Vanilla Extract

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This recipe only calls for 2-ingredients and a bit of time to produce the best vanilla extract you have ever cooked with. The number of vanilla beans and alcohol needed will vary depending on how many jars of vanilla extract you plan to make. Start with 6 vanilla beans per 8 ounces of alcohol. If a more potent extract is desired you can add more vanilla beans.

Equipment needed to make vanilla extract: You will need a sharp pairing knife, small bottles, and a funnel for making vanilla extract. But that is about it! 


Vanilla bean pods, 6 vanilla beans per 8 ounces of alcohol.

Grain alcohol, vodka, or bourbon


  • Use a pairing knife to slice through each of the vanilla bean pods leaving one end intact to hold.
  • Gently open the sides to expose the grainy seeds inside. Using light pressure, drag the flat side of the knife down the pod, removing the seeds.
  • Transfer both the empty pods and the seeds to sterilized jars with tight-fitting lids.
  • Use a funnel to fill the jar with desired alcohol. I typically use vodka because I keep it on hand, but you could use grain alcohol like Everclear or even bourbon.
  • Soak for at least eight weeks, but preferably 6-12 months, and shake every day (or as often as you remember).


Nutritional information was calculated with the measurements for 1 small bottle of extract which is equal to 6 vanilla beans in 8 ounces of alcohol.  For a total of 48 teaspoon-sized servings. 


Keywords: how to make vanilla extract, vanilla, vanilla bean, vanilla sugar, substitutions for vanilla, vanilla extract

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