Pickling recipe question
September 9, 2019 5:10 AM   Subscribe

Can I swap out 5% cider vinegar for 5% red wine vinegar in a recipe for pickled red onions?

That's pretty much it.

It just seems like it would be more attractive to pickle red onions in red vinegar. Acid content is listed on the recipe as 5% and is 5% on both vinegars.

Is it safe to change? (I just want reassurance.)
posted by A Terrible Llama to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I've done both before*. I prefer the taste of the red wine vinegar, but I don't think either really made a difference in the pickling. Aesthetically, they both looked pretty similar.

Not an expert pickler; just going off of taste.
posted by kevinbelt at 5:21 AM on September 9, 2019 [4 favorites]


The acid content is what really matters for water-bath canning safety. If that's the same, you're good to go. If you're not canning, do what tastes best to you and keep it in the fridge.
posted by libraryhead at 5:47 AM on September 9, 2019 [6 favorites]


You're good. I pickle my onions in whatever is on the kitchen shelf that day. I think I prefer white wine vinegar both for color and taste, but I had to think hard about it.
I don't can, I like them best relatively fresh (< week), but I don't think it makes a difference.
posted by mumimor at 5:55 AM on September 9, 2019


I have been swapping out cider vinegar for spirit vinegar for years. The only difference has been the flavour, so you can use cheap flavourless spirit vinegar and a splash of actual wine or juice or whatever and get exactly the same result. Be careful of the concentration of the vinegar, though.

The one exception is that I pickle onions in dilute malt vinegar for preference, but I'm not sure how available that is in America.
posted by Eleven at 6:09 AM on September 9, 2019


In my experience, red onions tend to leech their colour out into the pickling liquid anyway, so cider vinegar ends up oniony-pink anyway.
posted by parm at 7:08 AM on September 9, 2019 [4 favorites]


tend to leech their colour out

Yeah, this. But also: not all their color. If you use clear vinegar or cider vinegar, you'll get onions that are pretty uniformly bright pink all the way through, and vinegar that's a similar shade of pink.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:21 AM on September 9, 2019 [2 favorites]


Yeah, for sure it doesn’t matter unless you’re planning on canning them. If you are, random extension website suggests that as long as you’re sure you’re at 5% acetic acid, you should be good.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:01 AM on September 9, 2019


I did this, and it was mysteriously gross and inedible, and I'll only use apple cider vinegar for red onions from now on.
posted by unknowncommand at 1:45 PM on September 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


Honestly I use plain white vinegar. The stuff that comes in a big jug. I prefer the taste.
posted by kestrel251 at 2:39 PM on September 9, 2019 [1 favorite]


Thanks everyone. Doing it tomorrow....will try to remember to post an update....the basic deal is the only apple cider vinegar I have doesn’t have acid % on the label and I think red wine would be prettier, but will roll the dice and find out. Mainly concerned about safety before taste or aesthetics....
posted by A Terrible Llama at 5:34 PM on September 9, 2019


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