How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
Learn How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract, and you’ll never have to buy it again. Watch my video and print out the recipe in this post for step-by-step instructions. This vanilla extract is perpetual and will last indefinitely.
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Making Homemade Extracts
Making homemade extracts is probably one of the easiest things to do. Vanilla Extract is probably the simplest, and it lasts the longest. Some call it a perpetual extract. Ina Garten, the best selling cookbook author, once said that the beans used in her extract are almost 20 years old. Now that certainly warrants the perpetual label!
In my video, I walk you through the easy steps involved in making Vanilla Extract. You’ll simply cut the beans in half, split them down the middle, or do both. Next, you’ll place them in a quart-sized or one-liter jar and then fill it with vodka.
Why Vodka for My Extract?
I like to use vodka when making Vanilla Extract or any extract for that matter. Vodka is colorless and basically tasteless and odorless, so it lets the vanilla flavor shine through. However, you can also try other spirits, including rum or bourbon.
What If I Don’t Want to Use Alcohol for My Extract?
Keep in mind that when you use a Homemade Extract, you are most likely going to use it in baking. The heat of the oven will help the alcohol dissipate and just leave the lovely extract flavor behind.
However, if you are concerned about the high-proof alcohol used in making an extract, you have options. To replacing the vodka or other high-proof alcohol in any extract recipe, simply substitute the alcohol called for with three parts liquid glycerine and one part water. Now keep in mind, glycerine is, in essence, alcohol, but with a much lower alcohol content than 80-100 proof spirits.
One other option when making extracts is to use a low-alcohol wine mixed with glycerine to make your extract. To learn how to make homemade wine and use it with glycerin to make a low-alcohol extract, please visit my sweet friend Heidi over at Rain Country Homestead.
More Ideas for the Traditional Foods Pantry
Now that you’ve learned how to make homemade Vanilla Extract, be sure to try your hand at making more Homemade Extracts and other essentials for stocking your Traditional Foods Pantry.
Homemade Vinegar Recipes
Making vinegars can be fun too, and they look great next to the homemade extracts in your pantry. I recommend starting out with a homemade Apple Cider Vinegar, but depending on the season, fruit scrap vinegars would be perfect too.
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For an extensive list of the traditional foods you can make and purchase to stock your pantry, be sure to download my free 36-page Traditional Foods Pantry List. This comprehensive eBook is full of links to recipe videos, helpful articles, and more!
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In the following members-only video, I take you behind the scenes with my working pantry.
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How to Make Homemade Vanilla Extract
- 1 quart-sized jar or 1 liter-sized jar
- Add vanilla beans to the clean jar and cover with vodka.
- Allow the beans to steep in vodka for six months in a dark pantry or cupboard.
- After six months, remove some of the vanilla extract and decant it into a clean bottle.
- Add new vodka to the original jar containing the vanilla beans, and return the jar to the pantry or cupboard to steep for another six months.
- Every six months, continue this process of decanting some vanilla extract into a separate bottle and topping off the jar containing the vanilla beans with additional alcohol. By following this process, your vanilla extract will basically last indefinitely.
Shop for items used in this blog post or video
Favorite Homemade Vanilla Supplies
Favorite Kitchen Supplies
- Favorite Aprons
- Spice Grinder
- Countertop Burner (On my kitchen island in many recipe videos.)
- Handheld Vacuum Sealing System
- Vacuum Lids
- Silica Gel Packets (Helps keep moisture from building up in your mix)
- Cast Iron Dutch Oven
- 8-Quart Slow-Cooker
- Fat Separator (Clever kitchen device to help you decant bone broth)
- Flour Sack Towels
- pH Strips (Helps you check on the acidity of your vinegar)
More Kitchen Supplies with Discount Codes
- Mockmill Grain Mill (for making homemade flour)
Use my Mockmill affiliate link for a special one-time 5% discount on Mockmill Stone Grain Mill products, including Ancient Grains, like Einkorn, Emmer, and Spelt. (The Mockmill discount will appear when you checkout.)
Use promo code MARYSNST for a one-time 15% off Masontops and Breadsmart products on Amazon.com.
Amazon Shop and Shopping Guide
- Visit Mary’s Nest Amazon Shop
- Visit my Shopping Guide page
Learn where I buy my beef bones, electric grain mills, sprouted grains, and more…and get special discounts for Mary’s Nest visitors, including from US Wellness Meats, Mockmill, Masontops, and Cultures for Health.
**Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the MarysNest.com website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.