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Keeping Vinegars Fresher Longer

By Cook's Illustrated Published March 2009

Vinegars have very long shelf lives. Here are some things to consider before replacing old bottles.

Shelf Life:


Don't toss old vinegar. Most vinegars contain about 5 percent acetic acid, which (along with pasteurization) prevents the growth of harmful bacteria, and will last indefinitely.

Do ignore any sediment in your vinegar. The sediment is a harmless cellulose that our testing has shown doesn't affect taste; it can be easily strained out.

Older vinegars are safe to use.

To deal with unsightly vinegar sediment, simply strain the vinegar through a coffee filter set inside a fine mesh strainer before using it.