Monday, July 8, 2013

Making Your Own Vanilla Extract

There many things that one can do to be more self sufficient and save money, and have a healthier product. Making your own vanilla extract is one.

I have read of a few different ways of making homemade vanilla extract, however we have found this to be the easiest. 

It is really incredibility simple.

All you need are Vanilla Beans,a jar and some vodka. We usually buy the cheapest locally made vodka we can find. I am sure a more expensive vodka would make an even better tasting vanilla, but for our baking this works.

Simply sterilize a jar by pouring boiling water into it. Let the jar dry.

Place vanilla bean in the jar and cover with vodka.

Let sit a few weeks for the flavors to develop. The longer it sits, the stronger the vanilla flavor will be.

As we use the vanilla we add more vodka until the vanilla looses some of it's flavor. You will know once you use the vanilla and get used to the flavor when you may want to add more vodka. We also have been known to add another vanilla bean to an existing bottle and continue the process.

We have been making vanilla extract this way for the past 15 years or so and have had great luck.


  1. Is it possible to grow your own vanilla? I believe it is sometime of an orchid, so outdoors in Maine would be out of the question (like here in my zone 5, northern Great Lakes location.) But, I wonder if it could be grown in a green house or indoors? I'm off to research. Wish I could grow my own black pepper, cinnamon and vanilla! I try to eat as locally as possible, but some things are hard to do without since we are so used to them. I enjoyed reading about how you make vanilla! :)

  2. I would be great to grow a lot of the spices etc in our area. Not sure about a greenhouse, but would be so great if we could!

  3. I never made my own vanilla extract. It looks so beautiful. I should just get going and do it! Thanks for the info. Hope your weather is pretty good. Here in SD has been a bit too warm and humid.

  4. Thanks, Angela. It is so easy to make! Very hot and humid here as well...too hot!

  5. This is something I want to try. ! Thanks for the tip.

  6. You are welcome, willow. Thanks for reading!

  7. I just read that the vanilla bean plant can only grow like in Mexico where it is pollinated by a certain bee species. I don't think it's possible here. I would have like to grow it in my green house also