Baking Much? Here's How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract in Your Instant Pot

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High quality vanilla extract can be difficult to track down right now, and it seems to get more expensive every day. The solution is simple: learn how to make your own pure vanilla extract at home in under an hour using your Instant Pot. Once you taste the elevated flavor of your fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies or banana bread, you'll never go back to the store bought stuff. You can give it as a gift, too—this quick and easy recipe yields about four cups worth of extract, leaving plenty to share with your friends and family.

vanilla extract
Photo: serezniy/Getty Images
Hands On Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
30 mins
Yield:
2 cups

Ingredients

  • 10 grade “B” Tahitian or Madagascar vanilla beans

  • 2 cups vodka (80 proof) 

Directions

  1. Using a sharp paring knife, cut vanilla beans in half and then again lengthwise, leaving about a centimeter connected at the top to splay open the beans.

  2. Place beans in a sealable pint-size mason jar and fill with vodka up to one inch from the rim. Close the mason jar with a canning lid and loosely tighten. You do not want to close the lid too tight, as pressure will build as it cooks in the Instant Pot.

  3. Place the trivet inside of your Instant Pot and fill with one cup of water. Place your mason jar in the center and secure the Instant Pot lid. Ensure the venting knob is set to “sealed” and cook on manual high pressure for 30 minutes.

  4. When cooking is complete, allow the pressure to naturally release until the floating pressure valve drops to indicate that the Instant Pot is safe to open.

  5. Carefully remove the mason jar from the Instant Pot. Allow your extract to cool completely before transferring it to a bottle or using it in a recipe. There’s no need to strain or remove the seeds or beans—they will continue to add flavor as time goes on. Store extract in a cool, dark place to avoid unwanted evaporation.

Chef's Notes

If you are going to give your extract away, place a couple of vanilla beans from the original batch in the new bottle to continue flavoring the extract. Create your own label and tie a cute bow for a beautiful (and highly practical) gift your friends and family will love.

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