Lemon juice is a common ingredient in cooking and baking.
It adds a bright, citrusy flavor to savory and sweet dishes alike.
With a low pH level, it’s one of the most acidic natural ingredients available, providing structure to jams and jellies and helping baked goods rise properly.
However, other ingredients can perform the role of lemon juice if you don’t have any on hand or are allergic or sensitive to it.
Here are 6 substitutes for lemon juice:
White wine is an excellent one-to-one substitute for lemon juice in savory dishes in which only a small amount is needed to brighten the flavor or deglaze the pan.
Both white wine and lemon juice are commonly used to deglaze pans, and their acidity intensifies the other flavors in savory dishes.
Citric acid is a naturally occurring acid found in lemon juice, which makes powdered citric acid a great lemon juice substitute, especially in baking.
One teaspoon (5 grams) of citric acid is equal in acidity to about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of lemon juice. Thus, only a very small amount is required, and you’ll need to make recipe adjustments.
It may also be necessary to add additional liquid to your recipe to maintain the correct dry-to-wet ratio of ingredients.
In addition, using citric acid in baked goods may even prevent certain vitamins and antioxidants from being destroyed during cooking.
Vinegar is an excellent substitute for lemon juice in cooking or baking when only a small amount is needed.
Much like lemon juice, it’s tart and acidic. In these recipes, it can be used as a one-to-one replacement.
However, vinegar has a very strong, pungent flavor and aroma and should not be used to replace lemon juice in dishes in which lemon is one of the key flavors.
Orange juice is a good one-to-one substitute for lemon juice in most recipes.
It’s less acidic, sweeter, and less tart than lemon juice. Plus, it has a different flavor profile. In recipes in which a large amount of lemon juice is needed, substituting for it with orange juice may significantly impact the flavor.
Nevertheless, it works well in a pinch.
Lime juice is the best substitute for lemon juice, as it can be used as a one-to-one replacement and has a very similar taste and acidity level.
In fact, when canning or preserving food, it’s the ideal substitute for lemon juice because it has a similar pH level. Other substitutes, such as vinegar, are less acidic and may result in preserves that are unsafe for long-term storage.
In desserts in which lemon juice is a key ingredient, lime juice imparts a slightly different flavor.
However, the result will still be tart and citrusy.