Why take six weeks to extract your vanilla beans slowly when you can do it in thirty minutes in the Instant Pot? Homemade Vanilla Extract in the Instant Pot produces the most amazing-tasting vanilla extract and gives you practically instant vanilla with the touch of a button.
Thirty Minutes or Six Weeks???
I have been making my own vanilla extract for years. Unfortunately, I started out using the six-week process of steeping the vanilla beans in alcohol. I ended up with vanilla, which tasted more like alcohol than vanilla. Then, I discovered a recipe on the blog Tidbits & Company. Cami discovered a way to make vanilla in the Instant Pot, which significantly decreased the time and increased the flavor. Once I overcame my fear of the pressure cooker, i.e., my Instant Pot, I was in business. I haven’t looked back since.
Before & After
I actually laugh at the above picture because, in the Instant Pot, there truly is a dramatic before and after shot. The liquid is somewhat cloudy and dark. When steeped for weeks, I barely saw any color change. If you want to get every last bit of flavor from the beans, use an Instant Pot.
Preparing vanilla extract is not a cheap process, especially if you are using organic vodka and vanilla beans. The Organic Grade A Madagascar Vanilla Beans I used in this recipe were the best I have ever used. They were soft and moist, and the flavor was delicious. It comes in a pack of 30. You could also go for a Grade B variety, which is dried and more concentrated, but I enJOYed working with these beans and was happy with the results. This was the first time I used a Grade A vanilla bean.
Ultimately, I am not too concerned about the vanilla beans being organic but about the vodka being organic. Vodka is prepared from corn, and most of the corn grown in the United States is GMO. Organic Vodka for me, please. I prefer to use Prairie Organic Vodka, but I have also used Purity 34 if they were out. One 1.75 L bottle will give you enough for five pints. This recipe yields six pints because the Instant Pot can take three pints at a time. Ultimately, I purchased two 1.75 L bottles because I also use Vodka to prepare my Winter Immunity Tincture, Lavender Fairy Pillow Spray, and any other tincture preparations I make throughout the year.
- Clean and sterilize six pint-sized jars.
- Cut vanilla beans in half with a sharp knife and split down the middle. I use about five beans cut in half for each jar (for a total of 10 halves).
- Divide the beans equally between the six jars.
- Fill the jars with vodka, leaving an inch at the top.
- Seal the jar’s finger tight to allow some of the alcohol to escape but not too loose so that the liquid will spill out.
- Set the Instant Pot to Manual High Pressure for 30 minutes.
- Allow pressure to release naturally.
- Remove carefully, tighten lids, set jars on a wire cooling rack, and cover with a towel. Leave undisturbed in a draft-free location for 24 hours if you want the jars to seal.
- Allow to cool before pouring into a swing-top bottle or other decorative bottle for gifting.
- Add a few vanilla beans to each jar as part of the presentation. The flavor will keep extracting and plus, it looks pretty.
- Label with a homemade label and add any other embellishments.
Besides starting with good, quality ingredients, and knowing how to use your pressure cooker of choice, my only caution is to make sure and use a good quality canning jar like Mason or Ball that can stand up to the pressure. Also, I recommend purchasing new jars that have not been used repeatedly to prevent bursting due to an unseen hairline crack or chip. This 16 oz Wide mouth Mason Jars, 6 pack, worked perfectly and had a nice decorative gift-giving look. They also came with labels.
After the thirty-minute process is finished, allow the pressure cooker to release naturally for the greatest extraction benefits. Use caution when removing the jars, as they will be hot. I have a wire trivet at the bottom of my Instant Pot that I can use to pull the jars up, or I use a heat-resistant oven glove to pull them out.
Always Have Pure Vanilla Extract On Hand
Like I said, this recipe yielded six pints, which will last me most of the year with a little to share. Be sure and label and date them and store them in a cool, dark place in your pantry. EnJOY!
Great Gift Idea
What do you give the person who has everything? I love gifting homemade gifts. For one, they show you care enough to take the time to prepare something special. Secondly, you can make several at a time and check off many people on your list. Lastly, there is nothing better than something homemade. Your friends will be asking for more year after year. Interestingly, my family and friends save their swing-top bottles as a hint that they need to be filled, so I send them a sealed pint jar, and they are back in business. I found these Willdan swing-top jars on Amazon. They are great for easy dispensing, and they look so adorable. Ultimately, you can get creative with ribbon, twine, and homemade tags for a pretty gift-wrapping idea.
Check Out These Related Posts Featuring My Homemade Vanilla Extract:
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Organic Grade A Madagascar Vanilla Beans (30 count)
Prairie Vodka or Purity 34 1.75 L (enough for 5 pints) I purchase two of these bottles for all my projects
In everything you do -eat, play, and, love- may it always be Seasoned with Joy!