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Storing vanilla pods

I brought some nice ones back from a recent vacation and have more than I can really use. What's the best way to store them? Chef at Home Michael Smith, as cheesy as he is, seems to have a good solution by storing it in a Mason jar with some liquid...is that just water?

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  1. Stored in water they would just rot. High proof vodka or grain alcohol would preserve them.

    1. I store mine both used and new in my sugar canister

      1. Store in vodka if you are making vanilla extract but if you want to store for regular use store them in an air tight container in a cool dark cabinet. Do not freeze and do not refrigerate. I bought a pound of pods from an ebay site an have them stored in a vacuum sealed container, via the Reynolds Handi vac, in the cabinet.

        5 Replies
        1. re: scubadoo97

          I have only stored them in sugar, nor for future use, just to flavor the sugar, for cooking etc.. Last week I read somewhere, probably on line, that they can be stored in vanilla extract. I put some extract in the little bottle that the two pods came in, and it is sitting in my spice cabinet. I have no idea when I will use them, so hopefully this works also. I wish I had known about storing them in vodka. Has anyone else tried the vanilla extract?

          1. re: scubadoo97

            2nd the dry storage, have brought it home from various places, but yes dry and cool. and don't allow to sit as a novelty - they need to be used eventually. what's the point of hoarding something that may lose its initial attraction?]

            I fear extract or vodka might detract from the flavor.

            1. re: hill food

              Yeah, extract & vodka will take up the flavor of the pods, but in vodka, you will have a never ending supply of vanilla extract. When you use the vodka mix extract , just replace with more vodka and it can go on for quite awhile. But i agree, dry storage is the best and I keep it in the front of cabinet, so I know that it is there and roaming around the cabinet and me not having to tear cabinet apart to find it when i need it.

              1. re: thecountryrose

                "not having to tear cabinet apart to find it"

                that rings a bell...

                1. re: hill food

                  I practially have to tear it apart every day when I am cooing or baking, and I have tall cabinets that hold tons of stuff and just the bottom shelf is dedicated to spices and still cant find anything. ONce I cleaned it out and fould 4 different jars of basil and then the one on my counter by the stove that i use everyday.

          2. DO NOT store vanilla pods in water

            I store my pods in double wrapped zip bags in a cool dark place. You can put them in sugar but that will eventually leach the flavor out of them,even if uncut.

            I have tried to make my own vanilla extract in either vodka or white rum, but it never has the same intensity of flavor as my favorite 2x Penzeys.

            .

            2 Replies
            1. re: Kelli2006

              I think it was this month's Cooks Illustrated (lots of senior moments going on today) that said the best method for storage was tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then into a Zip Lock baggie and kept in the fridge or the freezer. I'll try that next.

              1. re: Canthespam

                Everything I've read and the supplier that sold me my pound of beans said do not refrigerate or freeze. Air tight in a dark cool cupboard is what they recommend

            2. I sprinkle them with a tiny bit of water and seal tightly. I have even rescued some that dried out by this manner and they plumped up again very nicely