Did you know that making vanilla extract in your own kitchen is not only easy but will also save you money? It really is! I know because I make my own and have run the numbers. I’m tired of paying for imitation stuff when I could have the real for less!
I was surprised to find that the most commonly used flavoring in kitchens today is vanilla extract. But, it is also one of the most expensive! Because of the labor required to grow vanilla beans, it is the second most expensive spice – second only to saffron.
Making vanilla extract for yourself gives you superior quality for just about the same price as buying the counterfeit. I don’t know about you, but I say – let’s do this!
I used to use imitation vanilla extract because real vanilla is so expensive. After finding out how easy it is to make the real thing in my own kitchen AND how economical it is, I would never go back to the fake stuff!
Making Vanilla Extract
Watch for yourself to find out how easy it is! After the video, I will give the recipe, resources for the things you see me use, as well as, more information about selecting the vanilla beans.
Making Vanilla Extract Resources:
I love knowing what others are using and why they enjoy them. So, here are the things I used in the video and they are linked to amazon. Most are prime items which means if you have amazon prime, they ship free.
- Vanilla Beans – these are the ones I am currently using. they are very flavorful and make a nice extract.
- Grolsch Bottles are what I use to store my vanilla extract in. Be sure to use a colored bottle to prevent degradation by the sunlight. I think now instead of green they have blue and brown ones available.
- Here are the knives that I use and really like – they have stayed sharp for quite awhile now.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of a good cutting board. If you are not use to using one, get in the habit of it – it will help keep your knives sharp!
Organic Vanilla Beans or Not?
As I said in the video, there is really no need to buy organic vanilla beans because most are grown without pesticides and chemical fertilizers. The vanilla plant has very few predators and they are grown in areas without the resources to spray anyway. That being said, I have bought organic vanilla beans purchased in bulk, as well as, non-organic vanilla beans. There are typically 6 – 9 beans per ounce purchased.
Splits vs Gourmet
When finding vanilla beans online, you may see the words “splits” and “gourmet”. These refer to the type of vanilla beans. The splits are beans that actually split on the vine or during curing. They typically have a higher moisture and vanillin content. If the beans have not split, they are considered gourmet. I normally use the gourmet vanilla beans.
Bourbon or Vodka?
Vanilla extract can be made with bourbon or vodka. Vodka is normally chosen because bourbon has a stronger flavor on its own and will mask the vanilla flavor.
I have tested both inexpensive and more expensive vodkas for making vanilla extract and the least expensive works very well.
Making Vanilla Extract
2 -4 vanilla beans per 8 oz vodka (where to buy vanilla beans)
1. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise.
2. Place the vanilla beans in an airtight container.
3. Fill the container with vodka - be sure the beans are completely covered in vodka.
4. Place the bottle in a cool closet or pantry and allow it to sit for 4 - 8 weeks. I have found it good after 6 weeks.
To reuse, once a bottle is 1/2 empty, refill with vodka and allow to sit for another 8 weeks.
Photo Credit © Depositphotos.com/rimglow