What is the Best Substitute for White Vinegar?

by Charlie

White vinegar is one of the numerous variants of vinegar. Amongst the options of red wine vinegar, Malt vinegar, Apple cider vinegar and a long list of others, it tops the list in terms of acidity and sourness.

While it is quite medicinal and multifunctional, there are instances when it is just important to substitute this kitchen staple.

What is the best substitute for white vinegar? Of all the several available substitutes for white vinegar, the mixture of lemon juice and champagne gives the closest effect of an exact replica. The mixture of lemon juice and champagne gives the colorless effect that the white vinegar offers. Asides this, it also gives a level of sourness, depending on the percentage of content mixture. 

Only cooking practices like canning and pickling cannot accommodate the mixture as a substitute. For pickling and canning, there is no improvisation. You are stuck with white vinegar for these.

An Overview of White Vinegar

The option of the white vinegar is one of the most common variants of Vinegar, it is sometimes referred to as spirit vinegar or distilled vinegar. It is produced from the mixture of water and acetic acid; 4-7% acetic acid and 93-96% water. 

While that is the standard mixture pattern for white vinegar, it is not always so. The ratio of water to acetic acid sometimes differ, and this is based on the purpose it seeks to serve. White vinegars that are produced strictly for cleaning or agricultural purposes usually contain up to 20% acetic acid and 80% water. This is because the acidic property needs to be heightened to improve efficiency.

Note that this variant of white vinegar is not for human consumption. They are too harsh to be cooked with. 

Historic times featured white vinegars that originated from the fermentation of foods like potatoes, milk whey, sugar beets, or molasses. Present days have now witnessed a transition from food-based white vinegar to grain alcohol (ethanol). 

The process of extracting the vinegar from the grain alcohol Is not as simple as those from food. This requires that yeast or phosphates be added to the grain alcohol to aid the kick-start of the bacterial fermentation process.

Why Substitute White Vinegar?

  • Acidity: One reason for substituting white vinegar especially as a culinary staple is its acidity. The white vinegar is one of the harshest types of vinegar flavors. So it cannot be used in the preparation of every kind of meal. Culinary activities like pickling, baking, marinades and cheese-making can accommodate the acidic property of the white vinegar but several other meals might not. 
  • Health Factor: While white vinegar is a tremendous health booster, it could cause severe damage to the health if not consumed in moderation. For people with inflammatory conditions especially in the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the consumption of the vinegar may result in worsened conditions. Therefore heartburn and indigestion patients might require substitutes for white vinegar in the meals. Another health issue is the degradation of the tooth enamel. 

The excessive consumption of the acidic property in white vinegar is inimical to dental health. While other types of vinegar might also affect the dental health of consumers, white vinegar causes the most damage.

  • Experimenting with food: sometimes you just want to see what it feels like having a different recipe for a popular meal. While no substitute will give your meal the exact taste that white vinegar will, your Inquisition might lead you to substitutes that will produce a better tasting version of the meal.
  • Weight Loss: Research has proven an inverse relationship between the consumption of vinegar and body weight. When vinegar is consumed, it consists a large chunk of the stomach, hence reducing the rate of meal consumption and eventually leading to low calorie intake and weight loss. Slim individuals who are not interested in losing some weight might need to substitute white vinegar in their meals. 

Options for White Vinegar Substitutes

Top Recommended Substitute for White Vinegar: Mixture of Lemon Juice and Champagne

The majority of substitutes for the white vinegar are other vinegars. So, depending on the reason for substituting the white vinegar, there are alternatives that could fill in. The reason for substituting the white vinegar is not the only factor that determines the perfect substitute. The intended use (prickling, baking, etc) is another important factor. 

Vinegar based Substitutes

Apple cider vinegar 

The Apple cider vinegar like white vinegar, improves the health, and weight condition of consumers. But it doesn’t stop there. Apple cider vinegar has many other benefits for the skin and hair. The vinegar is not made from regular grain alcohol. It is produced by fermenting apple cider. It gives off a milder taste with an apple undertone. It can be used as a substitute for any other kind of vinegar.

Malt vinegar

This variant of vinegar is produced from malted barley. It is a milder and sweeter alternative of the white vinegar. If you want the acidity of the white vinegar while substituting it with the malt vinegar, then you’ll need to double the quantity of the white vinegar in this new recipe. This substitution is most relevant with chips and fish.

Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar is another important substitute of white vinegar. Its reduced acidic and sourness in taste, is the only difference between the white vinegar and rice vinegar. 

The low acidity and sweetening effect gives recipes a different taste. For meals where there’s the possibility of white vinegar overpowering the delicate flavors in the meal, the rice vinegar can fill in perfectly for the white vinegar. 

This section covers for both Rice wine vinegar and rice vinegar. So whatever is applicable to rice vinegar is also applicable in the case of rice wine vinegar.

Other Non-vinegar Substitutes

Mixture of lemon juice and champagne

The mixture of both elements will make a perfect substitute for White vinegar. This substitute is a sweeter version. Make a 30% lemon and 70% champagne mix to get a perfect mix. 

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