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How Long Do Vanilla Beans Last? Do They Go Bad?

Confused about whether or not your vanilla beans will go bad?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! Vanilla is one of the most popular and favorite ingredients used in both baking and cooking.

It’s popularity has left many of us scratching our heads, wondering how long it can last before we have to throw it out – if ever.

While there are a few differences between types of vanilla beans, such as length, thickness and color variations- all share the same common question – will it spoil?

In this post we’ll explore these questions (and more!) so you’ll never have to second guess yourself when it comes time to use up those delicious little beans.

So let’s start off by taking a look at different varieties of vanilla beans…

What are Vanilla Beans?

Vanilla beans are the fruit of the vanilla orchid, a species of flowering vine native to Mexico.

The vanilla bean is actually a seedpod that contains thousands of tiny seeds.

These seeds are used to produce vanilla extract, which is used to flavor food and beverages.

Vanilla beans have a long history of use in both culinary and medicinal applications.

The Aztecs used vanilla beans as currency, and the Totonac people of Mexico used them in religious ceremonies.

Today, vanilla beans are widely used in baking, especially in desserts like ice cream, cakes and cookies.

Vanilla extract is also a popular flavoring for coffee and other beverages.

Medicinally, vanilla has been used to treat stomach upset and nausea.

It is also said to have calming and relaxing properties.

Some people even use vanilla bean oil for massages.

How to Store Vanilla Beans?

Vanilla beans should be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

The ideal storage temperature is between 55 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Whole vanilla beans can be stored for up to two years in these conditions.

If you need to store your vanilla beans for longer than two years, you can keep them in the freezer.

Just make sure to put them in a freezer-safe, airtight container first.

Frozen vanilla beans can last for up to five years.

When it comes to storing vanilla extract, the same rules apply.

Keep it in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

You can also store it in the fridge or freezer if you need to.

Vanilla extract will last for up to two years when stored properly.

How Long Do Vanilla Beans Last?

Vanilla beans are a versatile and delicious ingredient that can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike.

But how long do they last? And do they go bad?

Here’s what you need to know about storing vanilla beans.

First of all, they should be stored in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

This will help them retain their flavor and aroma.

You can also store them in the freezer if you want them to last even longer.

As for how long vanilla beans last, it depends on how they are stored.

If they are stored properly in a cool, dark place, they can last for up to two years.

However, if they are stored in the freezer, they can last for up to five years.

So, do vanilla beans go bad? Technically, no.

But if they are not stored properly, they can lose their flavor and aroma over time.

So make sure to store them in a cool, dark place in an airtight container if you want to enjoy them at their best.

How to Tell If Vanilla Beans are Bad?

There are a few ways to tell if vanilla beans are bad.

The first way is to smell the beans.

If they have a sour or fermented smell, then they are probably bad and should be thrown out.

Another way to tell if vanilla beans are bad is to look at them.

If the beans are discolored or have mold on them, they should also be thrown out.

Finally, you can try breaking the bean in half.

If it is hard to break or snaps instead of bending, it is probably bad.

Can You Freeze Vanilla Beans?

Vanilla beans are a versatile ingredient that can be used in sweet and savory dishes alike.

But what happens if you have leftover vanilla beans and need to store them for later use? Can you freeze vanilla beans?

The answer is yes, you can freeze vanilla beans.

This is a great way to extend the shelf life of your vanilla beans and make sure they are always fresh when you need them.

Simply place the vanilla beans in an airtight container or bag and pop them in the freezer.

When you’re ready to use them, thaw the beans at room temperature or in the fridge before using.

One thing to keep in mind is that freezing vanilla beans may cause them to become slightly brittle.

This isn’t a big deal if you’re planning on using them for extract or other purposes where they will be cooked, but it can affect the appearance of the beans if you’re using them for decoration.

If this is a concern, consider blanching the beans before freezing them.


Now that you know how to store your vanilla beans and how long they will last under different storage conditions, get creative with how you use them.

Try flavoring some homemade ice cream or making a batch of vanillas sugar scented cookies.

Add a couple of beans to some hot chocolate for an extra special treat on a cold winter’s day.

No matter how you choose to enjoy your vanilla beans, make sure to keep them stored properly so they will be fresh and flavorful when you need them.

How Long Do Vanilla Beans Last? Do They Go Bad?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Vanilla beans
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Store your product in an labelled container in a cool, dark place like the pantry or fridge.
  • If your food is frozen, allow it to thaw in the fridge before cooking.
  • Make sure to look for signs that your food has gone bad before eating it.
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