How to Substitute Vinegar for Lemon Juice

By Kay Dean

Running out of a particular ingredient is a universal occurrence for most cooks, and when it happens, it is a common practice to substitute a different item with similar properties or taste for the missing ingredient. One common substitution is using white vinegar in place of lemon juice. In most cases, this creates no problems, though there can be difficulties if the lemon juice was to be used in canning tomato-based foods

In certain situations, vinegar can be substituted for lemon juice.

Step 1

Substitute1/2 teaspoon of white vinegar for 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, when turning plain milk into buttermilk for cooking or baking. Allow the milk to stand for 5 to 10 minutes before adding it to the recipe. Use this "buttermilk" for baking or cooking. If used for drinking, this "buttermilk" will not taste the same as regular buttermilk.

Step 2

Substitute 1 teaspoon of white or apple cider vinegar for 2 teaspoons of lemon juice when making vinaigrette salad dressings. Taste the dressing and adjust the ingredients to taste before serving.

Step 3

Use 4 tablespoons of vinegar in place of 2 tablespoons of bottled lemon juice for each quart canning jar when canning tomatoes at home. Be sure to use the exact measurements in order to"ensure safe acidity levels in whole, crushed or juiced tomatoes," according to the Iowa State University Extension. However, the same source notes that using vinegar in place of lemon juice may cause undesirable changes in flavor in home canned tomatoes

Step 4

Substitute 1 tablespoon vinegar for 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice when making marinades for meat or vegetables that will be grilled or baked. Depending upon taste, you can use white or apple cider vinegar. Allow the meat or vegetable to rest in the marinade according to original recipe.