Homemade Vanilla Extract

Do you think it is worthwhile to make your own vanilla extract or am I better off staying with Nielsen-Massey? Does anyone have a great recipe for bourbon vanilla extract that they would like to share?

  • Posted by: DLP
  • January 12, 2013


Mo3b December 22, 2013
I also make vanilla extract with vodka. The alcohol scent is strong but the wonderful vanilla flavor comes through when using it for baking.
Bevi January 12, 2013
On this thread, Chef Ono explains a method for making your own vanilla extract:
jeanmarieok January 12, 2013
I like making my own vanilla, but I have learned to be patient. I use 12 oz of vodka and 4 oz of bourbon, and 10 vanilla beans. I split lengthwise, to expose the seeds, then cut then in half so they are all submerged in the liquor. Give it a couple of shakes every couple of days for the first two weeks or so, and in about 8 weeks, I have really good vanilla.
darksideofthespoon January 12, 2013
I will buy lots of beans and jar them with brandy or bourbon. I let them steep for approx 2 months before I like using the extract.

I steep them whole, the booze makes them plump and lovely. If I need a bean for a recipe, I will split it and return the pod to the jar if all I want are the seeds. Sometimes when I make custards I will add a used pod to the milk for flavor.
DebS January 12, 2013
I think it depends upon how much you go through; I seemed to be buying a bottle a week so it made sense to buy beans online in bulk and make my own. I used 2-3 beans per cup of vodka but it is a bit weak. Next time I will double the amount. The nice thing is you can customize the extract to your own taste. I bought a few different types and they are all very different. My favourite is Tahitian...
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