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How To Extract Seeds Out Of Vanilla Pod

Samina.Tapia's picture


I would like to share with you some tips on How To Extract Seeds out of Vanilla Pod as it can be a tricky task and requires expertise, to extract the best out of the “orchid of flavor”



Here are some Tips to extract seeds out of vanilla pod;


  • Use a portion of the bean at a time if you do not want to waste the whole bean

  • Lay it flat on a cutting board.

  • Use a sharp short knife to cut open the bean. Long bladed knife will bend while extracting seeds out of vanilla pod and you will end up loosing all the good vanilla caviar.

  • Pressing it down flat and holding one end of the bean to the surface, use the point of the knife, starting at the point just below the stalk, carefully slice the bean open lengthwise.

  • Make a long incision, along the rib of the bean and all the way to the end of the pod.

  • When you separate the bean into half, you will see the many tiny seeds of the vanilla pod which actually proves that it is a seedpod more than a bean.

  • Use the blunt side of the knife on a half holding the pod firmly with your finger, and scrape the bean all the way till the end, to extract a nice heap of vanilla seeds.

  • Use the slit empty pod by placing it in Vodka to make your own vanilla extract or immerse it in any liquid like wine.

  • Or throw the pod into a jar of sugar to get your own homemade vanilla sugar which you can use in coffee, tea or anything that you wish have a beautiful vanilla flavor and fragrance.



Don’t try to extract seeds out of a vanilla pod which are dry, without re-hydrating them. It is better to use them by grind the dry vanilla bean and use in desserts that require ground vanilla.


The Vanilla beans or pods could be Bourbon, Mexican or Tahitian and are graded into Fine (black, 8-12 inches and very fragrant due to the vanillin frost) Woody (dry, no vanillin on surface, 5-8 inches) or Vanillon ( 4-5inches, partly open pods, brown in colour and slight bitter smell)


Good Quality Vanilla beans, regardless from where and which type, should have full aroma, be oily on the exterior, plump shape, glossy texture and a sleek pod. If it bends easily and gets a bit bruised by application of pressure, it means it’s a fresh pod.You should not waste your money on beans that are not very fragrant and scented, are smoky scented and dull and dry.


Many food and beverage recipes ask you to scrape or extract the seeds of vanilla pod and discard the rest. Do not make that mistake. The entire pod is filled with flavor and actually it is the pod that has more flavor than the seeds.You can store the pod for many months is a cool dry airtight container or immerse the bean in a liquid and dry it before extracting the seeds of the vanilla pod. 


Image Courtesy - steamykitchen.com

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