Category: 

How Do I Choose the Best Pickling Vinegar?

Pickling cucumbers growing on the vine.
Vegetables pickled in vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is a popular pickling vinegar.
White vinegar is often used in pickling.
Pickles are usually made with vinegar, which helps preserve them.
Article Details
  • Written By: April S. Kenyon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Oprah Winfrey’s intended name was Orpah, but it was misspelled on her birth certificate.  more...

September 23 ,  1949 :  US President Harry S. Truman publicly announced the US had lost its monopoly on nuclear weapons.  more...

Pickling, also referred to as brining or corning, is a common method of preserving vegetables and some other foods, such as eggs or sausage. Peppers, pickles, and other vegetables and foods are often canned in a brine of vinegar and spices for safe food storage. Any type of vinegar can be used as pickling vinegar. The type of vinegar you use primarily depends on the flavor you want the pickled product to have. Common white vinegar and apple cider vinegar are the most popularly used types of pickling vinegar, though other types can also be used.

Vinegar is generally available with a four or five percent acidity level. Some types of pickling vinegar may have an even higher acidic content. Most pickling is done in a hot water bath canner, though a pressure canner can also be used. If you are using the hot water bath canning method, it is important that you use only vinegar that contains at least five percent acidity, as the acidity level guards against harmful bacteria. Distilled vinegars with less than five percent acidity do not have high enough acid levels for safe pickling and canning.

Ad

White vinegar is the most popular type of pickling vinegar. It allows the foods to maintain their color and adds a tartness to the pickled product. Many people feel that white vinegar brings out the flavor of the food and spices used in pickling better than other types of vinegar. Some types of pickling vinegar will discolor the vegetables or other food and add a distinct flavor that may or may not be desired.

If you want your pickles, peppers or other preserved food to have somewhat of a sweet flavor, apple cider vinegar can be a good choice. This type of pickling vinegar is often used for canning sweet pickles and peppers. Apple cider vinegar has a slightly fruity flavor that adds sweetness to the pickled product. You will likely still need to add sugar for sweetness, but not as much as you would need to if you used white vinegar. Some people prefer not to use apple cider vinegar because the it darkens the food product.

Other types of vinegar include balsamic, wine, and fruit. Flavored vinegars are also popular, and they include such flavors as raspberry, fig, and blueberry. More exotic fruit flavors include blood orange or pear. Herbs commonly used to flavor vinegar include tarragon, thyme and oregano. These types of vinegar should only be used as pickling vinegar if you are sure of their acidic content.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

fify
Post 3

What types of veggies are best for pickling with red wine vinegar?

I'm thinking cabbage, but I'm not sure if it will come out good.

discographer
Post 2
@turkay1-- You must have used distilled white vinegar. Distilled vinegar is too strong for most type of pickles. People who use it usually dilute it with a different kind of vinegar to soften the flavor. My dad uses distilled vinegar mixed with wine vinegar only for pickled eggs.

I personally like vegetables pickled in malt vinegar. Malt vinegar is not too harsh and not too sweet. It's perfect. If you haven't made Gherkin pickled cucumbers with malt vinegar yet, you have to try it.

candyquilt
Post 1

I pickled with white vinegar once, but I think the flavor of the pickles were too strong. Apple cider vinegar is much better in my opinion. Pickles made from apple cider vinegar are full of flavor but don't burn my throat like the pickles made with white vinegar.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email