Vanilla isn’t as boring as people make it out to be. Vanilla beans can be used to give your desserts and drinks that sweet, distinctive flavor.
There is one bad thing about vanilla beans – and it’s not that they’re boring. It’s that they’re usually pretty expensive. Therefore, if you’ve bought a bunch of packs of vanilla beans, you’re probably wondering:
Can vanilla beans go bad? I don’t want to waste them!
Here’s the short answer: Vanilla beans last for quite a while – around two years. To keep your vanilla beans at their best, air them every couple of weeks so they don’t dry out.
You can tell if vanilla beans have gone bad by looking at the labels
You are ready to hear the terrible news?
Vanilla beans definitely do go mad. This usually happens because they’ve gone moldy in humid conditions.
You should throw out any moldy vanilla beans.
There may be frosty crystals visible on the outside of vanilla beans. These crystals are completely safe to eat – they are vanillin that has emerged from the inside of the bean while drying. Don’t confuse these with mold.
Although moisture creates mold, that’s the real enemy here, and you also need to ensure your vanilla beans haven’t dried out. Dry vanilla beans aren’t dangerous or bad for you, but they will have lost their aroma and flavorYou should dispose of them for their quality.
Consider using a vanilla-scented bean if your beans are just starting to dry out. Rehydrate them. You can simply soak the vanilla beans in water or milk for 2 to 3 hours. This will restore their flavor, texture and aroma.
Vanilla extract is a great way to preserve vanilla beans and prevent them from going bad. We’ll get to that later!
How To Store Vanilla Beans
Your vanilla beans should be wrapped in wax paper or plastic wrap, and then placed in an airtight container. It will seal the vanilla beans against bacteria from the outside.
Airing beans is also beneficial. Keep your beans unwrapped every couple of weeks and let them sit on the counter for about 15 minutes. This should allow air to circulate.
Therefore, even with unopened vanilla beans that you’re not planning to use for a while, you should open them after about five months to let them air.
The container should be kept in an airtight container A cool, dark, and dry locationPlace it in a cool, dry place away from heat sources.
Unfortunately, The refrigerator isn’t the best option. You will see your vanilla beans mold faster.
Vanilla Beans’ Shelf-Life
There are many variables that affect how long vanilla beans will last, such as production, storage, after they have been bought, and storage. Therefore, it’s hard to say exactly how long your vanilla beans last.
Just being yourself is your best choice. To verify the best-by date, please refer to the label. That’s likely to be around You can still enjoy your beans for two years after you purchase them. Your vanilla beans will likely be okay for a good six months after that, provided you’ve kept them in reasonable conditions.
If you haven’t found the right way to store vanilla beans, scroll up.
After six months beyond the best-by date, your vanilla beans won’t smell or taste as good, and you’re at an increased risk of seeing dryness or mold.
As always, if you’re unsure about the quality of your beans, check them against the signs we detailed above on how to tell if your vanilla beans have gone off.
There’s one bit of good news: Opening your vanilla beans won’t make them degrade faster (in fact, it often helps for airing purposes). The storage time for vanilla beans that have been opened and unopened is the same!
Vanilla Extract: Saving Vanilla Beans
Have a lot of vanilla beans that are past their best by dates?
To preserve your beans’ life, make vanilla extract.
- Cut the vanilla beans in half down the middle so that the seeds can be seen. You don’t need to break the bean apart completely.
- Place six vanilla beans into a jar or bottle. If your vanilla beans don’t fit, cut them into smaller pieces.
- You can pour 1 cup vodka on top of your beans. Add a bit extra if you need to – your vanilla beans will go slimy unless they’re fully submerged.
- Give the container a shake and seal it.
Keep the container at room temperature, and shake it once a week. If you’re in a hurry, use the vanilla as early as eight weeks. You can give the vanilla a year to fully develop.
Your homemade vanilla extract will last at most two more years.
- To preserve the highest quality vanilla beans, they should be kept in cool, dark places away from heat.
- Vanilla beans should be air-conditioned every couple of weeks.
- Vanilla beans have a shelf life of approximately two years depending upon how well they are stored.
- Frosty crystals can form on vanilla beans, but they are not safe to consume and should not be mistaken for mold.
- These can slowly lose their effectiveness and you may need to get rid of them.
Now that you know how to safely store vanilla beans, you can start making some amazing recipes.