Best Apple Cider Vinegar Substitutes from Our Kitchen

If you are halfway through a recipe and suddenly realize that you have no cider vinegar, don’t worry! Here are 14 Apple Cider Vinegar Substitutes to help you out with your baking, preserving, and cooking. These are some alternatives that you can make from items you may already have in your pantry.

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apple cider vinegar with an apple

What Exactly is Apple Cider Vinegar?

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Apple Cider Vinegar (also known as cider vinegar) is made from apples! Apples are squeezed to extract the juices from the apple, which are then subsequently turned into vinegar through fermentation.

Yeast is then added to the apple juice sugars to create alcohol in this light golden vinegar. Through the fermentation process, the alcohol from the apple juice is converted to acetic acid.

You will find the use of apple cider vinegar in a wide range of dishes, including marinades and dressings for salads, as well as baking, preserving, and cooking.

Substitutions for Apple Cider Vinegar

I’m going to start with one of my favorites, balsamic vinegar. Other excellent apple cider vinegar alternatives are given below for your consideration.

Choose an apple cider vinegar substitute depending on the taste characteristics of your dish and create a delicious alternative!

Balsamic vinegar

1. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a pantry staple that may be used in place of apple cider vinegar, particularly in salad dressings.

However, it is considerably sweeter, so use a 1:1 ratio or less. It’s also dark in color, so if you don’t mind the deeper coloring in your recipe, go ahead and add it.

2. Apple Juice

You may simply substitute apple juice for apple cider vinegar, which is sometimes neglected. When used in dishes that compliment the apple taste, this is an especially excellent alternative (of ACV).

It won’t be as acidic since it hasn’t been fermented, but it will certainly have the fruity taste that goes with it!

Use a 2:1 ratio of 2 tablespoons of apple juice to 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.

3. Champagne Vinegar

Champagne vinegar may be difficult to obtain, but it is an excellent replacement for ACV. It has a softer taste but is properly acidic, and it can be used in soups, rice, stir-fries, and sauces much like rice wine vinegar.

This ACV substitute’s suggested replacement ratio is 2:1. 1 part apple cider vinegar to 2 parts champagne vinegar.

Glass with fresh made Lime Juice

4. Lime Juice

Lime juice, like the juice of the lemon, is an excellent alternative. It has a stronger taste than the juice of the lemon and still has all fruity tasting acidity needed for the recipe.

This option is ideal for marinades, to dress salads, and any recipes that need cooking.

For this one, squeeze the juice from lots of fresh limes on a 1:1 ratio!

5. Fruity Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar has a comparable fruity taste to apple cider vinegar but isn’t as powerful. It’s also red, so keep in mind that it will most likely alter the color of whatever you’re using it for.

To use red wine vinegar, add a bit extra, at a 1.25:1 ratio. To make the arithmetic simpler, for every Tbsp of apple cider vinegar called for in the recipe, use between 1 and 14 tsps of red wine vinegar.

6. Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar has a distinct, strong taste that differs from apple cider vinegar while maintaining the same acidic character.

It is suggested that you initially try a little amount of sherry vinegar to determine whether you enjoy the flavor. You may apply a 2:1 replacement if you prefer it.

If you don’t like the taste but don’t have any other options, substitute sherry vinegar for apple cider vinegar in a 1 to 1 ratio.

7. Malt Vinegar

Malt vinegar is not a popular kind of vinegar, but it may be used as a substitute if you have some in your kitchen.

It is made from barley that has been fermented which means it has a yeasty taste rather than the fruity characteristics found in many kinds of vinegar.

Malt vinegar may be used in lieu of apple cider vinegar at a 1:1 ratio.

8. Rice Wine Vinegar

Rice wine vinegar isn’t as popular as some other kinds of vinegar, and I don’t know why because it’s a versatile ingredient. Use it in rice recipes, soups, salad dressing, and stir-fries.

Its taste is similar to the fruity taste of apple cider vinegar, although it is less acidic. You may still replace at a 1:1 ratio.

9. Orange Juice

It’s not unexpected to find orange juice on the list since other popular citrus fruits like lime and lemon are also on the list. This citrus fruit, like lemon and lime juice, may be used in lieu of apple cider vinegar with excellent results.

Orange juice is delicious, tart, and contains the acidity required by your recipe.

For a 1:1 replacement of apple cider vinegar, use orange juice.

White Vinegar

10. White Vinegar

White vinegar has a neutral taste, although it is very acidic.

In a 1:1 ratio, white vinegar may be used in lieu of apple cider vinegar, however it is suggested that you add some fresh citrus juice to give some fruity taste. When you do this the match with apple cider vinegar will be closer.

11. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is perhaps the finest apple cider vinegar substitute. Any store will have fresh lemons or pre-squeezed lemon juice.

The taste is more similar to apple cider vinegar than any other substitute, and it is certain to provide the delicious acidity that your recipe requires.

In a 1:1 ratio, replace lemon juice with apple cider vinegar.

12. White Wine Vinegar

One of the closest alternatives is white wine vinegar. This is due to the acidity profile as it is almost the same as ACV, if not identical.

It should be noted, however, that white wine vinegar lacks the fruity taste of apple cider vinegar. As a result, it is advised to add some fresh citrus juice (lemon, lime, or orange) to the mix.

Use a 1:1 ratio of white wine vinegar to apple cider vinegar.

Ripe grapefruit with juice on table close-up

13. Grapefruit Juice

Grapefruits have the same citrus taste as lemon and limes but is less acidic. If all you have in the house is grapefruit juice, you can use it as an apple cider vinegar alternative.

14. Beer

If you feel like trying something completely different, use beer as an apple cider vinegar replacement. It all depends on the recipe, but beer can be an excellent substitute, and you may already have some available.

The acid profile of because beer is not the same as apple cider vinegar, so use a mild-flavored beer in a 3:1 ratio.

Table 1: Substitutes for ACV

For every 1 tablespoon of ACV in your recipe use the equivalent substitute in the quantities given below

Ratios of substitutes for ACV 
Substitute Amount Notes
Lemon Juice 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
Lime Juice 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
Orange Juice 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
White Wine Vinegar 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
Apple Juice 2 Tbsp 2:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
White Vinegar 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste (use some orange juice, lemon, or lime for a fruity taste)
Rice Wine Vinegar 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
Malt Vinegar 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
Sherry Vinegar 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste (if you like the taste of sherry vinegar add up to 2 Tbsp)
Balsamic Vinegar 1 Tbsp 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste (start with less if you prefer a less sweet taste)
Beer 3 Tbsp 3:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
Champagne Vinegar 2 Tbsp 2:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
Red Wine Vinegar 1 ¼ Tbsp Use a little more than 1:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste
Grapefruit Juice 2 Tbsp 2:1 ratio, adjust to suit your taste

Apple Cider Vinegar. Recipe Substitutions

Here are some basic uses for ACV substitutes.

For Baking

Use either white vinegar (in a 1:1 ratio) or juice a lemon and use a little lower quantity for baking. If the recipe asks for 14 cup apple cider vinegar, use 13 cup lemon juice.

For Deglazing Pans

Deglaze a pan with sherry, port, a wine with a complementary taste profile (to match your protein), or stock or broth (an alcohol-free alternative).

For Pickling

Use malt or white vinegar or choose a vinegar that has an acetic acid of 4% or more for pickling options. Because ACV contains 5-6 percent acetic acid, it is officially classed as a weaker acid.

When replacing apple cider vinegar in pickling or canning recipes, look for a vinegar that is as similar to the acetic acid level of apple cider vinegar as possible.

For Ribs & Pulled Pork

Look no farther than lemon, lime, or orange juice when making ribs and pulled pork recipes. All three are quick and simple options that will add sweetness and acidity to your pulled pork meals.

Table 2: Vinegars and their Acetic Acid Content

Select a vinegar with a similar taste and acetic acid concentration. Acetic acid content is important when canning, preserving, and pickling foods.

The typical acetic acid content of various kinds of vinegar compared to the 5-6% acetic acid content of ACV.
Type of Vinegar (Typical) % of Acetic Acid
Distilled White Vinegar 5-10%
Sherry Vinegar 7-8%
White Wine Vinegar 6-7%
Red Wine Vinegar 6-7%
Balsamic Vinegar 6-7%
Rice Wine Vinegar 4-7%
Malt Vinegar 4-5%

Recipes Using Apple Cider Vinegar

When I’m smoking meat, I like to use apple cider vinegar. It adds a wonderfully tart taste to any traditional sweet and sour sauce recipe!!

FAQ

Can I use balsamic vinegar in place of apple cider vinegar?

Yes but balsamic vinegar has a sweeter taste than apple cider vinegar, a 1:1 ratio is suggested. You could even start with less than 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, and add more depending on the taste.

Can I use white vinegar as a replacement for apple cider vinegar?

You can absolutely use white vinegar as a replacement ! Fresh citrus juice should be added to give the white vinegar a fruity taste. The taste and acidic character of apple cider vinegar are well complemented by this mix of white vinegar and citrus juice.

What is the function of apple cider vinegar in baking recipes?

You can use apple cider vinegar in baking, especially when making vegan cakes and bakes. When you use it for baking it gives an acidic taste and a light airy texture to cakes.

Which is the more potent, white vinegar or apple cider vinegar?

White vinegar is potent, containing 5-10% acetic acid. Apple cider vinegar contains just 4-6 percent acetic acid, making it less potent than its cousin.

Carbs 1g | Fat 1g or 2% | Saturated Fats 1g or 6%| Sugar 1g or 1%| Potassium 15mg |Sodium 1mg| Protein 1g or 2%| Iron 1mg or 6%| Calcium 1mg | Vitamin C 6mg or 7% | Vitamin A 1IU | Fiber 1g or 4%| Calories 3kcal

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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community.
She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
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