What’s A Good Substitute For Malt Vinegar? – 4 Super Options

substitute for malt vinegar

Vinegars are an important ingredient for flavoring and seasoning some of your favorite dishes. The tangy flavor and acid content in vinegar make it a fantastic ingredient in a marinade for poultry, meat, fish, or vegetables. In addition, vinegar can also tenderize tough cuts of meat.

Usually, malt vinegar is used as a condiment that is drizzled over fish dishes and chips.

Do you know what to use instead of malt vinegar? This article is going to bring home to you some of the best substitutes for malt vinegar.

What is Malt Vinegar anyway?

Malt vinegar is made by brewing malted barley, a process similar to beer brewing. Its quality improves with years of seasoning.

This vinegar is strong and flavorful. As for me, I love to enjoy the rich and nuanced flavor it adds to the recipes. It works extremely well in fish dishes and dips for chips.

Malt vinegar has a light-brown color. This barley-based vinegar has a blend of toasty, lemony, pungent, and mildly sweet flavor.

Use it in your pickle for better flavor. Also, malt vinegar is suitable for seasoning salads and beans on toast. Works great for making marinades and chutneys.

Please note, too much of this vinegar may darken the light-colored vegetables and fruits. Its strong flavor can overpower some of your dishes.

What is a good substitute for malt vinegar?

Malted vinegar from brewed barley tastes mildly sweet and tangy. Its flavor is quite identical to a few of the other vinegars like wine and cider vinegars. Therefore, it is open to a wide vista for substitutes.

Malt vinegar becomes rather strong with years of aging. If you are substituting the strong variety then use the substitute in a bit more quantity in your recipe to match the potency of malt vinegar.

A replacement becomes necessary either when you are run out of malt vinegar or you have a sensitivity to barley. Here are some of the best malt vinegar substitutes that we propose in the order of importance.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Generally, you prefer to use apple cider vinegar when you want the sweet, light taste of apples. On the other hand, you use malt vinegar for its bold and bodied taste of malted barley. But both share a similar sweetness and tangy flavor.

You may use ACV as a replacement for malt vinegar in pickles, sauces, chutneys, marinades, and salad dressing.

Malt vinegar is much stronger than ACV. For this reason, use slightly more quantity of ACV when using it in place of malt vinegar.

Lastly, aged cider vinegar is a great alternative to malt vinegar for people with gluten sensitivity.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a natural and universal substitute for any type of vinegar. With a low pH level, it’s one of the most acidic natural ingredients that you shouldn’t miss out on.

Undoubtedly, you can use lemon juice as a substitute for malt vinegar with ease. The tart flavor of lemon is akin to that of malt vinegar though it lacks the sweetness of the latter. 

Instead of vinegar, lemon juice can be a staple condiment to fish and chips. Also, it’s suitable for sour marinades and pickles.

In desserts, lemon juice could be a key ingredient in the absence of vinegar. This gives a tart and citrusy flavor to your recipes.

For 1 tablespoon of malt vinegar use 1 tablespoon of lemon/lime juice instead.

Wine Vinegars

Typically, there are two types of wine vinegar; white and red wine vinegars. Both of them are equally fitting as a stand-in ingredient in place of malt vinegar.

All the more, wine vinegar is gluten-free and safe for gluten-sensitive individuals, unlike the malt vinegar.

Depending on the color and flavor of your dish, you can use either red or white wine vinegar.

Most brands of malt vinegar you get to buy are seasoned for years and thus strong and flavorful. Therefore, choose seasoned and mature wine vinegar to replace the malt vinegar.

Wine vinegar is superior to malt vinegar from the point of its health benefits and digestibility.

When substituting, use 1 tablespoon of wine vinegar in place of 1 tablespoon of malt vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar + Olive Oil

Balsamic vinegar is an awesome replacement option for malt vinegar.

This is a very dark, concentrated, and strongly flavored vinegar originating in Italy. It’s made from fresh grape-must with all the seeds, skins, and stems. That is the reason for its dark color and a tart flavor.

Balsamic vinegar becomes a perfect substitute when one-third of olive oil is mixed in it. Also, you can make the amazing vinaigrette by adding some of your choicest spices into this mixture.

Always use well seasoned and aged balsamic vinegar to make your dishes stunningly flavorful.

Use it instead of malt vinegar to make a dipping sauce or in marinades. Preferably, try it in fish recipes, chips and dipping sauce for French fries.

The Bottom Line

Lastly, when you run out of malt vinegar, use any of the alternatives we have already discussed.

Importantly, using a substitute ingredient will bring about a noticeable change in the original flavor of your recipe. Thus choose the alternatives according to the demands of your recipe.

As for my personal opinion, the best mat vinegar substitute is apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar.

READ NEXT: Making Your Own Balsamic Vinegar Substitute At Home