How to neutralize vinegar without baking soda?

In this article, we will answer the question “How to neutralize vinegar without baking soda?”, and how to fix the common cooking mistakes?  

How to neutralize vinegar without baking soda?

If you do not want to use baking soda to counteract excess vinegar we have got you covered. The following tricks will cut down the taste of vinegar in your dish without making it bitter or soapy. 

Add a sweetener 

Add sugar or any other sweetener over an overly sour dish. The sweetness of the sugar will cut down the acidity of the vinegar. Simply stir in some table sugar in your dish if it is in liquid form. Alternatively, you can add caramelized granulated sugar to fix your sour dish.

Add fats 

The fat cuts through the acid and vice versa. The fat molecules coat the palate and reduce the sour perception of your dish. Stir some oil, butter, or cheese in your overly acidic dish. Taste check the dish after each addition of fat and add more if needed.

Mix with the salty food 

The part of the brain that perceives sourness also perceives saltiness. By increasing the saltiness in your dish, you can trick your brain into thinking that the flavors are balanced. For a less distinct taste, add some sugar along with the salt.

Dilute the food 

Dilute your overly acidic dish by mixing it with another portion of the same food. Alternatively, you can just add more liquid ingredients such as water, stock, broth, etc. If the dish tastes too bland, adjust the seasoning to your liking.

Common cooking mistakes and how to fix them 

Your dish is too salty 

In case you were wondering, dumping a potato in an overly salty dish does not soak the excess salt. If you end up with an overly salty dish, the best thing you can do to fix it is by diluting your dish. Add more liquid such as water, broth, or stock if it is a soup. If it is a stew, add more veggies and meat to dilute the salt.

You made a dish too sour 

Do not fret if you have added too much of an acidic ingredient such as tomato, wine, lemon, or vinegar. The best thing you can do to counteract too much sourness is by adding a sweetener such as sugar or honey, cream, or even caramelized onions.

Although not recommended, you can add a pinch of baking soda to fix your overly sour dish if all else fails.

It’s a bit too tart

Tartness is similar to sourness but the tartness is caused by a citrus ingredient only. You can cut down the excess tartness by adding sugar, honey, or maple syrup to your dish.

Your dish is too sweet

Consider adding an acidic ingredient such as lemon juice or vinegar to fix your overly sweet dish. Add a pinch of salt along with the acidic ingredients to help balance out the flavors.

Your dish has a bitter flavor 

If your dish turns out to be too bitter due to the addition of excess greens or spices such as turmeric, you can count on sweeteners or fats to cut through the bitterness. Stir some sugar, honey, cream, or butter in your dish to tame the bitterness.

Your dish is pretty bland 

If your dish turns out to be bland, there is a lot of room for experiment. For example, you can add a pinch of salt to help bring out the flavors of your dish or add some sugar. Alternatively, you can add a splash of vinegar for a subtle sour taste or herbs and spices. You can also try adding coordination of 2 or more ingredients until you get the desired flavor.

You made your dinner too spicy 

If the excess spiciness is caused by peppers, you can cut it down by adding cream or butter to your dish. The fat-loving protein present in dairy products, known as casein, binds with the spicy capsaicin oil and destroys its true spicy nature.

If the spiciness comes from non-pepper sources, you can fix it by adding a pinch of sugar or a dollop of nut butter to your dish. Although, you can also use cream or butter.

You did not get a good sear on your meat 

A super hot pan surface is the trick to getting a good sear. A hot surface will make the water sizzle when it is splashed on the pan surface. Moreover, avoid overcrowding the pan and moving the meat too often.


In this article, we answered the question “How to neutralize vinegar without baking soda?”, and how to fix the common cooking mistakes?  


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.