Citric acid, or sour salt, is a tangy seasoning often used in Jewish recipes and canning. It is commonly used in parts of the world that do not have easy access to citrus fruits, such as Poland and Russia. You can find citric acid at many supermarkets, but smaller markets without specialty sections may not carry it. If you do not have a Jewish food store in your area, you can replace citric acid in your recipe rather than trying to hunt it down.

Things You'll Need

Use lemon juice to replace citric acid in recipes or when canning fruits to maintain acidity. Use about six times as much lemon juice when replacing citric acid while canning.

Adjust the amount of lemon juice based on taste and consistency when using it as a substitute for citric acid in recipes. Some recipes may turn out too runny or fragile if you use too much liquid to replace powdered citric acid.

Use about eight times as much vinegar to replace citric acid while canning if lemon juice is not available.


  • Fresh lemon juice is best, but you can use bottled juice as well.

  • Vinegar can cause a bitter taste in certain dishes. Try lemon juice to replace citric acid first and only use vinegar in a pinch.