Instant Pot Vanilla Extract is a wonderful homemade vanilla that is so easy to make from vanilla beans! Pressure cooker vanilla extract is delicious, and makes great gifts!
Homemade vanilla extract is such a nice gift to give!
Originally published 8/29/18
Instant Pot Vanilla Extract
Raise your hand if you enjoy giving homemade gifts! I sure do! I'm actually not that creative when it comes to crafting, so I tend to make edible gifts. Then I do what I can minimally to make them look nice enough to gift to my family and friends.
Pressure Cooker Vanilla Extract is just one of my favorites because it is easy to make, and can be used by almost anybody, and has a very long shelf life, so I can make it far in advance of the Holidays!
Just a few simple ingredients are needed to make Instant Pot Vanilla Extract!
The steps to make homemade Instant Pot Vanilla Extract are simple:
After pressure cooking, let the jars cool in the pressure cooker undisturbed.
Give the jars a good shake a few times a week after you first make this pressure cooker Vanilla Extract. Agitation helps with the extraction process.
Some simple baker's twine and pre cut tags made these bottles of Instant Pot Vanilla Extract gifts easy to decorate. Get as creative as you want!
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Questions I Have Been Getting About Instant Pot Vanilla Extract
Where do you get the vanilla beans?
I get mine on Amazon. I like both the Tahitian and Madagascar varieties. Be sure to get grade 'B' as those are less expensive and are made for making extract.
I did purchase these Grade A Vanilla Beans as the price has finally gone down, and I LOVE THEM!
How long does vanilla keep?
It keeps indefinitely, as the alcohol keeps it shelf stable. Keeping the beans in the jar or bottle, just top it off with vodka when it starts to get low enough for the beans to poke up out of the alcohol. Then shake it every week or so to agitate it. I have one right now that is 2 years old. My friend has one that is 7 years old! He just tops it off once in a while!
What if the jars seal while pressure cooking? I thought you can't can in the Instant Pot.
If the jars seal, I wait until they are cooled and just pop the lid open. Then close it. This isn't canning, and the alcohol will keep the vanilla shelf stable.
What if I don't want to use alcohol?
I haven't tried it, but some people make their vanilla with vegetable glycerin (also called food grade glycerin).
Which Gift Bottles do you use?
Either the 4 oz size bottles (affiliate), or the 5 oz hot sauce bottles (pictured above). (affiliate)
Why Use a pressure cooker to make Vanilla Extract?
The main reason is the pressure cooking accelerates the extraction process so you can have dark, rich vanilla much sooner. Not everyone plans ahead, or can. So this method is very good for making vanilla when you want to.
Is It Safe to Make Vanilla in the Instant Pot?
With some simple precautions, it is pretty safe.
• Use good quality canning jars.
• Don't have any open flames anywhere near the pot.
• Let it do a full natural release.
• Use caution when handling hot jars (I let them cool in the pot).
• Don't try to move a pressurized pot (no matter what you're making).
I can't guarantee anything, but please use common sense and be careful, no matter the recipe you are making in your pressure cooker.
A few of my other favorite homemade gifts is Hot Sauce (recipe below), jam, cookies, Dulce de Leche (recipe below), and a few others. I try to make as many as I can during the summer and fall, that way when I'm in my busy Holiday season, all of those gifts are done!
Instant Pot Lemon Curd
Instant Pot Dulce de Leche Caramel
Instant Pot Hot Sauce
Instant Pot Maple Candied Pecans
If you make this wonderful pressure cooker vanilla extract recipe, please leave me a comment below with a star rating. I'd love to know how you liked it!
Instant Pot Vanilla Extract is a wonderful homemade vanilla. It is really easy to make, and makes fun gifts, especially for the Holidays!
- 24 Vanilla Beans (extract grade "B" or Grade "A")
- 4 cups Vodka (cheapest kind) or use Vegetable Glycerin
- 1 ½ cups Water (2 ½ cups for the 8 qt pot)
Cut all of the vanilla beans in half crossways, then split lengthwise ¾ of the way, leaving attached (kind of like a banana peel).
Put 12 vanilla beans into each pint jar (that's 24 halves in each jar). If you are using smaller or larger jars, adjust accordingly.
Pour the vodka into each jar, filling only to the bottom lid thread (that leaves about ¾ inch of space or more).
Put the lids on the jars finger-tight (that's just barely tightened, and not as tight as when you store them).
Pour the water into the stainless inner pot of the pressure cooker. Then put the metal trivet/rack in. Set the jars on the metal rack, not touching each other of the side of the pot.
Put the lid on the pot and set the steam release knob to the Sealing position.
Press the Pressure Cook (or Manual) button or dial and then the +/- button or dial to select 30 minutes. It will take a few minutes for the pot to come to pressure.
After the cooking cycle is finished, and the pot beeps, turn off the pot so it doesn't go to the Warm setting.
Let the pot do a FULL NATURAL RELEASE of the pressure. You can let it sit after that as long as you want. I let the jars cool down quite a bit in the pot before I move them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
You can let the vanilla stay in the jars and keep extracting, which it will do indefinitely, or transfer to the smaller jars as you like. Don't strain it or discard the beans! They will keep flavoring the vanilla for years! Just top off with vodka when the bottle runs low.
Since vanilla makes a nice gift, I use the 4-ounce or 5-ounce glass bottles, and add 2 or 3 of the beans to each jar as that will look nice, and it keeps extracting.
- Be Safe! Don't make vanilla near open flames.
- Always let the pot Naturally Release FULLY, then let the jars cool.
- Cheap vodka is what you want to use. Don't bother wasting the good stuff!
- I think the vanilla is best left in the jars and only transferred to the gift bottles just before gifting as it will be stronger from sitting longer.
- Shake the jars a few times a week after you first make the vanilla. This will help with the extraction, and get those little seeds moving.
Pressure cooking accelerates the extraction process so you can have dark, rich vanilla much sooner. It will darken as it sits in a dark pantry.
KEEP THE BEANS AND SEEDS IN THE VANILLA!
Use common sense and caution. Don't allow children near the pot while making this recipe. Just be careful!
Resources to Make Pressure Cooker Vanilla Extract Recipe
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I made vanilla & accidentally missed the part not letting it go to warm... which I did for a couple hours? Is my vanilla bad? What happens if it sits on warm?
It should be fine. The biggest concern is cooling off the jars too quickly so they don't crack.
I dont understand how the vanilla bean that have been cook or siting in vodka can produce more extract once all the extract has already been taken out from the first process? Used vanilla beans can not produce more extract. I’m so confused why adding more vodka will make more extract. It seems that adding more vodka would only dilute the extract instead of make more. You’ll need whole new beans to make actually vanilla extract. I mean if the vanilla bean could just be reused over and over again why would people not need to grow more and wouldn’t the companies that make vanilla extract not need to ever buy more beans ever? That doesn’t make any sense at all. When i make nut milk, i cant reuse the nuts to make more milk cause i extracted all the milk out of them the first time and that’s all they can do.
Lucy you are so logical! That makes sense. This process doesn't extract ALL of the essence from the beans. As I said in my post, it accelerates the extraction process. If you have a jar of vanilla with beans, you may need to add another bean or a few after some time if you use a lot. My jars are about 3 years old and I haven't added any new beans yet, but will after the next refill.
I’ve read that for richer/darker vanilla to cook for 45 minutes. Is that true or have you tested at 45? Just wondering why you are choosing 30 for your recipe. Also - I found 1 recipe that says sanitizing the small bottles that the finished recipe is going into (Boiling for 10min) is a MUST....yet no other recipes make reference to that. thoughts?
Hi Stacey, I do sanitize my bottles by running them through the dishwasher. I hadn't thought to mention that as I thought it was a given. I'll add that info just in case. Thanks! As far as cook time, I tried longer and to me the vanilla tasted cooked. It seemed to go over a point to where it just didn't taste right to me. I tested several times. I think it is an individual preference. My vanilla is dark, and gets darker the longer it sits. I think you could go to 35 minutes and get a nice result.
I love how my vanilla turned out! Thank you for the easy instructions.
ann marie f nawoczenski
This was great fun - love the concept.
After 2 weeks my vanilla does not look as dark as I expected and smells stronger of alcohol than vanilla. I followed the recipe for time and ingredients.. Thank for your direction.
It will smell strong for a while. You could cook it for a few extra minutes, and/or more beans to make it darker. Pressure cooking only accelerates the extraction process so you can have vanilla much sooner.
Kimberly M Walczak
Do you put canning jars with lids in the instant pot?
I do, yes.
Can I use bottles with corks or other types of lids (just to make the gifts look pretty) or is screw on the best option? Thanks
You can use any lid that will stay on. There are many types of bottles and lids. I would say as long as it is air-tight.
Hi! I am super excited to try this recipe! Quick question though - when you say 2-3 beans per gift bottle, is that 2-3 of the halves? Or 2-3 "whole beans", so 4-6 halves?
Ooh, great question. I put about 3-4 halves in each bottle. It depends on how many I'm making. I just use them all up!