Homemade vanilla extract? In an Instant Pot? In just one day? YES!!
I have been wanting to try this recipe since the day I saw it. I LOVE vanilla, and I love vanilla beans. Not only do I use them with cooking, but I use them in homemade face oils and lotions (I love homemade everything!), so I almost always have some on hand. When I saw Marci’s recipe for homemade pure vanilla extract in the Instant Pot over at Tidbits, I knew I had to try it! With Marci’s permission, this is my review. Please see her page for her full recipe and details – she was very thorough as she developed this recipe 🙂
For safety, I’m going to note – her recipe is only intended to be made in an electric pressure cooker.
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I started with my mason jars (there are four pictured, but I only used three pint sized ones), 10 vanilla beans, and 750ml bottle of vodka. Marci used Smirnoff vodka in her recipe, and I decided to use a local one from 1911 Spirits at the suggestion of my husband (buying local!). It’s actually vodka that is made from apples – how cool is that???? Her recipe suggested a 40% alcohol vodka, and this one matched that criteria. Marci also has a non-alcohol version on her page where she suggests food glycerin in place of the vodka.
The vanilla beans were cut half, and then sliced in half down the middle, leaving them connected at the top as the recipe suggested. I may have had a bit of fun playing with them… 🙂
I counted the beans out so each jar would have an even amount, and then covered them with the vodka. Three jars were used, and I ended up having to use a little bit of another vodka to finish covering the beans. I debated on doing only 2 jars due to the number of vanilla beans I had available, but decided on 3 because I knew they would hang out a and marinate a few more days before packaging for gifts.
On went the canning lids and rings – I made sure they were barely tightened – and into the pot they went! It didn’t take long to come to pressure since there was only a cup of liquid in the pot. The vanilla jacuzzi went for 30 minutes, and I followed the natural release directions.
When I opened the pot, the scent of vodka was definitely there, and a little big strong. I removed the jars with a jar lifter I have for when I can jam, and popped them on a cooling rack to hang out. The vanilla goodness was swirled around, and and I desperately wanted to taste them, but alas I did not. I allowed them to cool overnight.
The next day, the vodka scent was definitely prevalent in the jars, but wasn’t as strong as the day before. My husband smelled them both in a blind smell-off (I made him), and he preferred the homemade vanilla – winning!!! As the week went on, the vodka scent was significantly less than even my store bought vanilla extract (my McCormick vanilla extract has a VERY strong alcohol smell). The taste? Delightful. It seems milder than the store bought, but in my tasty opinion – the flavor itself was so much better! The recipe yielded 30 oz of homemade vanilla extract, which will allow me to make 15 gifts….if I don’t keep any for myself! 🙂
How did it break down cost wise?
*I already had the jars, so there was no expense there – yay!
*$57 on vanilla beans and vodka = $1.90/ounce – This could go down significantly if different vodka and/or vanilla beans are used. I used Grade B Madagascar Vanilla beans, and the local vodka was more costly than the recommended vodka.
*Compare that to Wegman’s Pure Vanilla Extract at $2.00/ounce – I’m very pleased with this! Even adding in the additional jars for gifting – an additional 54 cents – I think that’s a great deal for a homemade batch of vanilla! 🙂
Dollar Store Jars (see photos – they are ADORABLE!!!)
Hooray for homemade Instant Pot vanilla extract! I’m going to package these up all adorable, but since some of my readers may be the giftees, I don’t want to entirely spoil it 🙂 Thank you Marci for your wonderful recipe. Make sure you all visit her page to check it out! 🙂