Vanilla extract in an instant

vanilla extract

A couple of weeks ago we discussed vanilla in our Spice Support on baking spices. There was a blurb about a shortcut to homemade vanilla extract – and now we have details to go along with that blurb. The Kitchn recently posted a tutorial on how to make vanilla extract with an Instant Pot

While traditional recipes require weeks or months for the beans to release their delicious flavor and aroma into the surrounding alcohol, using an Instant Pot means you can have extract ready in less than one day. This is perfect if you wanted to make vanilla to give out as holiday gifts but hadn’t got around to it yet. 

In addition to an Instant Pot or similar electric pressure cooker, you’ll need a few glass jars with screw-on lids, and of course vanilla beans and 80-proof alcohol (vodka is the preferred spirit due to its neutral flavor profile). The Kitchn does not recommend trying this in a stovetop pressure cooker. After cooking, the vanilla will be ready to use once it has cooled, although you will get more flavor if you allow it to steep for another week or so. 

I opted to make vanilla extract the old-fashioned way – the photo above is of the beans at the start of their process a couple of weeks ago. Had I discovered this method before, I would have tried it. Let us know if you have done this – The Kitchn promises a flavor as full as the long-steeped method.

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