White or Cider Vinegar - Can you use either?

seaglassgirlSeptember 18, 2008

Hi - Does it matter what kind of vinegar you use in a recipe? I love the taste of cider vinegar but a lot of the recipes I'd like to try call for white vinegar. Can I substitute cider vinegar safely? Or red wine vinegar?


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Sure. It's mostly taste and aesthetics. I use white vinegar in pickles, because I don't like the color of them when I use cider vinegar.

Make sure whatever kind you use is at least 5% acidity. Some, like rice wine vinegar, can be as low as 4%. The acidity is almost always listed on the label.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:53AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Yes you can, as long as it is 5% (some wine vinegar aren't) but know that it will change the flavor and sometimes the color of the end product. White wine and rice vinegar are others but rice and the wine vinegars are more prone to bacterial growth over time so need to be fresher.


Here is a link that might be useful: NCHFP - Safe Use of Vinegars

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 8:53AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Cider type vinegar works best in sweeter brines, compared to the white distilled. Salsa, likes cider vinegar as well as lime juice. White vinegar tends to mask the complex flavors in some delicate tasting products. Rice wine vinegar is sometimes sweetened, and is usualy less than 5% acidity. Its great for a marinade used for pickling julienne veggies used in making Japanese based California rolls.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 12:26PM
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melva02(z7 VA)

I bought white wine vinegar for Emeril's lemon-rosemary pickled green beans, and it turned out not to say the acidity on the bottle. So sad. I used white vinegar and they still taste great.

On a related note, you can substitute bottled lemon or lime juice for vinegar; they are more acidic. You cannot safely use vinegar in a recipe that calls for lemon or lime juice. You can swap lemon and lime juice for each other. Always use bottled juice in recipes where it's used for acidity such as pickles and tomatoes. You can use fresh lemon juice in high-acid products such as jam (except figs, which are low-acid and require bottled juice).

I know most of us know that already, but I thought it would be useful on this thread if anyone's searching for acidity info later on.


    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 3:48PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Wine vinegar can vary from 2% to 7% acidity, and can even vary in batches blended for bottling. Its easier to just have the lable read Wine Vinegar, or red, vs. white. Even balsamic can have varied acidity, and some are quie low ddue to the long term to get to a sweet syrup. Of course, citric acid is also a good choice.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:54PM
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dafygardennut(5b-ish, CO)

I subbed cider vinegar for white vinegar in the Habanero Gold Jelly and think it adds to the fruitiness.

Melissa - I bought a couple of bottles of the store brand of red wine vinegar to use for the Chunky Basil Pasta Sauce. The only place on the bottle that showed the acidity was in the ingredients list - red wine vinegar diluted to 5% acidity.


    Bookmark   September 19, 2008 at 1:19AM
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