Question: How Do I Store Vanilla Beans?

September 13, 2010
I want to buy vanilla beans to use instead of vanilla extract, but I am not sure how to store them. Also how long can I safely store them for before they get stale?


Marie's picture

Store in a cool, dry area in an airtight container; do not refrigerate. I'd recommend wrapping in waxed paper and placing in a glass jar in a cool area. If it is in a humid area, the beans will sweat and mildew. Don't worry if crystals form on the beans since that means they are high in vanillin.

I also like to store vanilla beans in a jar of confectioners' sugar and a jar of granulated sugar. The sugars pick up the vanilla and it is a delicious addition when used in coffee, French toast, sprinkled on cookies, pastry before cooking, cereal, etc.

Vanilla beans can last a very long time. Even when they are dried and shriveled looking, they can often be re-hydrated and used.

Curt's picture

Most often they come in a jar or glass tube which is a great storage vessel. Put the left over bean pod, after you have scraped the usable pulp off for your use, into a jar of sugar.

Michelle Walker's picture

I store my in the pantry in a glass jar. I use the airtight clamp canisters.

devi108's picture

Put them in a ziplock bag,then store in an air tight container,and avoid exposing them to light.My friend is growing these so i'm getting fresh vanilla beans and that is what he told me.

Mil Apostol's picture

Yeah, I keep mine in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

Laurette's picture

I like to keep my vanilla beans in a jar of pure vanilla extract. That way they are nice and supple and it's so easy to scrape the pods out, and afterwards you have super extract to use as flavoring.