Can You Freeze Vinegar?

Vinegar is massively multi-functional around the home. It can be used to clean and on fries!

Vinegar has a naturally long shelf life, but can keep indefinitely in the freezer. If you have bought a lot, or do not use vinegar frequently, our tips will teach you how to freeze vinegar. 

It is an acidic liquid. The acidity of vinegar will naturally decrease over time and this is why people often choose to freeze it. The freezing point of vinegar is around 28 degrees Fahrenheit.

In order to keep the pH as close to the original as possible, we recommend keeping the temperature consistently around 28 degrees. 

There are many types of vinegar: distilled vinegar, red wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar and many more!

This article will give you a quick run through of the most common types of vinegar and how to freeze them.

Vinegar is said to have many health boosting properties. It has been used to treat wounds and diseases since around 420 B.C.

There is some preliminary evidence to suggest that vinegar can help to control blood glucose levels. In the future, this potentially means it can be used to help slow the progression of diabetes. 

Vinegar is also thought to improve digestion. It is assumed to moderate the alkaline/acid balance in your stomach and to promote healthy bacterial growth. There are also high levels of dietary polyphenols.

These antioxidants protect the body from harmful free radical damage, neutralising and removing them.

How to freeze vinegar

One of the most important things to remember when freezing vinegar is to not freeze in the glass container.

Glass is fragile and tends to shatter at freezing temperatures, which no one wants. This is a safety issue as it can lead to vinegar and fragments of glass all over your freezer and kitchen.

Transfer the vinegar into a rigid, airtight container. Make sure to leave at least an inch or two of space at the top of the container. This is because liquids expand as they freeze and this will prevent the container from breaking. 

We advise wrapping the container in a few layers of plastic wrap before sealing with the lid. This will help to prevent against accidental leaks in the freezer. If you are worried, you could even cover the lid’s seal with Scotch tape to keep it closed.

As vinegar freezes at 28 degrees, it is wise to keep the temperature close to this. This will help to keep the acidity close to the original. The colder the temperature, the more the pH will increase.

If you wish to freeze smaller quantities of vinegar, a good idea is to use an ice cube tray. Simply pour into the tray until about ¾ full and cover with plastic wrap to prevent leaks. Place level in the freezer to solidify.

When frozen, pop out of the tray and place in a ziplock freezer bag or an airtight rigid container. Label with the contents, volume of each cube, and the date frozen.

How to defrost vinegar

If you are using the ice cube tray method, simply pull out as many as you require. If you are using the cubes in a hot dish, you can drop them in without thawing. 

If you are using the vinegar cubes in a salad dressing or as a dip, transfer to a small dish. Place in the refrigerator overnight to thaw completely.

For a quicker result, place the desired quantity of vinegar in an airtight container. Place in a large bowl of warm water to gently thaw the vinegar. This should take a couple of hours at most.

Factors to consider before freezing vinegar

There are many different types of vinegar and they will all freeze differently. 

Apple cider vinegar is fermented with apple juice and is stored in cool, dark spaces. The shelf life is around 2 years. It will lose its acidity over time, but will remain safe for consumption indefinitely.

We do not recommend freezing apple cider vinegar as it will lose acidity and can kill the mother culture.

White vinegar is one of the most common types for cleaning with. It doesn’t need to be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, but is suitable for freezing as per our instructions. 

Red wine vinegar is fermented with red wine. It is used primarily in salad dressings. It has an indefinite shelf life but should be stored in the refrigerator once opened. Here it will retain its quality for up to 2 years. This is also suitable for freezing as per our instructions.

Vinegar is a self preservative and does not require much special attention. In order to keep the quality optimal, keep out of direct sunlight and store in a cool, dark space.

Vinegar may discolor over time as it is stored, which freezing will prevent. Otherwise, there is little point in freezing vinegar.

Summary

As a general rule, there is not much point in freezing vinegar. It has a naturally long shelf life and deteriorates at basically the same rate whether frozen or stored in the kitchen cupboard. 

The acidity content decreases when frozen and thawed. This is because when the ice crystals melt this increases the water content of the vinegar, diluting the acidity. This is the equivalent of vinegar going off, as experts observe it appears to remain safe for consumption indefinitely.

If you are freezing vinegar to be used in a salad dressing with other ingredients, you are unlikely to notice the difference in taste. If you were to use it to pickle vegetables, you may notice the taste difference and there may be a deterioration in the quality of the preservation. 

If you are using frozen vinegar for cleaning, you will definitely notice a reduction in its effectiveness. This is because the acid content is what helps the dirt to come off, and so if the acidity is lower, the cleaning power will not be as strong.

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Hi there! My name is Caroline Stevens, and I am an American mom of three wonderful children. I started this blog to help everyday families be more sustainable and save money by preventing food waste. I currently live in Wisconsin, and enjoy crafting, cooking at home, and traveling. I have a degree in art and previously worked in the restaurant business.