The biggest mistake people make when it comes to storing vanilla is that they keep it in the fridge.
One of the most common questions we get is: “How do I keep vanilla beans?” and “How long can I keep it for?”
In this post, we’ll cover it all.
But first, What’s Wrong With Keeping Vanilla Beans In The Fridge?
A vanilla bean is a real sponge, very sensitive to the external environment, air, humidity, sunlight, odours… Storing vanilla in the fridge would dry out the beans, plus it would absorb the various odours and therefore reduce the vanilla aroma. You want your vanilla pods to stay moist and supple. If the beans dry out, they would lose their aroma. So don’t do that!
Avoid plastic tubes and cork screw lids. Although they look pretty, cork may cause moulding over time. And plastic tubes are not efficiently protecting the beans from outside odours.
So How To Store Vanilla Beans?
Instead, it is best to store them in a sealed glass tube or jar. If you have many pods, you may tie them together with a raphia string to keep them moist.
Ideally, vanilla pods are best kept in a dry place, away from direct sunlight, and in an airtight container at 15 to 20 degrees Celsius.
The most important is to keep them away from the open air for too long to prevent them from drying out. That being said, it is good practice to air them out for an hour or two once a month if you keep them for a long time. Vanilla is a living spice. Its aroma actually develops over time.
If you have a few vanilla pods, you may want to wrap them in baking paper after tying them together in the sealed jar and in the pantry cabinet for best conservation.
If you keep vanilla as above, the beans will stay moist and fragrant for up to 2 years without any issue. Note that vanilla is a spice and doesn’t actually expire but if it is not properly stored it will lose a bit of aroma over time but it will still be usable. That means you may need to use 2 vanilla pods or more to get the fragrance of 1 properly stored vanilla pod.
Bonus tip: If you have a vacuum sealing machine, you can even keep it for years, the beans will stay moist.
Safe to say, you’ll finish them way before that…
Now enjoy! 😊