Making Instant Pot Vanilla Extract only takes a little over an hour to make. It’s pretty impressive considering the traditional way of making it can take months, and for some up to a whole year!
Why Make Instant Pot Vanilla Extract?
Did you know? Vanilla has been used for more than one hundred years. It’s even been used medicinally.
Making vanilla extract in the Instant Pot is much quicker than the traditional way, which usually takes months, or even a year, depending on how deep a flavor profile you like for your extract.
Vanilla remains to be a favorite flavoring among desserts, such as ice cream and pudding. It’s even added to cakes, cookies, cheesecake, and more!
Vanilla extract adds a deep, rich flavoring to any baked goods.
It’s not just used to flavor dessert, but it’s also used in hot beverages, such as tea, coffee, and even milk. Popular drinks like Irish Cream and banana shakes also use vanilla extract.
Vanilla Bean Quality For Instant Pot Vanilla Extract
It may seem strange but Grade B Vanilla Beans are usually perfect for making extracts with. They tend to contain less moisture, which means the flavor is stronger and less diluted from the moisture. Making them perfect for extractions.
You can use Grade A for extracts, but they are better for cooking. The moisture in Grade A extracts infuses more quickly into foods. This is especially important if you ever have to make vanilla extract without the Instant Pot!
Read more about understanding the differences between the grades.
Grade B vanilla beans are cheaper to buy normally, so it’s better for your pocketbook too!
What Kind Of Alcohol To Use?
A 70-80 proof alcohol can be used.
You can use vodka, rum, brandy, or bourbon. Vodka tends to be the cheapest option. However, rum, brandy, or bourbon will make a deeper caramelized flavor.
It’s really up to you which one you choose to use.
Important Tips For Making Instant Pot Vanilla Extract
- Never use a stovetop pressure cooker. Alcohol under pressure can be very dangerous, especially around open flames.
- Only use jars and lids meant for processing. I’ve seen some people use plastic lids, that are clearly marked “not for processing”. So be careful.
- Don’t leave the Instant Pot unattended while in use. This is a rule not just for making Instant Pot Vanilla Extract but for all time. Don’t leave the house while the Instant Pot is under pressure.
- Jars are HOT! Even after an hour of NPR, these jars can be extremely hot. So please be very careful. I like to allow them to cool completely before removing them.
- To split the bean or not to split the beans? From what I understand splitting the beans can help accelerate the infusion process. This might be especially helpful if you are using a slow infusion process, however, this can also cause the liquid to be a bit more cloudy. Additionally, we are doing a quick infusion process using the Instant Pot, so I don’t think it’s all that necessary.
Using & Storing Your Instant Pot Vanilla Extract
Within 24 hours, you can use the extract. However, it’s best if you wait at least 7 days.
Store in a cool, dark place. I like to place my extract in amber bottles, so light won’t degrade it.
The vanilla extract should last indefinitely if stored properly. Alcohol makes a great preserve.
Instant Pot Vanilla Extract Recipe
Equipment & Ingredients
1 cup of water
This water is for the Instant Pot liner!!! Please do not pour water into your alcohol! You will be watering it down!
6 cups Alcohol - Vodka, Bourbon, Rum, or Brandy (70-80 proof)
You need 70 to 80 PROOF! Make sure you buy 80 proof and not 80%. There's a bit of a difference between the two.
80 proof means 40% of the liquid is alcohol.
80% would mean it is 160 proof.
I know there is actually 80% alcohol out there, but I have no idea what it would do to vanilla extract! Or to people. That much alcohol content sounds LETHAL! So make sure you are buying the proof and not the percent! Mkay?
Answer: Proof is defined as twice the alcohol (ethanol) content by volume. For example, a whisky with 50% alcohol is 100-proof whiskey. Anything 120-proof would contain 60% alcohol, and 80-proof means 40% of the liquid is alcohol.
- 10 vanilla beans (preferably grade B)
- 6 cups vodka, rum, or bourbon (70-80 proof)
- 1 cup water (for the Instant Pot)
- Add water to the Instant Pot liner
- Split the vanilla beans lengthwise, if you wish. If your jars are short, you may have to cut in half to fit them in the jars also.
- Divide the beans evenly between all three mason jars.
- Completely cover the beans with the alcohol, in each mason jar.
- Secure the lids onto the mason jars.
- Place trivet in the Instant Pot liner.
- Place the jars on the trivet.
- Cook on high pressure for 60 minutes
- NPR until the sealing valve drops.
- Open the lid and allow jars to cool completely before removing them.
- Pour into decorative amber glass jars, including the spent beans. Or check out below to see a list of things you can do with spent vanilla beans.
- Place pretty labels on the jars using these label sheets.
- Use as soon as 24 hours, but it will be best in about a week.
If stored properly vanilla extract should last indefinitely.
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Nutrition InformationYield 48 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 69Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 1mgCarbohydrates 0gFiber 0gSugar 0gProtein 0g
For the most accurate nutritional information, you should calculate the nutritional value of each ingredient yourself. These calculations are provided by a third party and are not expected to be exact. You are solely responsible for ensuring the nutritional information you use is accurate.
I really hope you enjoy this recipe. Leave me a comment and tell me about using my recipe! Or tag me in your social media posts! I’d love to see your pictures!
Add Pretty Labels To Your Bottles
This is the sticker paper I used to print with.
I like to use a pretty kraft paper to print my labels on. It reminds me of a brown paper bag color.
I saw another blogger who made some beautiful labels. She added that color to her printable.
I thought it’s probably better not to ask my printer to use that much ink.
Plus, when I printed out her version, my printer printed a light pinkish-purple instead of that kraft paper color. So that’s why I made my own with a white background instead.
I used a little bit of thin twine, to tie around the head of the bottle. These are perfect for gifts.
I’m giving one bottle to a friend of mine this Christmas. I know she loves to bake, and will cherish this gift of homemade vanilla extract!
Check out more information on Printing Stickers.
How To Make Vanilla Extract Without An Instant Pot
Making vanilla extract without the Instant Pot is really simple. It just takes a lot more time, a couple of months or more depending on how deep you want the flavors to be.
- Combine alcohol and vanilla beans in mason jars.
- Give the jars a good little shake to get started.
- Store in a cool, dark place.
- Shake once a week.
- Do this for at least 2 months.
Some people will infuse their extract for up to a year before they consider it done.
This method works just as well as the Instant Pot version, it just takes a little longer.
What To Do With Spent Vanilla Beans?
There are a few things you can do with used vanilla beans.
- Make More Vanilla Extract – The spent beans will be a little less potent. It’s a good idea to throw in some fresh alongside the spent beans to balance it all out a bit. I find that it’s best to cut the spent beans into smaller pieces than the fresh beans so you can tell them apart. I just store my beans in the extract until I’m ready to make more. That way they stay preserved.
- Add To Coffee – Cut up some tiny pieces and add to your morning coffee for a delightful flavor.
- Make Vanilla Sugar – You can add some spent vanilla beans to a small canister of sugar and let it infused for a little while and then enjoy the hints of vanilla in your sugar. Some people will actually blend the sugar and scraped out seeds from the pod, and then add the spent beans to the mixture and store for a while. You could use this sugar in coffee or even in baked goods.
- Vanilla Flavored Maple Syrup – You can throw your spent beans in a bottle of maple syrup! Let it infused for a few weeks, and then yumminess all over your pancakes!
- Simple Syrup – You can throw in used vanilla beans into your simple syrup when you are cooking it up. It will add a nice little hint of vanilla flavor.
- Vanilla Flavored Salt – This might sound weird, but these are great for those sweets that typically get salt added to them, like toffee, chocolate, or brittles.
Recipes Using Vanilla Extract
Where Do Vanilla Beans Come From?
Vanilla is actually a seed pod that grows on a vine-like Orchid, that tends to grow up trees. They grow in places like Mexico, Madagascar, and Tahiti.
Vanilla is the second most expensive spice, with Saffron being the first. It’s one of the most labor-intensive agricultural crop, which is why it’s so expensive!
After the vines are planted it can take up to THREE YEARS before the first flowers appear. These seedpods remain on the vine for nine whole months before being harvested.
These beautiful green vanilla seed pods are pulled before they’re completely ripe, and therefore devoid of the delicious fragrant scent or flavors.
The flavor and lovely scent are only present after the curing process is complete.
The curing process is pretty simple. Once the seedpods are picked, they are plunged into hot water, and then set out to dry.
We then use the dried “beans” to make vanilla extract.
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Use @homesteadwishing to tag me in your pictures of your homemade Instant Pot vanilla extract! I’d love to see your pictures!
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