Oops ... all out of apple cider vinegar? No worries! These are the BEST substitutes for apple cider vinegar for cooking.
And I bet you already have at least one of these easy swaps in your pantry!
Apple cider vinegar has long been touted as one of the most diverse condiments. From cleaning to cooking, apple cider vinegar does it all!
If you run out, can't find it on the store shelf, or just aren't a big fan of it, there are plenty of great substitutes you may already have in your cupboard and are easy to find in your local grocery store.
Read on to learn about what makes apple cider vinegar a multi-purpose kitchen rockstar, as well as the best apple cider vinegar substitutes for cooking.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
This particular type of vinegar is created from the perfect combination of apples, yeast, and sugar.
The flavor profile of apple cider vinegar is a mildly sweet, tart flavor with a slightly fruity taste -- which is why it's perfect or for jazzing up your favorite salad dressing, giving zing to a marinade, or making pickles.
Uses for Apple Cider Vinegar
There are many uses for apple cider vinegar in cooking and baking, as well as home remedies.
In the kitchen, use apple cider vinegar to make:
- Pickling liquids
- Salad dressings
- BBQ sauces
- Perfectly boiled eggs
- Cakes and candies
- Warm beverages
- Fruit and vegetable wash
10 Best Substitutes for Apple Cider Vinegar
Because apple cider vinegar has so many uses, it's easy to run out of it. But don't worry, there are many things you can use in place of apple cider vinegar that you might already have in your pantry.
When choosing the best apple cider vinegar substitute for your recipe, go ahead and give it a little taste to make sure it goes with the flavors in your dish -- and that you like it!
White Wine Vinegar
With a similar acidity level as apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar is the perfect substitute. But it can be a little bitter. Add a little sweetness and fruity flavor with a squeeze of lemon or other citrus fruit juice.
This apple cider vinegar replacement excels when it comes to brining liquids, sauces like Hollandaise or Bearnaise, salad vinaigrettes, or braising. White wine vinegar also carries a lower pH making it palatable and versatile.
Good alternative to use in a 1:1 ratio
Champagne vinegar is an excellent substitute, though it has a milder than apple cider vinegar.
It's great in for marinating light meats like chicken and seafood and the light tangy flavor adds zip to salad dressings, fruit salads, and salsas.
Because of it's mild flavor, substitute in a 1.5 to 2:1 ratio -- using 1 ½ to two times more champagne vinegar than you would apple cider vinegar.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar has similar fruity undertones as ACV, making it a perfectly suitable substitute, however the flavor isn't quite as strong.
Salad dressing, pickling liquids, braised chicken or even sauteed vegetables will all take kindly to the acidic punch from red wine vinegar. One downside is that the deep red color tends to effect whatever is in your dish, so if you're making a white sauce or light pasta, this isn't the vinegar you'll want to use.
Good replacement to use in a 1 to 1.25:1 ratio -- that is, for every tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, you'll need 1 to 1 ¼ tablespoons red wine vinegar.
Sherry vinegar has a distinct, unique flavor. So, if you like sherry wine, this is a great option for you!
Sherry vinegar is a good substitute for apple cider vinegar for glazing, marinating, pan sauces, or drizzling over grilled veggies.
Use in a 1:1 ratio. If you really enjoy the flavor of sherry, feel free to up it to 2:1 ratio.
Rice Wine Vinegar (Unseasoned)
Rice wine vinegar is sweeter than apple cider vinegar and milder than most other kinds of vinegar, but it's still a good choice as an apple cider vinegar replacement. The low pH is pleasant on the palette while providing that sour snap you look for in vinegar.
Add a teaspoon to sushi rice, cocktails, stir-fries, or even French fries. Many Asian-inspired rice dishes call for rice wine vinegar because it allows the sweetness of sauces to take center stage.
Use in a 1:1 ratio.
Balsamic vinegar is sweeter than apple cider vinegar, but still a great substitute in any number of sweet and savory dishes.
It's perfect for glazing chicken, pork, or salmon, and tossing with vegetables and salads. Due to its dark color, it will affect the coloring of the dish you add it to.
Substitute apple cider vinegar with balsamic vinegar in a 1:1 ratio.
Fun fact: If you mix a tablespoon of maple syrup into apple cider vinegar you'll have a very good substitute for balsamic vinegar!
Distilled White Vinegar
Plain white vinegar has a high level of acidity and neutral in flavor -- with a sharp bite. To balance out the flavor and make it closer to the flavor of apple cider vinegar for cooking uses, add a teaspoon of fruit juice or a pinch of sugar and use as a 1:1 swap.
Made from grain alcohol, malt vinegar has a yeasty flavor that pairs with all things fried, making it a great alternative for apple cider vinegar.
Sprinkle it right out of the jar to top fried fish or fries, throw it into a coleslaw or bean salad, or make a delicious maple-bourbon glaze for a pork loin.
Substitute for apple cider vinegar 1:1.
Apple juice is the non-fermented version of apple cider vinegar and a great way to get the same fruity flavor as ACV. However, it doesn't offer the acidity that other vinegars offer.
Use unsweetened apple juice with a splash of lemon juice -- or other citrus juice -- or another type of vinegar to add acidic punch to your next recipe.
Use in a 2:1 ratio.
Apple cider vinegar is acidic, and so is citrus. Fresh lemon juice, orange juice, and lime juice all provide a nice fruity flavor along with an acidity profile that makes them perfect substitutes for apple cider vinegar.
Use the juice of fresh lemons, limes, or oranges instead of apple cider vinegar in salads, seafood, or any sweet or savory recipe.
Use citrus juice as a 1:1 replacement for apple cider vinegar.
Most types of vinegar will work well in BBQ sauce including plain white vinegar. Just be sure to start with a small amount and taste it to make sure the flavor profile of the vinegar you choose goes well with the rest of the ingredients. Lemon or lime juice may also work well in BBQ sauce.
Citrus juices like lemon, lime, or orange juice will add sweetness and acidity to your favorite pulled pork recipe.
Distilled white vinegar, rice vinegar, lemon, or lime juice are all great options in coleslaw.