14 Substitutes for White Vinegar in Baking and Cooking

White vinegar is produced by combining acetic acid with water or from the natural fermentation of sugar cane extract. It differs from regular vinegar and is usually used for cleaning, cooking, and healthcare purposes. 

It also serves as a leavening agent in baked goods, tenderizing agent for meats, vegetables, and seafood. You can also add it to sauces, marinades, and salads as well as use it in canning to enhance the flavor of the ingredients. 

Today we’ll discuss some of the best substitutes for white vinegar in baking and cooking. You can use them whenever your recipe calls for white vinegar but you don’t have it. Just note that those substitutes won’t work in canning or pickling. 

The best alternatives to white vinegar are white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, champagne vinegar, malt vinegar, rice vinegar, white balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, fruit vinegar, herb vinegar, sherry vinegar, red balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, and white wine. 

Best White Vinegar Substitutes

1. White Wine Vinegar

Different types of vinegar take place in our pantries and one of the most popular ones used in baking and cooking is white wine vinegar. It is made of fermented white wine. If you have it at home, you can use it instead of white vinegar.

Compared to white vinegar, white wine vinegar has a fruitier flavor and milder flavor. You can use it in a  1:1 ratio to add a pinch of zest to salads, sauces, and marinades. In some cases, you may also use it for pickles. 

2. Apple Cider Vinegar 

Apple cider vinegar is another easy and affordable substitute to use in place of white vinegar. It’s made of fermented apple juice and tastes fruity, tart, and carries a kind of woody flavor. 

Apple cider vinegar has wider usage in culinary. It is used in salads, preservatives, marinades, and pickles and serves as a tenderizing agent for meats. You can add it to different drinks too and it will bring little acidity. 

3. Champagne Vinegar

Champagne vinegar is made of Chardonnay and pinot noir grapes the base of which is wine. It’s considered a type of white wine vinegar. Compared to many other types of vinegar, it has a milder and subtler taste and stands closer to white vinegar. However, you can’t use it in any recipe calling for white vinegar.

You can use champagne vinegar to marinate chicken, shrimp, or fish. It doesn’t pair well with red meat as it has a lighter flavor and reflection. You may also add it to sauces, mayonnaise, and pickling as well as fruit salads and fruit salsa. 

4. Malt Vinegar

Malt vinegar is one of the best substitutes for white vinegar in baking. It’s made of fermented barley malt and tastes mild and sweet. It’s less acidic than white vinegar and due to its nutty flavor and caramel color, it goes well with baked goods. 

It’s used in many cooked dishes and is considered a condiment in British and Canadian dishes. You can use it in making marinades, bringing meat, and glazing roasts. You can even mix it with honey, whiskey, or sauces to enrich the flavor of the sauce, glaze, or marinade.  

5. Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is popular, especially in Asian cuisine but since it’s available in many stores you can consider it as another great alternative to white vinegar. It’s made of fermented rice and has many health benefits.

This vinegar is often used with sushi rice and seafood and some store-bought varieties of bottled rice vinegar are seasoned. So, make sure you use an unseasoned version. 

Rice vinegar is light in color and has a sweet-acidic taste similar to apple cider vinegar. It’s used in salads, sauces, and marinades. 

6. White Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar has a special place in Italian cuisine. White balsamic vinegar is a regular balsamic vinegar made of grapes. The difference between dark balsamic vinegar is that it’s boiled at a lower temperature which doesn’t allow it to caramelize and turn color. 

So, the result is slightly sweet and acidic. It pairs well with salads, marinades, and sauces that call for white vinegar. You can add it to vinaigrettes, roasted vegetables, or glaze crispy chicken thighs. 

7. Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar can come for help when you don’t have any light-colored and light-flavored vinegar in hand. Compared to white vinegar, red wine vinegar has a stronger flavor and it’s pink in color. 

If the color doesn’t matter then use it in place of white vinegar in a pinch. It is fruity and acidic and can bring the desired zingy touch to the dish.

You can consider red wine vinegar as a salad dressing, add it to red meat marinades, and use it in pickles, sauces, vinaigrettes, and reductions.  

8. Fruit Vinegar

Vinegar is made not only from grapes or apples but from a number of other fruits including berries, mangoes, papayas, oranges, plums, peaches, and so on. Depending on your region and traditional cuisine you may have the opportunity to try different kinds of fruit vinegar.

The color, taste, and price vary depending on what fruit it’s made of. If you have any other option besides apple and grape vinegar, it can also work instead of white vinegar. You can use it in salads, marinades, desserts, drinks, and baked goods. 

9. Herb Vinegar

Herb kinds of vinegar are usually made of fresh or dry herbs which are sometimes flavored with spices. They are very flavorful and may have a distinct taste depending on the ingredients they contain. 

The most popular varieties of herbal vinegar contain rosemary, sage, thyme, basil, dill, lemon balm, parsley, and tarragon. 

They stand out with health benefits and are often used for medical purposes. You can add them to salads, drinks, and desserts. If the combination of ingredients suits any of your recipes, be it a meat marinade or a vegetable-based dish, you can use it in it too. 

10. Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar may be a pricey option but if you have a bottle of it somewhere in your pantry, then it’s the best time to use it as a white vinegar substitute. It’s a Spanish vinegar made of fermented sherry wine and comes with less acidity than white wine vinegar. 

It also carries some caramel notes that make it an amazing ingredient for vinaigrettes, fruit salads, and desserts. You can drizzle sherry vinegar over roasted meat, fish, and vegetables as well as add to marinades and soups. 

11. Red Balsamic Vinegar

Here comes red balsamic vinegar, in case you can’t find the white one. Compared to white balsamic vinegar, red balsamic vinegar is darker in color and tastes sweeter. You may notice a syrupy aftertaste. 

It’s a versatile vinegar with an interesting flavor that pairs well both with savory and sweet dishes. You can use red balsamic vinegar to substitute white vinegar in salads, fruit salads, vinaigrettes, meat, and fish marinades, and desserts. 

12. Lemon Juice

Looking for the easiest substitute? Use lemon juice in place of white vinegar. It will bring the acidic and fresh touch you need for your dish. Thanks to its circus flavor, lemon juice works well in salads, marinades, drinks, and desserts. 

It pairs well with chicken and seafood and can be used in baked dishes including pies. Use 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to substitute 1 tablespoon of white vinegar. However, make sure this ratio compliments your dish, otherwise use less to avoid the citrusy flavor. 

13. Lime Juice

If you don’t have lemons at home, maybe limes? Use lime juice to get a similar acidic flavor and to keep the dish fresh. Lime juice has a more bitter flavor than lemon juice and it pairs well with savory dishes, marinades, sauces, and drinks. 

Both lime and lemon juice are easy substitutes and even if you don’t have them at home you may rush to the nearest store and get one for any case.  

14. White Wine

Maybe it’s not the most affordable substitute for white vinegar but you can refer to it if you have a bottle at home. The most suitable options to consider are Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, and Riesling. 

You can add them while cooking and the alcohol content will disappear, leaving the flavor of the wine in the dish. White wine is less acidic than white vinegar. If you want to get the same amount of acidity then double the ratio. 

FAQs on White Vinegar

What does white vinegar taste like?

White vinegar is extremely sour with a clean and sharp flavor. 

How to store white vinegar?

To maximize the expiration date of the white vinegar you should store it in a cool, dark place away from direct rays of the sun. You should keep it in glass, plastic, or non-reactive containers.

Can you substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar

Can you substitute rice vinegar for white vinegar

What’s the best substitute for white vinegar in baking?

Apple cider vinegar and malt vinegar are the best substitutes to use instead of white vinegar in baking. You can also consider lemon or lime juice. 

Final Words

White vinegar is one of the most useful and affordable products to have at home. It is used for many purposes from cleaning to cooking and from skincare to wellness. It is used to control blood sugar, helps in weight management, and reduces cholesterol and antimicrobial properties.

In this post, we have tried to offer the most appropriate substitutes for white vinegar that you can use for cooking purposes and stay healthy at the same time. 

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