If you’re a culinary enthusiast, you’ll know quite well just how versatile vinegar is. Apart from being a cleaning product, vinegar can also be used in meals to give it that extra tangy sweetness.
There are also some added health benefits of vinegar, all of which will be thoroughly discussed. But first of all:
Can I use distilled vinegar for cooking my food?
Well, the intro should have given you some ideas about the answer, but just to make it clear, yes. You can use distilled vinegar for almost any dish where normal vinegar is allowed.
If you’ve ever used distilled vinegar, you’ll agree that it tastes acidic and bitter. This makes it incompatible with sweet recipes such as salad dressings. However, if you insist on using vinegar, adding much more sugar or honey will counteract the bitter and acidic taste.
Also, due to the antimicrobial properties of vinegar, it can also be used for cleaning as well as storing food.
What’s the difference between vinegar and distilled vinegar?
I understand you might be having this question due to the interchangeable nature with which I’ve been using both terms. You might be tempted to believe that the two are one and the same and can be used interchangeably, that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The difference between vinegar and distilled vinegar rests on their mode of preparation. Distilled vinegar is made by distilling white sugar cane in water and allowing it to ferment for a while.
On the other hand, regular vinegar is made by adding fruits to water and allowing them to sit and age for a really long time.
Which is the best type of vinegar?
The best type of vinegar is the distilled vinegar, also known as the white vinegar. This is because it has a very high level of acidity (20%) as opposed to regular vinegar (5%).
The high level of acidity makes the distilled vinegar much more capable of cleaning as well as food storage and preservation.
You can actually make regular vinegar at home in a similar method to making kombucha. Simply take a fruit, for example, apple, and allow it ferment in a covered container. Leave it for about 3 to 4 weeks.
After the time has passed, take it out and strain thoroughly to separate the pieces from the liquid. Once you’ve done that, allow the liquid to ferment for another 3 to 4 weeks.
Which type of vinegar is the best for cooking?
I recently outlined which vinegar is the best on its own (distilled vinegar), but the other question at hand is which vinegar is the best choice for cooking.
The straight answer to that is regular vinegar. Distilled vinegar can be used for cooking as well, but regular, flavored varieties are the best choice for cooking.
The high level of acidity in distilled vinegar makes it better suited for food preservation and cleaning, as opposed to cooking.
The regular type of vinegar (such as wine vinegar) has a tangy sweetness that works really well with most dishes. However, there’s a more popular type of regular vinegar, as a matter of fact, it’s the most popular type of cooking vinegar, and that’s the apple cider vinegar.
Apple cider vinegar is made up of the fermented juice obtained from crushed apples. It’s commonly used in salad dressing, marinades for meat, as traditional medicine to lower blood sugar levels, treat obesity, kidney stones, diabetes, and to boost athletic performance.
Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid and is rich in vitamin B and C.
There’s also another type of popular vinegar used in households known as wine vinegar, and it can be added to sauteed vegetables to make it taste better.
Lastly, there’s a type of vinegar known as Balsamic Vinegar which is made from grapes. It’s really sweet, dosen’t contain alcohol, and also dosen’t make the best tangy marinades. However, it works really great as a salad dressing.
How do I make distilled vinegar?
Distilled vinegar is made from grain-based alcohol. It could be made by using vodka, malt, and potatoes.
Distilled vinegar could also be made with beer and wine but the most common is the vodka-based alcohol.
In order to achieve that special antimicrobial property, distilled vinegar needs to be highly acidic (which it is), and the acid in question here is acetic acid. Acetic acid does the antimicrobial work and can be derived from potatoes, corn, and starch.
Apart from the antimicrobial properties, acetic acid can be used to preserve vegetables.
Unlike the regular vinegar which is sweet and can get sticky, distilled vinegar is bitter.
When can I use distilled vinegar to cook?
Like I stated earlier, wherever you can use regular vinegar, you can also use distilled vinegar. However, due to the bitter taste of distilled vinegar, extra sugar or honey should be added for sweeter marinades and salad dressing. Distilled vinegar can also be used as a good substitute for apple cider vinegar.
If you want to use distilled vinegar in place of regular vinegar, be prepared to add more sugar or honey to deal with the bitter taste, and if that’s not your style or you’re very conscious of sugar intake, it’s best to stick with the regular vinegar.
Some other common types of vinegar and their uses
White wine vinegar
White wine vinegar is great for light vinaigrettes, rice sauce, and pickling are great uses of white wine vinegar.
It’s also great for creamy potato salads, as well as other foods where color is a major factor because it won’t change the color of the dish
Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice wine. It’s also much sweeter than most other types of vinegars due to its low level of acidity (4%).
It goes great with fish and meat marinades as well as Asian dipping sauce.
Champagne vinegar has a much stronger flavour than white wine. It’s not commonly used during cooking but as a finish, like in a salad dressing.
What are some nutritional values of vinegar?
Vinegar, due to it being soy and gluten free is great for diets like paleo, and whole 30. It can also help you lose weight, as well as control blood sugar levels.
What’s the best way to store distilled vinegar?
Vinegar is an acid, and it’s not going to go bad because the high acidity makes it intolerable to bacteria. This means you can store it indefinitely without any need for refrigeration.
However, non pasteurized types of vinegar can get bad and should be refrigerated.
Conclusion: Can I Use Distilled Vinegar For Cooking My Food?
Yes, you can, but you’re going to have to use some more sugar or honey because it has a stronger taste than regular vinegar.