Why You Should Put Vinegar On Your Eggs

August 17, 2017

There are infinite ways to use vinegar in the kitchen, and while you’re probably aware of many of them—for pickles, marinades, dressings—some might surprise you.

For his new cookbook, Acid Trip: Travels in the World of Vinegar, author Michael Harlan Turkell traveled the world exploring the vinegar traditions of France, Italy, Austria, Japan, and North America. Along the way, he asked chefs from Boston’s Barbara Lynch to Houston’s Chris Shepherd what they do with the tangy elixir, and boy, did they have ideas. Below are just a few.

Fried Egg with Vinegar

While it may seem odd to an American palate, serving eggs topped with vinegar is not uncommon in France. Parisian chef Bertrand Auboyneau’s version fries an egg in “an ample knob of butter,” then reduces a couple tablespoons of white wine vinegar in the leftover pan butter, and tops the whole thing with chopped tarragon. You can try his version, or just sprinkle a touch of vinegar over your next batch of scrambled eggs.

Ice Cream with Vinegar

Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams shares a recipe for Parmesan Ice Cream with Balsamic Cherry Shrub. And while that sounds absolutely amazing, you can achieve a similar-yet-simpler flavor by spooning a bit of real-deal balsamic over ice cream at home.

Pepper and Vinegar Jelly

Vinegar loves heat, and Boston chef Barbara Lynch combines them in her recipe for pepper jelly. Diced bell peppers and jalapenos are combined in an apple cider vinegar syrup that Turkell says is great on a cheese board or even a BLT.

Vinegar Pie

This one is a classic, although perhaps one you’ve never heard. Born of the Depression, vinegar is used instead of then-pricey citrus to provide tang to a custard base. Acid Trip includes a version from Houston chef Chris Shepherd, who adapted a customer’s family recipe after she called to ask if they made her childhood favorite.

Vinegar Negroni

You have, perhaps, had vinegar in cocktails. But have you had a vinegar negroni? Acid Trip features Brooklyn bartender Damon Boelte’s version, which includes strawberries and cucumber. Try it out at home by making a classic negroni—equal parts Campari, sweet vermouth, and gin—and then adding a drop of balsamic on top.

Pickled Sausages

These bar snacks are made by letting cooked sausages like Kielbasa sit in a brine of garlic, sugar, bay leaves, and apple cider vinegar for about a week. Turkell includes a recipe from a friend in the book, but get a feel for the flavor by sprinkling a bit of apple cider vinegar over sliced sausages on your next snack plate.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Tom
  • Joy
  • eric
  • Lynnette
  • Mina
Paula Forbes has reviewed cookbooks for nearly a decade for sites like Epicurious, Eater, Eat Me Daily, and now Food52. She's currently working on a cookbook about the foods and restaurants of Austin, Texas.


Tom August 27, 2018
How about that for a number of people it simply makes it taste better. That's about as good a "Why Should" as I can think of.
Joy August 27, 2018
This article talks about how chefs in some countries put vinegar in various foods. But I still have not read WHY I SHOULD add vinegar to my eggs (as the title states). Is there some health benefit? Does the vinegar kill some bacteria which may be in the eggs? Does the vinegar shorten or enhance the cooking process? Just wondering how the title of the article matched the content.
Judith G. April 16, 2023
For the pleasure of the experience. If you’re not familiar with “shrubs,” look them up. It’s a lovely surprise you’ll enjoy.
eric July 28, 2018
apple cider vinegar a must for deviled eggs!
Lynnette July 27, 2018
My daughter in law use to put vinegar in the deviled eggs...ghastly.
Mina May 16, 2018
As someone that has a very bad reaction to all vinegars, I for once, am actually relieved to see not a single recipe that sounds even somewhat tasty. Good Luck and Good Eats to everyone out there, but I will passing the vinegar.
Deb May 16, 2018
E. Dickson - if you are directing the question of which vinegar at me, I just use plain ol' white vinegar....
Deb May 15, 2018
I soak all my fruit and veggies in a water bath with vinegar when I bring them home from the store...even my oranges (any fruit/veg that I am going to cut through). Strawberries mold easily - soaking in the vinegar kills the mold. Also, when I hard-boil eggs I add it to the water, bring it to a boil, add the eggs for 8 mins, then drain and add cold water. Let the eggs cool, put them in a plastic bag with a teensy bit of water and keep them in the fridge. By keeping the shell somewhat moist, the egg shells just slide right off! Best method ever!
E. D. May 16, 2018
Which vinegar.... White or malt or cider or.... or..... or......?
Gloria April 8, 2018
If you are making poached eggs, I find it much easier to use vinegar in a small amount in your pan of water or whatever you use to poach eggs. It really helps to hold the poached eggs together better. It may have a small taste of vinegar in your eggs but not much at all. In fact I look forward to that taste when making poached eggs.
olivia.k February 2, 2018
Because it tastes great? Lol.
Michael P. February 2, 2018
I use vinegar for many things when cooking but have never used on eggs before. I was pretty intrigued to read this article, but very disappointed to see that the question in the title was never even brought up. Why I should use vinegar on eggs? Maybe you could actually answer that question as to why we should use vinegar on our eggs? Besides the extra potassium, why should we???
Mary N. January 13, 2018
I use a lot of vinegar in cooking but I've never used it on eggs. Plan to try it.
Tom January 12, 2018
Malt Vinegar on french fries! If you go to England and order fish and chips, you will always find a bottle of malt vinegar on the table.
Cristy R. January 10, 2018
Never answered the question in the title!
olivia.k January 2, 2018
I like to sprinkle nutritional yeast on my fried eggs when they’re just plated, followed by a drizzle of balsamic reduction.
Timotao December 23, 2017
Can’t believe all these chefs didn’t include the Southern Classic; Wilted
Jackie December 14, 2017
Your click-bait said "Why you "should" put vinegar on your eggs. This never answered that, just gave a bunch of recipe ideas.
Cat April 14, 2018
It's healthy, adds flavor, and according to one poster, "holds the eggs together better while cooking".
James F. November 18, 2017
Vinegar is God's gift to the world. I keep several varieties on hand for whatever purposes I can think of. From fish to salads, cleaning to conditioning hard water, use vinegar!
situs J. November 9, 2017
I really like the egg you fried, you fry it like a skull is amazing I like, thank you already share
Marty M. August 18, 2017
Vinegar is a kitchen friend.
E. D. August 18, 2017
White is good for disinfecting, and windows as well as cleaning. Apple Cider is good for thinning your blood, taragon is good on eggs, and sherry vinegar is good in chip dip to make it taste like French onion (along with a half a pack of onion soup mix),
E. D. August 17, 2017
I get various vinegar's and one of them is Tarragon, which I use on my eggs for a delicious "sweet" flavour.