will leaving it in the heat so long mess it up? It’s so beautiful. I hope I didn’t miss it up.
Davyea, It’ll be perfect! Sometimes I just leave mine in the pot all night. No worries!
Can you reuse the vanilla beans to make more vanilla once that batch is gone?
Jennifer, yes, but I always add 1 or 2 fresh beans to keep it strong. Another idea is to use only half of a jar, top it with vodka, then let it sit while you use another jar.
Do you have to sterilize the jars?
Ydo, I don’t sterilize them per se, but I do wash them in the dishwasher.
I followed the directions with this EXACTLY using high quality vodka and Tahitian vanilla beans instead of Madagascar. After it was finished, I stored it in a cool, dark place for about 2 weeks before I used it. It didn’t smell strongly of alcohol and it was a dark (not as dark as store bought) but it had almost no vanilla flavor. Any thoughts as to what might have happened other than using Tahitian beans? Also, can this recipe be made using vanilla bean paste as opposed to whole bean? Thanks!
Morgan, I’m not sure on the paste, I’ve yet to try that one (but I’m very curious), but it’s hard to say with your other question. The smell and intensity of flavor definitely depends on the beans, but I’ve used Tahitian before and loved it. You could reprocess it, or simply let it sit longer. How many beans did you use? Were they quite fragrant right out of the bag?
Joanne Brown says
I found this link AFTER making my first batch… and the recipe I followed did not mention not to over tighten the lids 🙁 2 of the 4 jars seals bulged a bit… bending the seal a tad bit. Do you think it will still be useable , and that I can just transfer the contents to a new mason jar, continuing the storage of them i
in my pantry? PLEASE say yes. I cannot bear the though of having to dump even a drop. Thank you for any help/tips
Joanne, There shouldn’t be anything wrong with them. I’m glad the jars didn’t break! Once they are completely cooled, just take the lid off to vent it (maybe with a towel in case it splashes), then put the lid back on and place it in your pantry. In my beginning stages of testing, I put the lid on tight and had some bulging. I even broke a jar because of doing that. That was my lesson to leave the lid loose 🙂
This sounds amazing. Can you put more than 1 pint size jar in at a time?
Ashley, Yes! I always do 3 at a time.
Just got done making vanilla extract. Thanks for this recipe!! I took the lid of after an hour and the alcohol smells very strong; is this ok?
In the morning I will pour the 3 bottles of extract into 1 large bottle. Do I store for a couple of weeks before using it?
Lillie, Yep, the alcohol smell takes a couple of weeks to mellow, but the vanilla tastes good in baked goods now (since the alcohol evaporates with baking). Make sure you add all of the vanilla beans to the large bottle so it can continue to diffuse. It’ll be wonderful in a couple of weeks!
Thanks!! So I just transferred all the vanilla into one large bottle and omg it smells amazing!! I will wait a couple of weeks though.. 🙂 One more question, as I begin to consume the vanilla extract, can I add more vodka and “reuse” the beans?
Thanks again 🙂
Lillie, I’m so glad! And yes, you can continue to top it off. If you do this, you’ll have amazing extract for years 🙂
Just wanted to let you know that my canning jar broke in the instant pot. So sad, was really looking forward to a batch of vanilla extract.
Tina, dang, that is very sad. As with all pressure canning, the jars occasionally break.
I have a jar that spaghetti sauce came in that has a medal lid. Can I use that?
Sharon, no, best to stick with jars that are meant to handle the pressure.
Hi, I’m so excited to try this after multiple batches done the traditional way. Thank you SO much for figuring it out for the rest of us! And thanks too for sharing your research about the safety behind it. Quick question — I’ve always bought my beans on Amazon but want to try the Beanilla beans — how many beans did you get when you and your sister ordered together? I’m not seeing any estimates as to # of beans for volume on their website. I know it varies but even a range would be helpful. Thanks!
Abby, You’ll love this method, it’s so satisfying to see it ready so quickly.
Regarding your question…Dang, I can’t remember. I do remember that they were about $2 a piece after we counted them out.
Hi, I used the food grade glycerin and 5 beans split in half. Let it sit overnight in the IP to cool. In the morning the glycerin was still clear. I sealed and shook the jar but it doesn’t have a lot of color to it. Did I do something wrong or will this change over time?
Patty, the glycerin is a little tougher to get to infuse completely, but from my experience, the color and flavor darkens quite a bit after it sits for a week. I suggest giving it a week, and if the color is still very light, pressure cook it for another 30 minutes. Let me know if that doesn’t work for you!
Hi there, I infused again and waited. Still super light. Any thoughts on a fix. I’m over $25.00 in and would love to be able to salvage what I have. Maybe add more beans and infuse again? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
Patty, at this point, I’m assuming it was the beans. If it’s possible, I would be tempted to email whoever you ordered them from and see what they’ll do. They should have been very fragrant. Maybe test your extract out in some whipped cream or pancakes and see if the taste is there.
Angela McCartney says
Hi Marci. I have loved working my way through your recipes and finally tried out the vanilla a few days ago. I haven’t really tried it yet since I want to let it sit for at least two weeks before I do. Next up will be flavored if I managed to make this one work. Mine turned out super cloudy though. Almost murky looking. There is a ton of seeds in the bottom. Did I do something wrong? Cut the beans too far maybe? Do you know if it will still be usable or is that a sign that it didn’t work?
Angela, Don’t stress the cloudiness! It sounds great and the seeds at the bottom are loaded with flavor so I leave those in there. My favorite part of the extract to use is the last bit with all the seeds in fact! As the extract sits for the next couple weeks, the cloudiness will clear and it will become been darker. You did great and you’re going to love it!
This was such a great recipe!! I made my first batch of homemade instant pot vanilla with this recipe in August 2019 and am finally low enough after almost a year it’s time to make more! (We bake a lot, especially during quarantine!) The recipe worked great! We used a 750ml bottle of Smirnoff vodka, and there was a little bit left in the bottle but it made 2 pints of vanilla. It smells so great! I bought 20 vanilla beans from Beanilla (some of the beans were already sliced open and scraped out, how rude!) and I’m reusing them today to see if they will work another time. There was lots of the black bean speckles in the bottom of the jars so I left that in to help with flavor. I’ll try and update this in a few weeks once the new vanilla has had time to sit, in case anyone else wanted to re-use beans too. Thanks for a great recipe! I’m not sure why anyone would want to do it the old fashioned way if you have an instant pot at home!
Lisa, Isn’t it great! It’s still one of my favorite tricks. Please report back, I’d love to hear how the flavor does.
Are you saying some of your beans from Beanilla came scraped out?
Hi Marci, I am super excited to try this!!! But I was wondering since you’re cooking the alcohol, doesn’t cooking it evaporate the alcohol, or at least that’s what I have always been told. So my question is if this method (IP) would make it not last as long on the shelf as a regular traditional method of homemade vanilla? Sorry I just wanted to make sure before I make it to give it as gifts for people this holiday season. Thank you for your feedback!
Heli, Good questions! I get into that very concern in the blog post, so check that out for more details. Basically, that’s why I like to leave the lid on the jars is because when I tested the alcohol percentage with different batches, this method is what kept the alcohol percentage to the level I needed it to be for shelf life. The alcohol level stays high enough that it should have an indefinite shelf life like other homemade vanilla extract recipes.
Hi Marci, thank you for the very quick response, I can’t wait to make it, thank you!
Can I make vanilla extract with dried vanilla beans? I tried rehydrating them with hot water but after almost half hour they are still dry. These are Tahitian vanilla beans, awesome quality and still smell amazing! I don’t want to throw them out but I also don’t want to waste the vodka if it won’t work, can you help? Thank you!!
Giovanna, I always use grade B beans which tend to be quite dry. Is that what you’re talking about?
Do you filter out the vanilla to get the “clean” finished product?
Carolyn, Yes, you can definitely do that. I like to leave the seeds and pod though because it will continue to infuse flavor over time.
Great recipe..and very enjoyable to make! I love it when it all turns out right!!
Cheryl, Me too :). I’m glad you love it!
Michael Johnston says
Hi. I like your site. Very well thought out and informative. I haven’t made the vanilla yet. I have a 3 quart Mini IP, and a 16 ounce Ball Jar won’t fit with a trivet in, and I’m guessing the jars shouldn’t be sitting in the water. Have you or anyone else made this in a mini? If so, what type of jars, and any advice specific to the Mini? Thanks for any help you can give me on this.
Thank you Mike! That was nice of you to say. Regarding your question, the jars definitely need to be on a trivet. I don’t own a mini IP. The half-pint jars will fit, right?
You show photos of the extract in some fancy little jars, but obviously those weren’t what you placed in the IP. At what point did you transfer into those jars and did you leave any beans in them or were the beans reused? Thank you for providing this tutorial!
Jennifer, for personal use, I always leave the beans in the mason jars that I pressure cook them in. If I’m gifting them, I transfer to cute jars and put a half or whole bean in it. Does that help?
I have a question…has anyone made almond extract? Can we alter the recipe? If so, how?
Betsy, I have, there’s a link in this post to almond extract.
Love this idea! Do you think this would work to make a cherry extract and if so what do you think the amount of cherries (and what kind) would be?
Lisa, hmm…I’ve never tried that, but I bet it would be incredible. If it were me, I’d half a handful of cherries, throw them in the jar, cover with vodka, and give it a try. I have some frozen ones, I’m tempted to try this out.
Would like to make vanilla, but do not have pint jars. I have 1 pint bourbon, can I use a quart jar? Thank you. Love your site, as does my son who also have an Instant Pot.
Nancy, the quart jars are too tall for the pot so you’ll definitely want pint jars. I love that your son is into using the IP too!
Am making vanilla, but do not have pint canning jar. Have 1 pint liquor. Can I use quart jar? Thanks. Love your site, turned my son on to it also.
I have tried this twice and both times my Kerr pint jar busted in the pressure cooker, ruining my batch of vanilla extract and wasting those expensive vanilla beans! What kind of jar did you use? Does wide mouth vs regular mouth matter? I want to make sure this next batch works!!
Beth, oh no! how strange! I use ball jars and I do make sure they are newer ones instead of my mom’s old ones that we used as kids and haven’t had a problem. I always use wide. Maybe buy some new jars just to make sure it doesn’t happen again!
Marian Fielding says
Did you add water to the pot and use the trivet?
Do I have to use the 2 piece lid- lid and ring? Or will the one piece work?
Jessica, as long as it’s metal, the one piece will work.
I may have missed this, but does it expire?
Judy, No vanilla extract is said to last forever. However, I would try to keep the beans covered with alcohol if I wanted it to be shelf-stable for years.
Can I do this in my 3qrt?
Leslie, as long as your jars fit, yes, that will work great!
I made the extract using 3 jars. Perfect !! It was a great way to use different beans so I will know which ones I like for another batch. ( used different shaped jars so I could tell them apart. ) Should I strain out the tiny seeds when I pour the extract into smaller bottles for gifts ? I think the seeds would contribute to a stronger flavour but am wondering if a clearer product would be more appealing to the recipients .. Thank You for the recipe
Betsy, those seeds are vanilla flavor gold! I would most definitely gift them with the seeds. They add a lot of flavor and contribute to the pretty speckled look in true vanilla bean recipes. What beans did you try? Do you have a favorite?
Hi Marci, I understood that you had a version of this without the alcohol using glycerin. I did not find that anywhere. Could you please
give the information on using glycerin instead of alcohol in the IP. Thank you !
Kathy, Check out this link on my sister’s blog, it has all the info! https://www.tidbits-cami.com/pressure-cooker-pure-vanilla-extract/
Edie Gardner says
when completed can u pour vanilla into different bottles instead of leaving in mason jar
Edie, Yep! Add one of the used vanilla beans to each bottle and it will continue to get stronger too.
Wow! I have to say that I have some lucky friends! Thank you so much for this recipe and Cami’s labels are perfect! I guess my bottles are too big because there wasn’t any to save for me but I can make another batch!
Stacy, I agree, your friends will be praising your name every time they use it!
I have a 6-quart Instapot and hoped to give bottles of vanilla as gifts this Christmas. However, the pint jars were too tall. So I ordered another trivet that set lower in the pot but there is still not enough headroom to fit on the lid. What to do?
Cheryl, That’s so frustrating! The short rack that came with my Instant Pot is the one that I use for pint bottles. Are the jars different than a regular mason jar?
I’m trying my first batch of vanilla extract. It’s been 5 days. The strong alcohol smell has faded but it’s still there however, what concerns me is the aroma is not yet even a little enticing. Tell me it’s going to get better.
Alan, It will most definitely keep getting better and better. Some brands of vodka are stronger smelling than others, so that might be a factor, but PURE vanilla extract will always have some alcohol smell, but it will cook out with heat. The small amount used in uncooked foods like cream will still taste amazing, I don’t taste the alcohol at all.
Can I reuse my beans to make more vanilla or do I need to use fresh beans?
Melissa, You can definitely reuse them, but you’ll want to add 2-3 fresh beans with them for a stronger flavor.
So I just transferred my extract into small jars. What do I do with the beans in my empty paint jars? Can I reuse them to make more extract if I have more vodka?
Melissa, I always leave the beans in the vodka, it will just keep getting stronger! I’d divvy them out between the jars. If you want to reuse them, Just make sure you add a couple of fresh beans. Enjoy!
I made this recipe, I used six beans Beanilla organic beans to each pint jar and the Kirkland brand vodka. The extract is VERY boozy with not a lot of vanilla flavor. I cooked it for 30 minutes and the next day another 20 with not much change. Do you think it will improve or should I add a few more beans and cook it again?
Kelly, Give it 2 weeks before you try anything else. Some beans are better than others, but after a couple of weeks the alcohol smell will tone down and the vanilla will come forward.
Melissa Kraft says
Once I take the jars out of the pot do I tighten the lids?
Melissa, Yes, I tighten the lids and swoosh them about a bit to really release all the seeds from the pod.
What would happen if after you split the beans, you scraped them out and added to the jar along with the pod and vodka?
Vicki, I’ve tried it both ways and didn’t feel like it made a difference, so I prefer to skip the extra step!
I realized my new jars were only half pint and I really wanted to make the extract, so I used three of them. This is my first time making vanilla extract and they look awesome, are a little cloudy and am wondering if the full 30 minutes was too much for the smaller jars. Will try maybe 20 minutes next time. Is the extract still okay to use (I’m planning on it) and should I remove the beans and maybe put them in sugar and use new beans next time? Thanks!
Cathy, Don’t worry about the cloudiness, it’s fine and tends to clear up within a week or 2. I like to leave the beans in until the extract is gone, then I dry them out and toss them in sugar (YUM!). You can also use the beans to make extract again and add a couple of new ones to the batch to make sure it’s strong.
Just finished this, and well I guess I was impatient. I put 4 jars in because they fit. No issues but now I’m left wondering why limit three jars. And did I potentially set myself up to die 🤦🏽♀️
Polly, Are you using an 8 quart pot? I can fit 4 in an 8 quart but not a 6 quart.
I tried making my own extract last night, using a different recipe and I only used 4 beans (all I had at the time) spread over 6 cups of vodka – I feel that this is way too weak. Do you know if I can add more beans to my cans and run them through the instant pot again to make them stronger?
Catie, to make them stronger you probably could use a few more beans. I would wait a couple of weeks though and see if the smell will intensify.
I started to make vanilla the old-fashioned way about 2 months ago. I don’t feel that the vanilla is strong enough. Would it be okay for me to put the vodka/vanilla bean jars in the instapot to strengthen the vanilla smell and flavoring?
Joy, absolutely, that’s a great idea. I’ve heard of several people doing this and they’ve been very happy with it.
Thank you! says
Than ask you!
Thank you! Sorry about the typo in the previous response.
Just finished making this recipe and I am excited to print my labels! This vanilla extract was so easy!
I was nervous making it in my electric pressure cooker, but bought new pint-sized Ball canning jars and followed the directions precisely~~and it turned out wonderful!! I’ll never buy vanilla extract again and I am excited to try some other flavor extracts. Perfect little hostess gifts of homemade vanilla extract 🙂
Lauren, People are going to love you this Christmas:). Isn’t it so rewarding?! I love making vanilla extract in the pressure cooker.
Can I use half pint jars instead? I already have some and wondering if I need to buy pint sized
Ally, I feel like the pint size work much better. They hold more and you can fit 3 nicely in a 6 quart pot.
For gift giving I want to pour into small brown bottles after extract is ready. Would you cut up the beans that were used and add to the bottles for gifting?
Bridget, Yes, I would! Depending on how big your bottles are, I would put half a vanilla bean into each bottle. Even that little bit of vanilla in there will continue to intensify the extract.
Wondering how long should i keep the beans in the vanilla i just made?
Loretta, I never take them out. It will only make it stronger!
I made this with bourbon and the alcohol is SO strong. I’ve waited a couple days and it’s still very strong. How long should I wait?
Mickenzie, I agree, I thought both bourbon and rum were pretty strong, but some people love it. I would give it at least 2 weeks to know what it will really be like.
I have 375ml (1.5 cups) of Vodka. How many vanilla beans would you use and in what size mason jar?
Elizabeth, I would do it in a pint jar and use 4 beans. Enjoy!
Iris L. says
Hello… thank you for the recipe. I made 3, 1 pint jars this weekend. Placed 5 vanilla beans in each jar. It extracted but I was hoping for it to come out a bit darker. More stronger in aroma & taste. I have more beans. How soon could i add more beans & place back into the IP for an additional amount of time?
Iris, I would wait at least 2 weeks before adding any more beans, it should deepen in color, smell, and flavor. Where did you buy your beans?
I am so bummed because out of three mason jars only one worked. The other two had the bottoms totally crack and fall off with my previous vanilla beans all over the bottom of the instant pot. 😩
Stacie, oh no! Did you screw the lid on tight? Were they old jars? Are the jars approved for canning? I’ve only had that happen once and it’s when I was testing them with the lids on tight.
They are older jars but not cracked or anything. I didn’t know that affected them. I made sure to not tighten too tight.
After leaving mine in the pantry for 1.5 months, mine smells a bit like play doh. Why would that be?
Alex, that’s so strange, yet I’ve heard that before. My only guess is that it must have something to do with the beans.
I just put my first batch in my instant pot! I used a one pint canning jar, and the 2 cups of vodka came up to within 1/2 inch of the top. Will this be OK? I barely tightened the canning lid.
Marcia, yes, I believe it will work just fine. Mine is usually just under where the ring screws on.
I just pulled these out of my Pot last night and opened today. They smell AMAZING! I do have quite a bit of pod bits floating around though, do you strain it? I wanted to keep the seeds but can’t think of a way to strain out the really small pod bits but keep the seeds. 🙁
Christina, It’s amazing right!!! I never strain it because the seeds are straight-up gold. Saying that, if you had a strainer with larger holes, the seeds would likely go through and the larger pieces of the pod would stay in the strainer. Worth at try?
Marcia Diane Carlson says
I THINK THIS IS A FUN IDEA AND I JUST MADE MY FIRST BATCH. THE JARS LOOSENED UP IN THE COOKING AND I DIDN’T KNOW IF I SHOULD TIGHTEN THEM RIGHT AFTER REMOVING THEM. HELP?
Marcia, I always screw the lids on tight once they are done cooking. This will trap in the alcohol so it doesn’t lose potency.
For anyone who loves vanilla, this timely article will make you appreciate it even more. It’s a long and often difficult trek from the vine to the processing, and ultimately to the consumer.
I need some help, I’ve tried this twice and both times had the bottom of the mason jar break as I opened it after it cooled. I borrowed a friend’s insignia instant pot and put it on soups/stew as it doesn’t have a high setting and did the slow release as directions stated. The basket it has just has an opening the size of a small mason jar, one used for jelly and maybe 1/2 cup of liquor would fit in it. Do you have any ideas on what could have gone wrong?
Julie, Hmm…Were they pressure canning approved jars? The only time I had a jar break is when I screwed the lids on tight. Since putting the lid on “fingertip tight” I haven’t had another break.
My previous attempt at this had my vodka and vanilla bean solution overflow out into IP and become diluted with the water in the IP; was my lid on mason jar just not sealed tight enough??
Kathy, did you have it on a trivet? How full was your jar?
I just went to the Beanilla website, and the code VANILLABEANS is not working. Do you have any information on this or should I ask them?
Rachel, I can’t figure it out! For some people it works fine and others it doesn’t. I emailed them this morning and they said they’d get back to me. I’ll keep you posted.
Hi! If I decide to double the recipe, should I have them in the instapot for 60 minutes instead of thirty?
Kristen, time will always stay the same. I typically do 3 jars at a time for 30 minutes.
Thanks for this! I was looking at my vanilla bottle and thinking I needed to renew the beans. I bought from Beanilla YEARS ago when 25 beans was $25 😬 Just placed my order for 25 more with your coupon code, and I will be making vanilla in the IP per your instructions! NOTHING is as good as Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans. A friend went on a cruise and brought me back gobs of Mexican vanilla but the flavor is completely different and not anywhere near as good as the Madagascar.
P.S. I WISH I could buy more with friends, but I don’t even know anybody who does a lot of cooking or cares if they use high quality vanilla ☹️
Karen, When I first wrote this recipe in 2016 my beans were $1. Now they are $8 for one at my grocery store! They’ve been saying the prices would go down for 2 years now but it doesn’t seem to be happening. 25 beans should make you a good stash of extract. Funny, not everyone recognizes the value of quality vanilla 🙂
I have made this and it’s the best vanilla I have ever used. I made this last October ad I still have 2 half pints left and I bake all the time. I use it in my coffee, my oatmeal, pancakes, just about anything I can think of, I really love it. Thank you sooooo much for this recipe.
Pam, I agree. There are some that feel it can’t be as good as the “sit and wait” version, but I’ve compared it with some neighbors and this IP version really is remarkable. It’s so fragrant and flavorful, I never tire of making it!
Have you ever tried to reuse the beans to make another batch of extract once the first batch is gone?
Sheri, Yes, but I always add 2 fresh ones and it works great.
Deng Diaz says
I want to try & make my own extract. Just to clarify, after leaving it overnight, do I need to remove the pods from the jars before I store it away OR do I just leave the pods in the jars?
If I can/need to remove the pods from the jars, can I use the pods again to make another batch of extract in the IP using the same procedure? Thanks!
Deng, Leave the pods in the jar, it will infuse even more over time! And yes, I have reused pods before but I always add a couple of fresh ones to the batch.
Dee Burns says
If I want to give as gifts, can I make it in the pint size jars and then pour it into smaller ones?
Dee, Yes, that works great! It’s also good to put half a vanilla bean into the smaller bottles so they continue to infuse.
Roxanne Ortiz says
Will any type of vanilla bean work?
Roxanne, Yes, I’ve used Tahitian, ghanda, and Mexican. They are all wonderful!
When you list nutrition facts per serving, how big is a serving?
Donna, oh wow, thanks for catching that! I adjusted it for 1 teaspoon. That info was for the whole jar!
I have 110 proof vodka, will that work or should I purchase 80 proof.
Margaret, I can’t say I’ve ever tried it, but I’ve read from other people that the alcohol smell/taste is quite overpowering. I’d stick with 80 proof.
Margaret, you can use commercially bottled or distilled water (to ensure a stable shelf life) to dilute your vodka to the desired alc/vol percentage. I don’t know the math off-hand but you can google it and probably figure it out easily!
Perfect results and easy!
My jars also sealed.
When I make again, can I use the saw lids and rings? I’m not really canning anything, but am not sure about this.
Judy, YAY! I love making vanilla, it’s such instant gratification! Yes, you can use the same lids and rings, you aren’t canning anything here so to use them again is just fine.
Jan Armstrong says
If you are using bourbon to make the vanilla, would you use the same amount of bourbon as your recipe using vodka?
Jan, Yep, use the same amount!
The recipe looks great and can’t wait to try it.
I’m a newbie using the instant pot, I have the 6 qt duo. Can I use that or do I need to have the canning model? Also do you really put on the tops before turning it on – and how tight? I was surprised to read this. Thank you.
Stevielyn, The 6 quart duo will work great. There is no canning involved here, the caps are just there to keep all the alcohol from evaporating. The lids go on fingertip tight, so about where you hit resistance.
Can I use plastic lids for the cooking process in the instant pot?
Melody, No, plastic lids wouldn’t be able to handle the heat. Silicone might work
So to be sure, your only adding a cup and a half of water to pot. This is not like a wet bath where it covers jars.?
Anyone make coffee. I hate whats in the store.
Thank you for your ideas, love them.😋
Sandy, yep, just a 1 1/2 cups of water in the base of the pot to create pressure with!
Can I make another batch of extract using the traditional method with the same beans after using instant pot method?
One of my jar cracked in the instant pot…can I use the same beans in that jar to redo it with new alcohol?
Wilda, You could, but I don’t think they’ll be quite as potent. Maybe combine with a couple of fresh beans, that’s what I do when I rotate through jars.
I made 2 jars last night, 5 beans in each ( split and sliced) with 1 1/2 cup of vodka per jar. This morning the extract looks brown, but cloudy and the bean fillings are and the bottom of the jars. Is this normal? Lol I’m nervous I did it wrong!
Karee, That sounds just right. The cloudiness clears over time and the seeds at the bottom are FLAVOR. Every time I use my extract I’ll give it a little spin to kick up some of those seeds. Enjoy it!
Vodka isn’t the only alcohol you can use. I prefer making mine in brandy, and you can also use rum for some incredibly delicious dessert dishes! My rum cake is to die for, and brandy vanilla is richer and more decadent in ice cream and whipped cream; pYou can’t dwell on anything negative when you have that incredible flavor.
Barbara, I think brandy is the only thing I haven’t tried! It’s on my list now!
Mike Gibson says
I’m using Everclear(95% alcohol) . How much should I dilute it?
Mike, I know some people use everclear to make their extract without diluting it. I’ve never tried diluting it, I’m not much help there, sorry!
Do the directions stay the same if I split the amount / cook in 2 half pint jars? I would like to split the recipe to do 2 different flavors at the same time.
Pam, Yep, same cook time and ratios!
Do you use 5 whole beans or 5 half beans per jar? I want to try my hand at making it and want to make sure I add the right amount of vanilla beans.
Rhonda, 5 whole beans per pint jar. I cut the beans in half so they fit in the jar, is that what confused you?
I bought a jar of vanilla beans, but realized there are only 2 beans in the jar. Can I just half the amount of vodka and follow the recipe? Thank you!
Tina, Yes, that will work!
My trivet is too tall to place all three pint mason jars and close the lid, can I turn the trivet upside down and still use it or is that too close to the bottom?
Ashley, as long as the jars aren’t touching the bottom of the pot, it will work great 🙂
Hi! Can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve been doing it the old way for years and am ready to do it more time efficiently with my new pressure cooker! My instant pot is an 8quart. Do any of the instructions change since this recipe is for a 6 quart?
Kristin, Recipe directions stay the same!
I have a stupid questions is it 8 beans does that mean the beans are inside the pod so 2 pods? or 8 pods? I’m trying to figure out how many to buy from the beanella site it seems like each bean is 10$?
Rebecca, The bean is the entire, long black bean. They are definitely more expensive if you buy just a few. I had to order in bulk to get a good price. If you have any friends or family who want some, have them go in on a bulk order!
I made the vanilla extract today and my jars sealed, should I open them to unseal them or is it ok for them to be sealed?
Susan, go ahead and leave them sealed until you’re ready to use them. It’s not going to hurt anything and I suspect it may help the vanilla to infuse even better.
While I love the detail and experience provided here, you dont need a pressure cooker to make this vanilla extract. I make extracts and have researched for years on different herb extraction methods. For almost all foods, heat is an enemy and breaks down the flavors and nutritional value. The only thing that the pressure cooker is doing is speeding up the time you have to wait to consume your full-flavored extract. I recommend trying this recipe by using a high-quality vodka (NOT Titos!). I recommend ZYR Vodka (its one of the best). Put 5-8 cut beans in a dark jar, pour vodka over beans, shake, place in a dark cool area, shake every 2 days and wait about 1-2 months to consume. I then shake it every time I use it and stop shaking it every 2 days. You have to be patient, but you are not damaging the vanilla bean by heating it. Getting the cleanest, purest, best flavor possible. Great info on this site! Keep up the good work!
ProCook, Thanks for your insight! Nothing wrong with doing it the traditional way for sure! Stick with what you love 🙂
can the alcohol content be to high? like 150 proof?
Doris, I believe I tried 100 Proof in the past, and the alcohol smell was so strong. I know others have used a higher percentage though.
I will be making this in my 8 quart instant pot. How much water do I need to use? Enough to cover the bottom of the pot, or a bit more?
Looking forward to this, especially the chocolate one
Rhoda, for an 8 quart pot, use 1 1/2 cups water. The chocolate one is heavenly 🙂
Thanks so much for the quick reply. Looking forward to making these this morning 😋
Can I use larger mason jars than 16oz/1 pint? If so, do I need to fill them up all the way, but leave 1″ or can I fill the 1/2 way?
Jenny, The pint-size fit perfectly when on top of a short trivet. The quart size mason jars would be too big. So when I make it I do 3 pint jars at a time.
I’m a bit confused as to how the pressure cooker is doing anything but putting pressure on the glass jar….. It’s not like it’s assisting in infusing the vanilla with pressure, but more just heating the jar up. So really it ain’t much different than simmering the jars with a lid on. Am I missing something here? This would be a terrific idea without the jars as the pressure cooker would actually be used for what it was intended. Thanks
Zen, the vanilla flavor does in fact infuse into the vodka through the jar. I talk about why I prefer not to put the vodka directly in the pot above. Check it out if you’re curious!
Yeah. I read where you said you didn’t want the flavors of other things in there. Makes sense. But it wouldn’t make sense that the infusion is happening without the pressure from the cooker…. The pressure wouldn’t be going through the glass jar and lid.. this is phsically impossible…this my question as to if I’m missing something. As I mentioned, how is this any different than just boiling the bottles in a pot, as the heat is what is causing the infusion to be happening at a faster rate and not the pressure that doesn’t exist inside the jar. Cheers
Really. This is like the 10th website to make this silly claim. So all I’m looking for is either where I don’t understand the process or this information is bunk and just copy pasted from some other uninformed site. …..cause really all this might result in is broke glass and wasted vokda. Both seem like a waste at best. Once again… Explain how putting pressure on a sealed glass jar is having any effect on the contents inside… Think of it this way. Put a small pressure cooker inside a larger one. The only possibility is the inside pressure cooker to be broken …the material inside the second cooker isn’t going to be pressurized. The only thing that is happening in your scenario is the heat is speeding up the process. Not the pressure.. so just boil the jars…it makes a ton more sense without the possiblity of breaking the jars. Feel free to explain how this is wrong or put a post up saying this isn’t a great idea and learn from the sillyness. I’m happy if my information is wrong too… But provide why thanks
Pressure cooking, like pressure canning, is capable of heating the contents of the jar to a temperature hotter than boiling water which will assist in infusing that flavor without evaporative loss of alcohol. If you don’t agree with the recipe there are other methods of making vanilla extract.
I can’t wait to try this recipe! Where do you get the sealed lid cover that you blow dried? Thank you!
Suzy, My sister bought these bottles on Amazon, they came with the wrap. Go to Amazon and search “bottles with shrink wrap seals” and you’ll find it! You’ll love it!
Thank you!! I found them! ♥️
Made this the other night but misread the recipe and only used 3 beans per jar (I did 3 jars). I have ordered more beans. Do you think I should put a couple more beans in each jar & cook then another 30 minutes? Or just add a few beans and leave them be? I’d like to gift them soon! Thanks so much!
Beverly, If you are wanting to gift them soon, I would add the extra beans and cook it again. If you had a couple months to wait, I would just add them and let it sit. Does that help?
Yes it does!! Thanks so much! Happy Holidays!!
Sandi Gandy says
Do you have instructions for when you make extract out of vanilla pieces? How much of the pieces would you put per jar?
Sandi, Do you mean like when I cut a bean into pieces vs cutting it in half? If that’s what you mean, I use the same number of beans
Made mine using beans from another site. They didn’t smell fragrant to begin with but I have never used vanilla bean s before, so I have nothing to reference them to. I used 2 beans per 8oz vodka. I made this in the instant pot liner not the jars. It’s been 2 weeks and the vanilla still has a strong alcohol smell with no tea much vanilla aroma at all. My question is , can I put the jars back in the instant pot and try for another 30 minutes? Also can you elaborate what the fingertip tighten would be ? I still it barely screwed on or tightened and then loosened?
I also just purchased 6 more beans but from bean I’ll this time. Should I wait and add those?
Toniann, It might be the beans. When I open the Beanilla ones you can smell it through the entire kitchen, they are so strong. I’ve had a couple bad bags of beans from Amazon so I’ve been a Beanilla buyer ever since. I prefer the jar method, I never felt like my vanilla was very strong when I tried it in the pot and my alcohol percentage went way down too. I would defineitely try cooking them in the jars for 30 minutes, maybe add a fresh bean too. If it were me I would use your Beanilla beans on a fresh batch so you can compare. I screw the lid on just until it meets resistance. I hope that answered your questions!
Deb Dufrene says
I made the vanilla using your recipe & have it all bottled up for gifts in 2 wks. My question is the sediment of the Vanilla beans makes it look dirty. Should I tell the recipients to strain it as they use it? Thanks
Deb, Oh no, the sediment is the seeds and those are gold! In my opinion anyways. They look so pretty in whipped cream, pancakes, and such, I never strain them out. They will add more true vanilla flavor as well.
So I think my lids were a little more loose than needed. I seem to have lost some of my liquid. Would it be ok to top it off a bit with the vodka and rum (not in same bottle) before they go in the cupboard for a couple weeks? Or will that make it more dilute? Excited to see how it all turns out.
Darcy, yes, that is a great idea. The lids likely were a little too loose, but just top it off and it’ll smell great in 2 weeks.
Well, Marci, I did top off the bottles, but I think I used too few beans, so adding some more today. They seem a bit cloudy when I shake them, should I worry? I tried lemon extract last night and it seems great so far!
Also- I tried doing a batch of vanilla sous vide in the jars and was pretty happy with it. I tried 135 degrees for 4 hours and did 2 pint jars in water up to the lip.
Thanks for all your recipes and advice! You are an inspiration. Darcy
Darcy, The number of beans can depend on how good the beans are too so I think that was a good decision to add more. The cloudiness is normal and will clear a bit over time. The seeds make it appear cloudy, but they are a great addition to recipes so I never strain them out. Thank you Darcy, that is such a nice thing to hear 🙂
I love making extracts in the Instant Pot! They make great gifts. This year, besides making vanilla extract, I’m going to do almond, lemon, and peppermint. Thanks for making this process so easy!
Sally, You’re gonna get Gifter of the Year 🙂
Jan Thomason says
I recall reading about making vanilla the old way and there was an interesting step that I don’t think you covered. Do you continuously add vodka to you vanilla as the vanilla gets used??
Jan, Yes, a lot of times I’ll rotate them as they get about half way empty. I talked about that in in a post I wrote called How to get the Most out of your Vanilla Beans, but it would be a good idea to add it here too. Thanks!
I purchased 5 beans from Costco. They were grown in Papua New Guinea, but no where on the packaging is there any reference to grade. Each bean is about 6 inches long and fairly plump, so I suspect they are grade A. Have you ever made extract with grade A beans? Would you use the same ratio as with grade B?
Maria, Sounds like they are Grade A. I don’t believe I’ve ever used them, but I have emailed Beanilla about it before and they said they would work great.
Boy, I had exactly the same thing happen. Beans. Just as instructed. Pints as instructed. Used good vodka. Final product today smells EXACTLY like play doh. Did yours get any better with time? I’m really diappointed. What are all these people praising???
That is so strange! Where did you buy your beans from? Do your beans smell weird?
So if I make 2 pints and let them sit for a month or so, can I transfer to 4 oz. bottles and then top off the jar to fill more bottles in a couple of months? Debating on whether I should buy more beans now to give vanilla as Christmas gifts. Thanks!
Mandy, I’ve read through that 6 times, and I can’t quite figure out what you mean in the second part of the 1st sentence. Here’s my guess: If you are saying you want to use the same beans to make a second batch, it will be a bit weak. If you had even 2 or 3 new beans to add to the mix, that would work a lot better. Did I completely confuse that?
oooh! So my list now includes: cinnamon, maple, almond, lemon, coffee (going to try it!), and if I am feeling particularly loving coconut vanilla, and chocolate vanilla (maybe a straight chocolate one too)
Now gifts do not need to be a full cup of goodness, right, I can totally keep some back for myself too…..
Elizabeth, That is going to be such a fun gift! I’ve done a straight chocolate and it is also amazing. I used it in my yogurt and homemade almond milk. You’ll have to let me know how the coffee goes. I’ve wanted to try that for when I cook anything chocolate.
Question: you mentioned that you had SIX flavours of extract…. But I cannot find them!
Christmas is going to be individualized baking ingredients for each family, so I need help with the extracts
Elizabeth, That is such a fun idea! I love it! There are links to every extract right above the recipe card in this post. You can also use my search bar at the top of the page to search “extracts”. You’ll find Vanilla, Lemon, Cinnamon, Maple, Peppermint, and Almond. I also did a post on Gourmet Vanilla Extract with the flavors Coconut Vanilla, Chocolate Vanilla, and Cinnamon Vanilla. They are to die for!
I followed the instapot recipe and made my vanilla on November 24. Is it supposed to be a little cloudy? There was some goo on the vanilla beans that were submerged in the liquid when I went to shake them 3 weeks after making it. Is this normal? Just want to make sure it’s not mold which would be weird since it’s in vodka.
Alton Brown makes cheap Vodka better by filtering through activated charcoal
Wendy, I just recently learned this. What a great idea!
Hi! I can’t wait to try this! Where do you get your cute little bottles from?! Thank you!
Jodi, My sister said she bought them at Hobby Lobby. I know most people order from Amazon though
Fantastic! Do you think it’s possible to make coffee flavored extract with this method?
Leah, Yes, I suspect it would work and I’ve wanted to try it. If you give it a go, let me know!
I just made this last week and bottled today. It seems my extract smells like play-doh. Did I do something wrong?
Mike, Oh boy, being one that really hates the smell of play-doh, that sounds awful! Where did you buy your beans? How did the beans smell before you made extract?
Can the beans be used twice? Or doing it the IP way can only be used once? Going to try using Fireball and the Orange Smirnoff Vodka. I bought beans from a Vanilla Co-op on Facebook. Wish me luck!
KLynne, I’ve added new vanilla beans to some old ones, but never used only old ones. The Orange Smirnoff will be amazing!
I apologize I didn’t read all of the comments. Can I make this without jars, and just infuse directly in the pot? I would prefer to do it this way since I have no canning experience and it seems safer. I would transfer to jars after cooling. Thank you!
Hayley, I talk about why I don’t like the pot method in the post itself so if you want more details, check that out! Basically if you do it directly in the pot you are getting a lot more alcohol evaporation which means shorter shelf life and less flavor intensity over time. There’s a bit more to it then that in the FAQ section above.
Hi Marci. Can I do other extracts in the Instant Pot as well? I made several the old-fashioned way, then realized I will be away for a month and won’t be able to shake them daily.
I have lemon, chocolate, vanilla and coconut, and also want to do one each of banana, blueberry, cinnamon and ginger. Can I loosen the lids and do them in the IP?
Catherine, There is a recipe for vanilla, cinnamon, mint, lemon, almond, and maple on my blog. I’ve done banana and loved it but the banana looked so gross afterwards I didn’t dare post it. Ginger would be amazing! I’ve never thought of that one! I’ve also posted a vanilla coconut that smelled wonderfully like butterscotch but I’ve never done coconut on its own. I’ve used ground cacao beans for chocolate before and it also worked so well. I’ve never tried blueberry though. How do you do that one? I love playing with extract flavors! Let me know what you try out!
I have heard and seen online some very scary stories of using alcohol in an instant pot. Are you sure this is safe? How high should the jar be filled? Could you give more details about how to know if the lid is too tight or not? Thanks!
Hey Jessica! Check out the question, “Is it okay to cook with alcohol in a pressure cooker” in this post. There is also a link there to the research I did prior to posting the recipe. It is important that you heed the warnings I put with all the extract recipes for sure, but if it makes you nervous you can definitely make your vanilla extract the traditional way! It takes longer but it will still be wonderful. When I twist the lid on, I twist it just until I meet resistance and then back off just a bit, maybe 1/4-1/2 inch. Let me know if you have more questions after you read through the research 🙂
Wow thank you so much for your reply!! I have decided to give it a go! Hopeful it will make good mother’s day gifts! Thanks for all the research you put into this question. I feel much more confident now 🙂
If someone has already asked this question, I apologize for not seeing it. All recipes I have read say to store the bean in the jars. I wanted to give 2 oz. or 4 oz. bottles as gifts – what if I don’t have enough beans for all bottles? If every bottles doesn’t have a bean are they not as good? Are peices of the bean good enough? Thank you
Karen, You could cut a single bean into 3 or 4 pieces if you need to, it will infuse into the vodka more and more over time. That will work great!
I can’t wait to make this! When you transfer the extract to gift-able bottles to you boil them (or pressure cook them) to seal them?
Elisa, Oh no, there’s no canning involved with this recipe. Just separate them into your bottles and add a bean in each and you’re good to go!
Can I make this with a 32oz jar and a 16oz jar? Or would the 32oz jar be too big? I can’t find anything online but every recipe suggests pint jars but I only have one available but want to make more vanilla than that. Thanks!
Kayleigh, The 32 oz jar would be too tall. The pint size jars on top of a rack are the perfect height. I typically do 3 pint jars at a time.
Anita Ellison says
Hello, I keep getting redirected to the beginning of your post but not seeing the winner’s name of the giveaway. Is the problem on my end or are you getting similar responses?
Anita, Hmm, I’m not sure, the link is working from my end. You can go to the homepage and click today’s post. It will tell the winner.
Julia Garcia says
No plain Merry Christmas here…A little flavor to savor this year!
Is this where I leave my comment for bonus points on the Christmas giveaway? I’ve been searching but it has been so difficult to navigate in my phone! “May your holidays be sweet!”
Stephanie Thomas says
In our house it would be vanil-lil-lil-lil-a! My kids would call it that when they were younger and I loved it!
“Bean Life”. Your extracts are amazing!!!! No more store bought here!
Had no idea it was this easy and cheap to make. I’ll be making this too!!
Tag: Spice of Life!!
Tag: “A little something to add flavor to your life like you add flavor to mine. Merry Christmas!” This is an excellent gift idea!❤️
A lot of flavor in a little jar.
Denise Kaufman says
Hello! I just made this recipe and I left the IP on warm after natural presure release was done for 5 hours!!!! With the kids and dinner, I completely forgot. It looks like I have a lot less now…Is it bad now?
Denise, Are you saying some evaporated? That could make the alcohol percentage go down but if you use it within a few months, it should be fine.
Kristin Burden says
I used 3 Madagascar grade B beans (from beanilla), Per jar and my extract is super light in color, not dark like I have seen others turn out. I cooked for 60 min under pressure with full NPR. Did I not use enough beans per jar? I did split the down the center
Kristin, How many jars did you do at once?
I did 3 jars in the pot at the same time
If you used 1/2 pint jars, 3 is enough. When I do pint size jars, I do 6-8 beans per jar. So if you did 3 for a pint size jar, that would be why it’s so light. Let it sit a few weeks though and it will likely deepen in color and smell
Since you have “bean” so good this year, enjoy this vanilla gift of love!
Heavenly hand created vanilla extract. Sigh…who could ask for anything more.
Anita Ellison says
Loving your blog! The questions and answers part of this post has been invaluable to me. My daughter and I will have a delicious time making extract together! Here’s my suggestion for a gift tag: “Bean” looking for the perfect gift – vanilla to be exact!
Anita, I love to hear that! I love your tag :). It just makes me smile every time I read through peoples gift tag ideas!
I can’t wait to try this recipe. I would love to gift it to friends & family that have BEAN good to us.
I think this would make a fabulous Valentine gift for family and friends with the tag line, “Add a little spice to your life.”
I love the smell and taste of vanilla
Love the idea of making my own vanilla extract!
Diane Corder says
For a wonderful human bean!
Love the gift tag “since you’ve BEAN so good this year” or “Santa told me how good you’ve BEAN”
On the tag put….Here’s the fact….best ever vanilla extract!
Hello. Just for clarification you put the entire bean in the jar with a cut down the middle, right? You don’t scoop out the middle seeds and throw the pod out?
Brandy, Yep, just split it down the middle and put it in your jar 🙂
I tried this twice today, following the instructions exactly, and both times the jar broke and all the vanilla beans and expensive organic vodka were wasted. Very disappointed. Will definitely be making my vanilla the old fashioned way from now on, even if it does take longer.
Angie, oh no! I did have that happen early on in my experimenting when I was screwing the lids on tight. Since making them “finger tip tight” I haven’t had another break.
Once the vanilla extract is used up, can you top off with more vodka and let it sit a couple of weeks for another batch? I’ve read that was an option when making vanilla extract the regular long method but not sure if it’s different when making extract with the instant pot. Any advice would be great-can’t wait to try this!
Jen, Yep! What I do is when I have a jar that’s half empty, I top it off and stick it in the back of the cupboard and start on another jar. A friend taught me this and I plan on posting all about it soon. I think it takes at least a month though. I’ve got some sitting in my cupboard that I did that with right now, and at 2 weeks out, it’s not nearly as dark and fragrant as my pressure cooked ones. I did put a fresh bean in when I topped it off as well.
Do you need to adjust any measurements in recipes if using homemade vs store bought?
Renee, I don’t make any adjustments, but honestly I rarely measure my vanilla. I’m usually just doing a splash here and a splash there!
When I made this I had a bit of evaporation. Should I be worried about losing alcohol percentage? Or is some loss normal?
Sarah, some loss is normal, and it should be just fine. I’ve tested several bottles after making them, and the alcohol percentage always stayed high enough for me to be comfortable with it.
Quick question. Is it 6-10 Grade B Madagascar vanilla beans per 2 cups of vodka or is that for 3 pint jars? I bought everything to do this and just want to make sure I’m doing it right! 😀 Thank you!
Amanda, it is 6-10 beans for each pint size jar (which is about 2 cups of vodka). So what I do is I feel up a pint jar til it’s about 1 1/2-2 inches from the top and then put 8 beans in it that have been cut in half and slit. Does that make sense?
yes, thank you! 😀 Making this today!
I’m a bit unclear about number of beans per pint you use. Your recipe says 5-6 beans, but in your replies you recommend 8 beans per pint. Which is correct? Thanks!
Karen, Go with the directions in the recipe. After doing it many many times, I discovered that 5 or 6 beans per pint of vodka were sufficient to make really good extract. Especially if you bought them from Beanilla, they are amazing!
These might be silly questions but better to be safe than sorry I guess 🙂 When you give the vanilla as a gift, you keep the vanilla bean out of it right? You just give the little bottle of vanilla extract without the bean? Can it store in a normal cupboard, like extract you buy at the store, do I need to specify to the receiver of the vanilla to keep it in a cool dark place? I keep mine in my cupboard that is above my stove, but maybe I shouldn’t anymore?
Kristi, Those are all great questions! I actually prefer to gift it with 1/2 to a full bean just so the flavor can continue to infuse overtime. But you can absolutely gift it without the bean, especially if you make it at least a couple weeks beforehand. Yes, I store mine in a dark cupboard away from the stove so it stays a more consistent cool temperature. It wouldn’t hurt to instruct them that way. But if you’re giving them small bottles that will be used up quickly, it’s not as much of a concern. Lot’s of lucky people in your life for Christmas!
Hi Marci, I’m Curious, do you know if I can make vanilla extract with vanilla powder and maybe one vanilla bean per bottle for added flavor over time? Vanilla beans are so expensive right now.
Tiffany, I’m not really sure. Is that like ground vanilla bean powder? If so, It might work to give the extract a boost with fewer beans. I keep hoping the price will go down by November for Christmas gifts!
I didn’t read the recipe really well and did a quick release instead of natural release. Can you tell me what you mean by it releasing alcohol vapors in the air? Does it affect the vanilla? Thanks in advance!
Melanie, no it won’t hurt anything as far as your vanilla goes. It’s more of a safety feature. If there were a flame near by and you rapidly released that into the air = BIG TROUBLE! I’m glad you weren’t blowing out birthday cake candles near by ????
Where can I find the dark colored bottles you store the vanilla in
Vivian, There are lots of options on Amazon like here http://amzn.to/2wW7DMB. You could also try looking at a local craft type store.
Hi! I totally want to try this and give as Christmas gifts this year! Question- after the extract is let to cooled over night in the mason jar should I strain it before pouring into individual bottles? You suggested letting the extract sit for 2 weeks to let the vodka smell dissipate…do I let it sit in the mason jar with the beans in it? And the strain and put into gift bottles?
Stephanie, Yep, just leave the beans in the jar. The vodka will extract even more vanilla flavor from them so it’ll just keep getting richer as it sits. You may even want to gift them with a half to a whole vanilla bean in the little jars as well so the extract will keep getting stronger. But if you let them sit at least 2 weeks, the vanilla will be amazing!
I’ve read a few recipes now and as alway I go my own way. I took my vanilla flavored vodka and put it in the vita mixer with 8 vanilla beans. After it was dissolved I then followed the recipe for the time in 2 jars with lids on just till they grabbed. I do have some high volume Vodka I can add after to bump up % level. The color was amazing going into the jars. It’s cooking now.
Dianna Wilson says
Hello! Is there a benefit to blending it in a Vita mix before cooking in the Instant Pot?
Dianna Wilson says
Is there a benefit to blending it in a Vita mix before cooking in the Instant Pot?
Do you then add additional alcohol after cooking?
Would you strain or leave as is?
Dianna, I’ve never heard of doing it this way, so I’m not sure what to tell you on this. Have you read about the method somewhere that I can research?
This is a dumb question, but can you make more than one jar at a time? Do you have to change the amount of time or amount of water?
Pauline, you can do 3 pint size jars at a time in a 6 quart pressure cooker. No change in the directions! Same time and same amount of water.
Have you ever tried using fennel seed for anise extract?
Linda, I haven’t, but I think it would work wonderfully! I think I would break it down in a food processor a bit like I do in the maple extract. I don’t know if it would soak up the alcohol like the fenugreek did or not. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!
Why should we not use a stove top pc? What could happen? But, what a great process…..the last time I checked Costco, pure strength vanilla was over $35 (Cdn $), for approx 2 cups!
Laila, After I posted this recipe last year, there was a lady that sent out a concern about cooking with alcohol near an open flame. So since then I’ve made it a point to say not to do it in a stove top pressure cooker for the chance that there may be an open flame present.
I love this!!! I am so doing this for Christmas gift this year.
Michelle, Very good idea! My sister Cami from the decor side of TIDBITS is going to make up some vanilla extract labels for gift bottles when Christmas is closer. I’ll be sure and alert everybody to them. It makes such a cute gift!