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How To Make Gift-Worthy Vanilla Extract In The Instant Pot

Not only is it cheaper to make your own vanilla extract at home, but it makes a great gift too!

5 from 4 votes

The idea of making my own vanilla extract had never even crossed my mind until quite recently. I wouldn’t have had even the slightest clue of how to do such a thing! But a couple of weeks ago I came across the idea of making vanilla extract in the Instant Pot while perusing around online. And once the idea was in my head, I knew I would have to give it a try!

While the original recipe called for vodka, I had read elsewhere that you could also make it using vegetable glycerin. As someone in recovery, I figured that I’d better choose the alcohol-free route if I could. But unfortunately, the final product ended up being pretty disappointing. It was a lot paler in color than I had anticipated, and I didn’t love the thick consistency of it.

But I wasn’t going to give up that easily! I decided to try it again using vodka, and the vanilla extract turned out beautifully! It made the whole OGT Studio smell amazing. So I would recommend bypassing the glycerin option and just using vodka instead! It’s the best tool for the job in this case (but that’s probably the only time you’ll catch me saying that about alcohol!) 😉

How Much Does It Cost To Make Homemade Vanilla Extract?

I’m not going to sugarcoat it—it cost me about $30 to buy the 10 vanilla beans I needed for this recipe. (I definitely had a bit of sticker-shock!) But before you write off homemade vanilla extract as being prohibitively expensive to make, consider how expensive it is to buy high-quality bottle of vanilla extract at the grocery store.

Prices for good vanilla extract tend to vary between about $2-4 per ounce. I paid $30 for the vanilla beans, and about $20 for the vodka, for a total of $50 of materials. This recipe yields 32 ounces of vanilla extract, at a cost of about $1.50 per ounce.

So not only does it end up being cheaper to make your own, you also end up with a pure, “small-batch” product that will add a ton of flavor to your recipes! 🙂 It would also make a great holiday gift too! Just pour a bit into a small bottle, add some ribbon and a cute gift tag, and it’ll be ready for gifting!

How To Make Vanilla Extract In The Instant Pot

Ingredients:

10 B-grade vanilla beans*
4 cups mid-priced vodka*

*A Note About Ingredients: I knew I would never be able to track down whole vanilla beans in my small town, but it was easy enough to find good quality beans on Amazon! Also, when you’re buying vodka for your vanilla extract, look for a one liter (1L) bottle. A standard 750mL bottle won’t have quite enough for this recipe.

Supplies:

Directions:

Step 1 – Prep

Start by splitting the vanilla beans with your paring knife. Cut them in half, then split each half down the center to reveal all the vanilla bean goodness trapped inside.

Next, divide your vanilla beans between the two pint jars. Pour 2 cups of vodka into each jar, then place the lids on the jars.

Screw the rings on to hold the lids in place, but don’t over-tighten them. Finger-tight will do just fine!

Place the trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot, then set the sealed jars on the trivet. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pot, then seal the pot.

Step 2 – Cook

Pressure cook the jars on High for 60 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally from the Instant Pot for at least an hour (or as long as it takes if you’re patient!)

Step 3 – Cool

When you’re ready to remove the jars from the pot, be sure to use an oven mitt to avoid burns! Remove the jars and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Using & Storing Your Homemade Vanilla Extract

You can open and use your vanilla extract about 24 hours after taking it out of the Instant Pot. However, the vanilla flavor will continue to strengthen for about a week. So for the best results, I recommend waiting until then!

Your homemade vanilla extract should last indefinitely if you store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

What’s your favorite recipe to make that includes vanilla extract?

Homemade Instant Pot Vanilla Extract

Jill Nystul
The idea of making my own vanilla extract had never even crossed my mind until quite recently, but once the idea was in my head I knew I had to give it a try. And it turned out amazingly well!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs
1 d
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course Ingredient
Cuisine American
Servings 192
Calories 12 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 10 B-grade vanilla beans*
  • 4 cups mid-priced vodka*

Instructions
 

Step 1 – Prep

  • Start by splitting the vanilla beans with your paring knife. Cut them in half, then split each half down the center to reveal all the vanilla bean goodness trapped inside.
  • Next, divide your vanilla beans between the two pint jars. Pour 2 cups of vodka into each jar, then place the lids on the jars.
  • Screw the rings on to hold the lids in place, but don’t over-tighten them. Finger-tight will do just fine!
  • Place the trivet in the bottom of your Instant Pot, then set the sealed jars on the trivet. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the pot, then seal the pot.

Step 2 – Cook

  • Pressure cook the jars on High for 60 minutes. When the timer goes off, allow the pressure to release naturally from the Instant Pot for at least an hour (or as long as it takes if you’re patient!)

Step 3 – Cool

  • When you’re ready to remove the jars from the pot, be sure to use an oven mitt to avoid burns! Remove the jars and transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Using & Storing Your Homemade Vanilla Extract

  • You can open and use your vanilla extract about 24 hours after taking it out of the Instant Pot. However, the vanilla flavor will continue to strengthen for about a week. So for the best results, I recommend waiting until then!

Notes

I knew I would never be able to track down whole vanilla beans in my small town, but it was easy enough to find good quality beans on Amazon! Also, when you’re buying vodka for your vanilla extract, look for a one liter (1L) bottle. A standard 750mL bottle won’t have quite enough for this recipe.

Nutrition

Calories: 12kcal
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