Why make your own homemade vanilla extract recipe? Is there some sort of secret benefit? YES! Many vanilla extracts that you buy at the store are riddled with ingredients like sugar, artificial flavorings, and artificial colorings.
If you are looking for a better way, then grab these two ingredients and hop on board the homemade vanilla train! The taste is phenomenal and the process is extra easy!
All you need is 80-proof vodka and vanilla beans.
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Is Making Homemade Extract Worth it?
Yes, it's cheaper and lightyears tastier than the lesser quality at the store. If you are wondering if it's financially worth it, the answer again is yes. It will be more expensive than artificial vanilla flavoring.
I estimate that my 16-ounce jar costs around $15. Good quality vanilla extract is anywhere from $10-$44! I just happened to see a $44 jar of vanilla extract that was 16 ounces. When I used to buy vanilla extract from the store I would pay around $10 for 8 ounces of fair-quality vanilla extract.
Using a homemade vanilla extract recipe is also a great way to give gifts during the holidays. Start the vanilla in January (or even May or June) and you will have a beautiful gift!
Can you Reuse Vanilla Beans?
Yes! Vanilla beans are very powerful and have a lot of flavor in them. Some claim that they can be reused up to 6 times! I'm a little more conservative and estimate I reuse mine twice.
Typically when I am making a new batch I will grab one or two brand new vanilla beans to punch up the flavor and then add the remaining used ones.
What is the best alcohol to make vanilla extract?
The most common alcohol to make vanilla extract is vodka. You will need 80 proof.
You can also experiment with other alcohols with this vanilla extract recipe such as bourbon, rum, or brandy.
What is the difference between Grade A and Grade B vanilla beans?
Simply put, grade A has above 25% moisture levels and grade B has below 25% moisture levels. The moisture levels are important because grade A will give up their flavor more easily, whereas grade B will not.
If a recipe calls for scraping the vanilla beans, it is best to use Grade A beans.
Grade A beans also are more expensive.
What is the Ratio of Vanilla Beans to Alcohol
Although the amounts vary slightly according to whom you read, generally it is safe to use 6-8 vanilla beans per 8 ounces or roughly one cup of alcohol.
It is also important to note that the quality of vanilla beans is more important than the quality of alcohol. If you are trying to save costs, splurge on the quality of beans before you splurge on the quality of alcohol.
- Make sure the beans are fully submerged under the alcohol.
- Using a darker glass bottle is preferred. If you use a clear one, be sure to store it in a dark area. These 16 oz bottles are a great option.
Homemade Vanilla Extract Recipe
80 Proof Vodka
Slice vanilla beans down the middle vertically.
Stuff vanilla beans into a glass jar, and cut in half in necessary.
Pour vodka over the top of the vanilla beans being sure to submerge fully.
Leave in a dark place for 3-6 months.
The longer the better. Strain vanilla beans out of the liquid and use them in recipes!
Watch the entire tutorial of me making the homemade vanilla extract recipe here. Or watch the video below.
Recipes to Use the Extract in
- 2 cups vodka (80 proof)
- 6-8 whole vanilla beans
- Slice vanilla beans down the middle vertically.
- Stuff vanilla beans into a glass jar, and cut in half in necessary.
- Pour vodka over the top of the vanilla beans being sure to submerge fully.
- Leave in a dark place for 3-6 months. The longer the better.
- Strain vanilla beans out of the liquid and use in recipes!
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 96 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
Online nutritional calculators are estimates only. Use your best judgement when consuming.