Apple Cider Vinegar Vs. White Vinegar For Pickling

Apple Cider Vinegar vs White Vinegar For Pickling: What To Use

Last Updated on July 17, 2024 by Shari Mason

Should you be in the process of pickling foods, you might question whether apple cider vinegar or white vinegar is the superior choice.

As someone who enjoys pickling and has tried different methods, I remember feeling unsure about which vinegar to choose.

It’s important to know the dissimilarities between these two types of vinegar to get the taste you want in your pickles. Let’s explore the comparison of apple cider vinegar and white vinegar for pickling together.

What’s The Difference Between Apple Cider Vinegar & White Vinegar?

Apple Cider Vinegar
  1. Source: Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple juice, while white vinegar is typically made from distilled grain alcohol.
  2. Flavor: Apple cider vinegar has a mellow and slightly fruity taste with subtle apple notes. In contrast, white vinegar has a sharp, acidic flavor with no fruitiness.
  3. Color: Apple cider vinegar is pale amber or golden, reflecting its apple origins. White vinegar is clear and colorless.
  4. Acidity: White vinegar tends to have a higher acidity level than apple cider vinegar, making it sharper and more acidic in taste.
  5. Uses: Apple cider vinegar is often used in dressings, marinades, and sauces, as well as in pickling recipes that benefit from its fruitiness. White vinegar is commonly used in pickling, cleaning, and culinary applications requiring a strong acidic component.
  6. Health benefits: Apple cider vinegar is often associated with potential health benefits, such as aiding digestion and controlling blood sugar. White vinegar, with its higher acidity, is primarily used for cleaning and household purposes rather than as a health supplement.

Read: How To Cut Vinegar Taste In Hot Sauce?

Which Vinegar Is Best For Achieving A Classic, Crisp Pickle?

White vinegar [1] is the preferred choice for achieving a classic, crisp pickle. Its high acidity level provides the necessary tanginess and preserves the firmness of the vegetables, resulting in a satisfying crunch. 

“If I had the choice between smoked and tinned salmon, I’d have it tinned. With vinegar.”

– Harold Wilson, Former Prime Minister Of The United Kingdom

The sharpness of white vinegar enhances the natural flavors of the vegetables while adding a refreshing and vibrant bite to the pickles.

When creating that timeless pickle experience, white vinegar reigns supreme.

Quick Guide

Factors to ConsiderApple Cider VinegarWhite Vinegar
Flavor profileMellow, slightly fruitySharp, acidic
Ingredient compatibilityApples, onions, beetsVersatile, works with many ingredients
ColorPale amber or goldenClear and colorless
Acidity levelLower acidity levelImparts a warm, amber hue
Visual appealImparts warm, amber hueMaintains natural color
Recipe adaptabilitySpecific flavor enhancementClassic tangy pickle flavor

When Does Apple Cider Vinegar Shine In Pickling Recipes?

Apple cider vinegar shines in pickling recipes when sweetness and depth are desired.

Its subtly fruity notes are unique to the pickling brine, mainly when used with ingredients like apples, onions, or beets. 

The mellow flavor of apple cider vinegar complements and enhances the natural flavors of the pickled ingredients, resulting in a well-rounded pickle with a hint of sweetness. 

Read: Should You Mix Apple Cider Vinegar With White Vinegar?

Can You Mix Apple Cider Vinegar & White Vinegar For Pickling?

bottle of white vinegar

Yes, you can mix apple cider vinegar [2] and white vinegar for pickling. Combining this vinegar can create a well-balanced brine with a blend of flavors. 

By blending the sharpness of white vinegar with the subtle sweetness of apple cider vinegar, you can customize the acidity and taste to suit your preferences and create a unique flavor profile for your pickles.

“Choosing between apple cider vinegar and white vinegar for pickling is like composing a symphony of flavors. It’s a delicate dance between the mellow notes of fruitiness and the sharp crescendo of acidity.”

– Eat Pallet Restaurant & Food Advice

Factors To Consider When Choosing Between The Two

  1. Think about the flavor profile you desire for your pickles. Apple cider vinegar offers a mellow, slightly fruity taste, while white vinegar provides a sharper, more acidic flavor.
  2. Consider the compatibility with your pickling ingredients. Apple cider vinegar pairs well with ingredients like apples, onions, or beets, adding depth and sweetness, while white vinegar is versatile and works well with a wide range of ingredients.
  3. Consider the visual appeal and acidity level you prefer in your pickles.


u003cstrongu003eDoes the choice of vinegar affect the color of the pickles? u003c/strongu003e

Yes, the choice of vinegar can influence the color of your pickles. White vinegar tends to maintain the natural color of the vegetables, preserving their vibrant hues. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eOn the other hand, with its amber tint, apple cider vinegar can impart a warm, golden hue to the pickles, adding visual appeal to your creations. But u003ca href=u0022 you clean chicken with apple cider vinegaru003c/au003e?

u003cstrongu003eCan I substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar or vice versa? u003c/strongu003e

In some pickling recipes, you can substitute apple cider vinegar for white vinegar or vice versa, depending on your preference. u003cbru003eu003cbru003eHowever, remember that this substitution will alter the flavor profile of your pickles—experiment and taste to ensure the desired balance of acidity and sweetness in your pickling brine.

In Conclusion

Choosing apple cider vinegar and white vinegar opens a world of flavor possibilities.

Each vinegar offers unique characteristics, with white vinegar providing a crisp tanginess while apple cider vinegar adds a touch of sweetness and depth. 

Whether you’re craving a traditional pickle or an inventive variation, these vinegar bring their magic to pickling. 

So, grab your jars, experiment with these tangy elixirs, and let the battle of flavors enhance your culinary creations. 


Shari Mason

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