The dark, sweet, rich aromatic vanilla extract made in the Instant Pot is one to die for, and personally my favorite. What used to take months of sitting and waiting can now be done in 30 minutes. I’d call that a win.
I grew up baking side by side with my mom in the kitchen. Vanilla was and still is my favorite ingredient to use in baking. It smelt so good!
I’ve always made vanilla the “old fashion” way by placing the vanilla beans in the vodka and shoving it to the back of my cabinet and letting it sit for months until it was ready. When I got the Instant Pot I thought about finding a way to make it more quickly as I was running out of my stash and needed some soon.
I did some research online and found that others were also making vanilla extract this way. Marci of Tidbits has done some excellent research in the whole process of making vanilla extract and I thought I’d give it a shot.
This quick vanilla extract recipe is super simple and takes all of TWO ingredients: vanilla beans and vodka. And by quick I mean 30 minutes, which yes in and of itself is not so quick, but when you compare it to months that traditional vanilla extract takes to make, this is quick.
Check out my mango bread muffin recipe that uses this vanilla extract.
What are vanilla beans?
Vanilla beans are pods of a tropical orchid plant. They are commonly grown in Madagascar, the tropics: Indonesia, Papua New Guinea. The beans begin as greenish-yellow pods, that are then picked, curl up, and turn to that rich brown color we are all familiar with.
Where can I get vanilla beans?
Vanilla is an expensive spice, second to saffron. Buying vanilla extract in the store can add up real quickly. My local Costco currently has 16oz of pure vanilla extract for $30. Making homemade vanilla will save you money. You can find Vanilla beans at
- Grocery stores in the spices section
- On Amazon
- At Costco, which is actually where I found the one I used for this recipe.
I use grade B vanilla beans. These are cheaper and work well for making extract.
What type of alcohol is used to make Instant Pot vanilla extract?
You really could use any type, but I suggest vodka. I opt for a mid price range vodka. Don’t skimp and get the cheapy stuff. I like to use Smirnoff (not paid/sponsored/an ad)
What is vanilla used for?
Most commonly: baking. I also mix some in to my Instant Pot cold start yogurt to add a light hint of vanilla. It can also be used for flavoring beverages, perfumes, aromatics.
How long does vanilla last?
Alcohol has a long shelf life. Vanilla extract stored in a cool, dark place can keep for a few years.
What do I do with the vanilla beans after the cooking process?
Great question. I recommend leaving the beans in the extract as it will help to further develop the flavor.
How to make Instant Pot vanilla extract?
Place wire rack in the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Add 1 cup of water. Place mason jar on wire rack and pour in vodka. Split vanilla beans lengthwise and add to the mason jar. Gently place the lid on to the mason jar and twist just once to lock in place. This helps prevent evaporation of the alcohol and mixing of the water. Place lid of Instant Pot on and set to sealing. Cook manual high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow natural pressure release. Allow to cool prior to use.
- 5 vanilla beans
- 2 cups vodka
- 1 cup water
- Place wire rack in the inner pot of the Instant Pot and add 1 cup of water.
- Place mason jar on wire rack and pour in vodka.
- Split vanilla beans lengthwise and add to the mason jar.
- Gently place the lid on to the mason jar and twist just once to lock in place.
- Place lid of Instant Pot on and set to sealing. Cook manual high pressure for 30 minutes. Allow natural pressure release and cool prior to use.
*Do not make vanilla extract near an open flame as alcohol is high flammable.
*Use grade B vanilla beans as they are cheaper and are better for making extracts.
*Use a mid price range vodka for better results. Don't skimp on the cheapy stuff.
*The lid is placed on the mason jar to help prevent alcohol evaporation or mixing of water.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 96 Serving Size: 1 tsp
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 11Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 0mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g
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