Vanilla extract is an essential ingredient for many western desserts and brownies, cake, as well as ice creams and puddings. Vanilla extract contains hundred additional flavors, which are responsible for its deep flavor. It is the master behind all your desserts tasting delicious.
Vanilla extract is less processed and has a stronger pure vanilla flavor, where vanilla essence has an artificial vanilla flavor and is more processed. No, talking about pure vanilla extract doesn’t go bad as it has an indefinite shelf life. Now towards imitation vanilla extract, it stays fine for years, but its quality will degrade if not stored properly.
How to store vanilla extract?
Vanilla extract’s shelf life is indefinite. Vanilla extract is a great part of many baking projects. We apply the same strategy of keeping on both pure vanilla extract and imitation vanilla extract when it comes to storing vanilla extract.
Keep Away from sources of heat
Keep the vanilla extract away from heat. Light can affect your vanilla extract, so it’s better to store it in the cool, dark place where there lies no heat and light. We know the cabinets in our kitchen and pantry, away from the oven, are best for vanilla extract storing purposes.
Keep in glass jars or bottles
You bought vanilla extract from a store, and now you see that it is in a plastic bottle. Feel easy to shift it into glass jars or bottles because it offers long shelf life and better vanilla extract health. As we know, all liquids must be tightly sealed. Be sure the vanilla extract bottle is closed tightly when not in use.
Do not refrigerate
Are you thinking of storing your vanilla extract in the refrigerator? Never do it. It is a bad idea to implement when it comes to vanilla extract. Low temperatures damage the vanilla extract. It is not necessary even to try to refrigerate it after opening. We bet it stays good for more than five years and is best to be consumed in five years for better aroma and flavor.
Can you freeze vanilla extract?
Again, we will say that your vanilla extract doesn’t need to be refrigerated or frozen to be good for much time. Low-temperature damages vanilla extracts, so freezing it won’t be fine. Vanilla extract has alcohol that does not freeze.
Vanilla extract contains vanilla beans that can promote a type of mold specific to vanilla on freezing, dry out, and refrigeration. Cool to moderate temperature is good for vanilla extract. Freezing vanilla extract will make it cloudy. Do not freeze it even after opening the bottle. It won’t turn bad if it stays in your cabinet.
How long does vanilla extract last?
Pure vanilla extract doesn’t go bad. It has an indefinite shelf life so that you can relax. This extract is alcohol-based, and alcohol tends to evaporate gradually, so the bottle you bought a year ago or five years ago should be fine till now.
On the other side, Imitation vanilla extract has less flavor doesn’t stay that well. By Providing proper storage, imitation vanilla extract should not go bad, but we can’t say about its quality as it may change. See the best by date on imitation vanilla extract, which tells about how long it would last great along with aroma and taste.
It is possible that it passes the best by date by a year and still good? Yes, it’s possible. The longer you store it, the more risk to its taste. Pure vanilla extract opened or unopened bottle stays fine indefinitely in pantry whereas imitation vanilla extract opened or unopened bottle is best by six to twelve months.
How to tell if the vanilla extract is bad?
As mentioned earlier in this article, it doesn’t go bad when you keep it sealed tightly. It’s best to use it within five years, but it stays good after that period too. It’s unlikely to occur for a vanilla extract to turn bad. However, following are the ways to check if vanilla extract has gone bad.
- If you notice something wrong with it, like the odor it gives, is off, then you should toss it. Bad smell is also the sign which indicates that vanilla extract has turned bad.
- Mold formation inside the jar’s lid is the indication for a vanilla extract that turns bad. It happens rarely, but it’s good to have a check on it.
- In the case of imitation vanilla extract, the quality risk is always there. Changed taste after storing for long means it is not good and better to be discarded. It is still good to have a check on your extract before use.
There are very few chances of pure vanilla extract to show symptoms, as mentioned above in an article, but still, if it does, then throw it out and buy a new bottle from the store.