Vinegar is one of the oldest flavoring ingredients known to humanity, dating back thousands of years. Even today, it’s a must-have ingredient in some of our delicious recipes, and it’s also known for its medicinal benefits.
Vinegar is popular in making sauces, pickles, salad dressings, marinades, and even some baked foods.
Among all the vinegars, white vinegar is the most commonly seen in every kitchen. This strong vinegar contains about 5 to 7 percent acetic acid.
This versatile vinegar provides a treasure trove of uses, such as gardening, cleaning, and cooking. It even has medicinal applications.
It’s enough that you have some basic knowledge of vinegar to find a substitute that fits your recipe.
Best White Vinegar Substitutes
Undoubtedly, white vinegar is the most affordable and easily available type of vinegar on the market.
The clear color and neutral flavor profile make white vinegar highly versatile. In a pinch, you can use it in place of any other type of vinegar.
Now the question arises: what can you use as a replacement ingredient in a recipe that calls for white vinegar? Here are some of the great substitutes for white vinegar:
White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar is made from wine and is a popular ingredient in several Spanish recipes. It tastes like white wine.
It has a complex flavor profile but is less acidic than distilled white vinegar. Similarly, it’s less tangy than white vinegar as it is highly diluted.
When in a pinch, you can easily use white wine vinegar as a suitable alternative to white vinegar. Of course, the white vinegar has a mild fruitiness like grapes, but that won’t make much difference to most of your recipes.
The light colors of both of these vinegars are identical. You can confidently use white wine vinegar without fear of discoloring your light-colored dishes.
White wine vinegar works well in sauces, marinades, and salad dressings.
While substituting, use one tablespoon of white wine vinegar for one teaspoon of regular vinegar. Also, read about the best white wine vinegar substitutes in another article here.
Champagne vinegar is a mild, floral type typically made from Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes. It comes in an apricot orange or pale gold color and is consistent with water.
This super-bright vinegar has a sharp tang but a light flavor. Since it has a mild flavor, use it in unheated applications such as making vinaigrettes or finishing hot sauces.
Though light in flavor, it adds enough acidity to dishes like white vinegar. Use it in greater quantity for a stronger acidity flavor, like white vinegar.
Certainly, it’s a good substitute for white vinegar, especially for pickling, making mayonnaise, hot sauces, and vinaigrettes.
Distilled Malt Vinegar
Malt vinegar is produced from malted cereal grains like barley. There are a few different types of malt vinegar, including distilled, light, and dark malt vinegar.
Distilled malt vinegar, also called spirit vinegar, is colorless, mildly aromatic, and very sharp in flavor. Like regular vinegar, distilled malt vinegar is suitable for light-colored dishes and pickles that need to retain the colors of the core ingredients.
Most varieties of malt vinegar have a strong flavor and acidity that match those of common white vinegar.
Both distilled and light malt vinegar can very well substitute for distilled white vinegar.
If you need a white vinegar substitute, use lemon juice.
Many people prefer the taste of lime or lemon juice over vinegar, for it has a milder flavor and is nutritionally rich.
Lemon juice works well in baked goods or salad dressings.
Use a one-to-one ratio of lemon juice in place of white vinegar. To your advantage, lemons are easily available, which makes the swap a breeze. Swap one tablespoon of lemon or lime juice for the same amount of distilled white vinegar.
Rice wine vinegar is traditionally used as a condiment for sushi rice and light marinades.
White vinegar is more acidic and has a sharper, sour flavor than rice vinegar. The latter is sweeter and has a mellow acidity.
Although less acidic, rice wine vinegar can still be an effective substitute for distilled white vinegar. Some people love rice vinegar’s sweet and mild flavor because they don’t prefer the harsh taste of white vinegar.
Importantly, unseasoned rice vinegar is better than seasoned rice vinegar instead of white vinegar.
Since the rice vinegar is mild in flavor, you may need to use it in a little more quantity than the white vinegar when substituting.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar?
The acidity level varies between different types of vinegar. Apple cider has a slightly sweeter and fruitier flavor than white vinegar. You can use it instead of white vinegar in most recipes, but it may subtly alter the taste of your dish. For every one tablespoon of distilled vinegar, use one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Can I use sherry vinegar to replace white vinegar?
Sherry vinegar has a slightly sweet and nutty flavor, adding depth and complexity to your dish. Sherry vinegar is not a perfect alternative to white vinegar, as they differ in flavor. They can be used interchangeably in a 1:1 ratio in some recipes, like salad dressings and marinades.
Can you substitute rice vinegar for white vinegar?
Rice vinegar Chinese black vinegar can be used instead of white vinegar in recipes. However, rice vinegar, commonly used in Asian cuisines, is milder and less acidic in taste. When substituting, add more rice vinegar to the recipe, or you may need to add some sugar to balance out the sweetness.
Can you substitute red wine vinegar for white wine vinegar?
White vinegar and red wine vinegar cannot be used interchangeably. Their different flavors, color, and acidity levels will affect the taste of the dish. However, you may use some recipes, like salad, interchangeably.
Can I substitute balsamic vinegar for white vinegar?
Balsamic vinegar has a much richer, sweeter flavor than white vinegar. When substituting, use less balsamic vinegar than the latter in your recipe. If a recipe calls for 1 tablespoon of white vinegar, use 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar. Or add a little sugar to your balsamic vinegar to offset the tartness.
White vinegar is commonly used in cooking and household cleaning. This vinegar adds flavor to sauces, salads, and pickled vegetables. Vinegar consumption in small quantities has blood sugar control, weight management, reduced cholesterol, and antimicrobial effects.
When you run out of white vinegar, use substitutes that match its flavor and color. I would recommend you use either cider vinegar or malt vinegar in place of white vinegar. Overall, you can use any vinegar made from herbs, fruits, and even honey as a suitable substitute.
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