Best Substitutes For Malt Vinegar: 4 Flavorful Options

Vinegar is essential for flavoring and seasoning some of your favorite dishes. The tangy flavor and acid content of 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 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?

Malted barley undergoes a similar fermentation and brewing process to make malt vinegar. By brewing, acetic acid is made from bacteria that form in the fermented barley.

The quality of this vinegar improves with years of seasoning.

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

Malt vinegar has a light-brown color. This barley-based vinegar blends toasty, lemony, pungent, and mildly sweet flavors.

Use it in your pickles for better flavor. Also, malt vinegar is suitable for many recipes, especially seasoning salads and beans on toast. It works great for making marinades and chutneys.

Too much of this vinegar may darken light-colored vegetables and fruits. Its strong flavor can overpower some of your dishes.

Related article: Types Of Vinegar

Best Malt Vinegar Substitutes

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

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

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

Apple Cider Vinegar

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

You may replace ACV with malt vinegar in pickles, sauces, chutneys, marinades, and salad dressing.

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

Lastly, aged cider vinegar is an excellent alternative to malt vinegar for people with gluten sensitivity.

Lemon Juice

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

You can easily use lemon juice as a substitute for malt vinegar. The tart flavor of lemon resembles malt vinegar, though it lacks the latter’s sweetness.

Instead of vinegar, lemon juice can be a staple condiment for 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.

Use one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice instead of one tablespoon of malt vinegar.

White Or Red Wine Vinegar

Typically, there are two types of wine vinegar; white and red. They are equally fitting as stand-in ingredients in place of malt vinegar.

Moreover,  white or red wine vinegar is gluten-free and safe for gluten-sensitive individuals, unlike 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 buy have been seasoned for years and are thus robust 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 view of its health benefits and digestibility.

When substituting, use one tablespoon of wine vinegar instead of 1 tablespoon of malt vinegar.

Balsamic vinegar plus Olive Oil

Balsamic vinegar is a fantastic replacement 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 tart flavor.

Balsamic vinegar becomes a perfect substitute when one-third of olive oil is mixed into it. Also, you can make this fantastic vinaigrette by adding some of your favorite spices to the 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 marinade. Preferably, try it in fish recipes, on chips, and as a dipping sauce for French fries.

Final Thought 

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.

The best malt vinegar substitute is apple cider vinegar or wine vinegar. Like malt vinegar, balsamic and sherry vinegars are good replacement options. Any spirit vinegar, or even cane vinegar, could work well in some recipes.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I replace malt vinegar with rice vinegar?

It is possible to replace malt vinegar with rice or Chinese black vinegar in a pinch. However, rice vinegar is made from fermented rice and has a mild acidity, so your dish may have a different flavor profile. While using rice vinegar in recipes that call for malt vinegar, use it in larger quantities; you may also need to add some sugar.

Can I use white vinegar as a replacement for malt vinegar?

White vinegar is an excellent alternative to malt vinegar. However, white vinegar is strong with higher acidity, so it can easily overpower other flavors in a dish. Use less white vinegar than you would malt vinegar. Add sugar or honey to the white vinegar to mellow the sour taste.

Can sherry vinegar be a good replacement for malt vinegar?

Yes, sherry vinegar can work well as a substitute for malt vinegar. It has a rich flavor and nutty overtones, giving food a similar taste. For cooking, using sherry vinegar in a one-to-one ratio is advised.

Can I use Worcestershire sauce in place of malt vinegar?

Malt vinegar is typically one of the ingredients in Worcestershire sauce, along with additional flavorings like anchovies and tamarind. As a result, it can offer a flavor profile comparable to recipes that call for malt vinegar. You may need to use more Worcestershire sauce to have the same flavor because it has a lower acidity than malt vinegar.

Read next: What to do if I don’t have vinegar?