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Storing vanilla pods

grandgourmand Mar 7, 2008 11:26 AM

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. OCEllen RE: grandgourmand Mar 7, 2008 11:31 AM

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

    1. MeffaBabe RE: grandgourmand Mar 7, 2008 12:12 PM

      I store mine both used and new in my sugar canister

      1. scubadoo97 RE: grandgourmand Mar 8, 2008 06:28 PM

        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
          Canthespam RE: scubadoo97 Mar 25, 2008 10:28 PM

          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
            hill food RE: scubadoo97 Mar 25, 2008 10:52 PM

            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
              thecountryrose RE: hill food Mar 27, 2008 06:25 AM

              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
                hill food RE: thecountryrose Mar 27, 2008 11:55 AM

                "not having to tear cabinet apart to find it"

                that rings a bell...

                1. re: hill food
                  thecountryrose RE: hill food Mar 27, 2008 05:43 PM

                  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. k
            Kelli2006 RE: grandgourmand Mar 27, 2008 12:10 PM

            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
              Canthespam RE: Kelli2006 Apr 8, 2008 12:11 PM

              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
                scubadoo97 RE: Canthespam Apr 8, 2008 01:30 PM

                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. Candy RE: grandgourmand Apr 8, 2008 02:28 PM

              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

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