Best Vanilla Extract For A Best Kitchen

Well, this article will show you how to choose and purchase the best vanilla extract America’s test kitchen. Hope it will help you perfectly. So let’s go!

Certainly, spices are important to enhance the flavor of food. And there’s no better spice for sweet dishes than best vanilla extract for baking soda. So, if you’re a fan of baking powder, a jar of the best pure vanilla extract can’t be missing in your kitchen.

If you want to take things to the next level, you should opt for the best vanilla beans for extract. In this article, you’ll find a top 7 list with the best ones. You’ll also learn to differentiate America’s test kitchen vanilla extract from a cheap vanilla essence as like cheap unsalted butter, or peanut butter.

Best Vanilla Extract America's Test Kitchen

Common Benefits of Vanilla Extracts

Certainly, all your foods taste better when you add homemade vanilla extract. Without a doubt, best vanilla extract cooks illustrated has many benefits for you. Here’s a list of some of them.


Vanilla extract is certainly a versatile ingredient, because:

  • It blends well with all kinds of dessert.
  • It intensifies the flavor of red meat.
  • You can use it to dress salads.
  • You can add them to your favorite drinks.
  • It brings a totally different flavor when mixed with different ingredients.


Above all, vanilla extract is a safe product, because:

  • It’s Kosher.
  • It doesn’t contain artificial vanilla substances.
  • Gluten-free.
  • Made with natural ingredients.
  • It doesn’t cause adverse reactions in the organism.

Top 7 Best Vanilla Extract Americas Test Kitchen Reviews

If you’re looking for the cook’s illustrated best vanilla extract America’s test kitchen, you’re in the right place. Here’s a top 7 list with the top selling vanilla extracts on the current market.

1. Watkins All Natural Original Gourmet Baking – Best Vanilla Extract

Certainly, Watkins Gourmet Baking Vanilla will add a special touch to your cakes and cookies (For example homemade dough recipe). Also, it’s made with natural vanilla extract. Its flavor is much more concentrated in contrast to other similar products. In addition, it’s gluten free.


  • Kosher product.
  • Made with natural extract.
  • No added colors or flavors.


  • Not 100% natural.

Certainly, Watkins Gourmet is the best vanilla extract brand. Its flavor is very intense and pleasant. So, you don’t need to add too much to enjoy the vanilla flavor in your food. However, it isn’t 100% natural. It also contains chemical preservatives.

2. McCormick All Natural Pure Vanilla Extract (16 fl oz)

If you’re looking for the best vanilla beans for making extract, this is what you need. Also, it’s obtained from the ground vanilla seed. Its intense flavor is ideal for sweet and savory dishes. You can also use it in sauces, creams, marinades, and vinaigrettes.


  • Obtained from vanilla seeds.
  • No added colors and flavors.
  • Intense flavor.


  • Diluted with water.

Certainly, McCormick brand is synonymous with quality. And this vanilla extract is no exception. Its flavor is intense but not too invasive. Also, you can use it in desserts, salads, and meats. However, the product is diluted with water, which is very disappointing.

3. Simply Organic Pure – Certified Organic Vanilla Extract

Certainly, this product is 100% organic. So, it doesn’t contain artificial substances to improve its taste. In addition, it’s obtained from real vanilla beans from Madagascar. Also, it has a thick and smooth texture. Ideal for sweet and savory dishes.


  • 100% Organic.
  • Thick texture.
  • Made with Madagascar vanilla beans.


  • Very weak flavor.

If you’re looking for America’s test kitchen best vanilla extract, there’s nothing better than this product. Also, you can notice the little vanilla seeds floating on the syrup. However, its flavor isn’t as concentrated. So, you have to add more extract to notice the taste.

4. McCormick All Natural Pure – Cheap Vanilla Extract – 4 fl oz

Certainly, this product is perfect for desserts. It also has a slight caramelized flavor that blends well with cakes and cookies. In addition, it’s gluten-free. Made with authentic vanilla beans from Madagascar.


  • Strong caramelized flavor.
  • Thick texture.
  • No added colorants and flavors.


  • Too diluted product.

Certainly, McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract will add a special touch to your desserts. Although its flavor combines better with sweet dishes, you can also add it to savory preparations. It also intensifies the flavor of beef. So, it’s the perfect complement for your marinades.

5. Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon – Best Pure Vanilla Extract

Certainly, the flavor of this product is much more intense. In addition, it’s a combination of vanilla powder, imitation vanilla bean paste, and extract. Made with top quality products from Madagascar. It’s also kosher and gluten-free.


  • Very intense flavor.
  • Whipped cream cheese texture.


  • Diluted with water.

Certainly, Nielsen-Massey is one of the best vanilla extract cooks illustrated. Certainly, the high quality of the product is unquestionable. However, they’ve watered down the formula. So, the flavor isn’t as intense as in past years.

6. Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract

Made with pure vanilla extract from Madagascar. Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract also has a Bourbon flavor that blends well with sweet preparations. Its flavor is intense, so a few drops are enough. It’s also Kosher and gluten-free.


  • Kosher product.
  • Thick texture.
  • No added flavors and colors.


  • Slight bittersweet chocolate taste.

Certainly, natural extracts made by Watkins are among the best on the market. And this one is no exception. However, this product has a slightly bitter taste that intensifies over time. So, adding too much isn’t recommended.

7. Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract – Best Madagascar Vanilla Beans

Certainly, Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract is all about tradition. The preparation method is the same as 140 years ago. It also has a peculiar Bourbon flavor that you won’t find on any other product. In addition, this product is Kosher and gluten-free.


  • Made with Madagascar vanilla beans.
  • Pleasant Bourbon flavor.
  • Kosher product.


  • Too diluted product.

Certainly, Watkins Pure Vanilla Extract is a product that you must try. It’s also made with top quality ingredients to ensure the best flavor. No added colorants and flavors. Watkins Extract is certainly the authentic vanilla flavor that you’re looking for.

Buying Guide – Vanilla Extracts

Certainly, vanilla extract is one of the most commonly used ingredients in pastry. However, the pleasant flavor of vanilla also blends well with savory preparations. For example, it intensifies the flavor of red meat.

You can also use it in vinaigrettes to add a fruity touch to your salads. You can even add it to juices and milkshakes, to take things to the next level. Without a doubt, everything tastes better with an extra dose of vanilla.

However, not all the extracts you find on the market are made with authentic vanilla. Some contain artificial colors and flavors. These products usually have a weaker flavor than authentic vanilla extracts.

So, if you want to get the best results, always opt for 100% natural products. Here you’ll learn to choose the best extract to prepare the best vanilla cake recipe from scratch.


Usually, the color gives you a clear idea of the quality of the product. Usually, the purest vanilla extract has an intense black color. Also, the light can’t easily pass through a bottle filled with the authentic extract. So, before buying, check out how intense the color of the product is.

For example, if light easily passes through the bottle, the product is obviously diluted. Artificial products usually have a caramel color, very different from the deep black from the authentic extract.

Also, in authentic extracts, you can see some vanilla seed floating in the syrup. On the other hand, you don’t see any vanilla seeds evidence on artificial products.

Also, check out the label of the product. If it says vanilla essence, it’s fake. Also, verify that the product contains authentic vanilla seeds.


Also, check the consistency of the product. Usually, when the product is too dilute, it has a lower density. This means that its weight is less in a certain volume. Also, you can compare the quality of two different products by comparing their densities.

For example, take two bottles of the same volume and check the weight of both products. Usually, the heaviest is thicker and more concentrated. But you must be careful. Some products contain corn syrup, which increases the weight and provides a thick consistency.

Alcohol Content

Vanilla extracts usually contain alcohol. Some formulas use rum and others Bourbon. These alternatives are the best of all because they provide a pleasant caramelized flavor. On the other hand, low quality products use distilled alcohol, which doesn’t improve the taste of the formula.

You should also check the alcohol level. If it’s greater than 35%, the product is too dilute. So, you’ll need to add more to really notice the vanilla flavor (For example vanilla ice cream as vanilla flavoring) in your food. Authentic vanilla extracts don’t contain water. So, if you read “water” on the main ingredients of the product, that’s a bad signal.

Origin of Ingredients

The best vanilla beans in the world come from Mexico. Their flavor is quite subtle and blends well with sweet preparations. Mexican vanilla comes from an orchid. It takes 9 months to grow the plant. After that period, it dies and the pods are removed.

Then they’re sun dried and aged for 3 months. So, it takes at least 1 year to get a single vanilla pod. Therefore, vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world after saffron.

Madagascar vanilla has a flavor similar to Mexican vanilla. However, its price is much higher. While Mexican vanilla is pollinated by bees, Madagascar vanilla is hand-pollinated by growers.

On the other hand, Tahitian vanilla has a slightly different flavor, with hints of caramel and anise. Tahitian vanilla is a hybrid of two different species. Like Madagascar vanilla, it’s also hand pollinated.


Certainly, there are many different spice brands on the current market. Maybe, in each country, there are hundreds of local companies dedicated to the distribution of spices. So, you certainly have many options to choose from.

However, when it comes to vanilla extract, it isn’t wise to trust any brand. There are many fake products on the market sold as authentic extracts. So, if you don’t want to take risks, it’s better to choose international brands.

Usually, these brands have been operating in the world for more than a century. That’s a sign that their products have always maintained a top quality standard. On the top 7 of this buying guide, you’ll find some of these well known brands.

If you choose any of those options, your satisfaction is a guarantee. You can be sure you’re making a wise money investment.


If you have doubts about the quality of a certain product, Internet is the answer. There, you can find many reviews about different vanilla extracts. Even, on some cooking websites, you can find reviews of professional chefs on certain products.

Also, you can find reviews on many shopping websites. Usually, users can rate product quality using a star-based system. If you don’t want to take risks, always go for the best-selling products. In addition, the rating must not be less than 4 stars.

If you’re going to buy online, also check the seller’s reputation. So, if former buyers complain too much about the product or the seller, it’s better to consider other options. If you need more information, you can also contact former buyers in an open forum or via chat.


Finally, when you find the product you really need, it’s your turn to compare prices. On the Internet, you can find hundreds of different prices for the same product. Just make sure not to choose the most expensive or cheapest option.

Usually, the best vanilla extracts are expensive. Just 1 oz could cost more than $20. So, if you’re looking for the best of the best, you have to be willing to pay the necessary money. If you find something much cheaper, it’s probably an artificial essence, not an extract.

Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Extract FAQ’s

Certainly, learning everything about vanilla extracts on the same day isn’t easy. If you still have questions on this topic, don’t worry. Below you’ll find the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Q1. What is the difference between vanilla extract and vanilla essence?

Answer: Vanilla extract is made with authentic Mexican vanilla bean. During the manufacturing process, pure vanilla is mixed with alcohol to obtain a thick syrup. On the other hand, essences are made with chemical substances.

Q2. Where does vanilla come from?

Answer: Vanilla is native to Mexico. It comes from an orchid that takes 9 months to grow. When the orchid dies, its pods are removed and dried in the sun. Then, they’re aged for 3 months.

Q3. What is the best vanilla extract?

Answer: It all depends on people’s personal tastes. However, Mexican vanilla extract is considered the best in the world. It has a subtle flavor that blends well with sweet and savory preparations. In addition, the cultivation process of vanilla is 100% organic.

Final Verdict

Certainly, finding the best vanilla extract isn’t an easy task. Before buying, you should consider the color, consistency, and origin of the ingredients. If you don’t want to make mistakes, choose any of the top 7 lists of this buying guide.

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