Lemon Juice Vs Apple Cider Vinegar

Notably, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar have their share of benefits. 

So, are you unsure of which ingredient to choose for the best flavours and tastes? Regarding cooking, there are two ingredients.

Both ACV and lemon juice have been used for centuries in cooking. However, certain aspects distinguish them from one another. However, distinguishing one from another becomes difficult without proper knowledge. 

So, here's more on the differences between lemon juice vs apple cider vinegar in this post.

A Brief on Lemon Juice

Calling lemons an incredible taste enhancer is an understatement. To clean, you only need to squeeze some lemon juice into the container and add baking soda. You can use a lemon in the sponge to clean the kitchen surfaces. Simultaneously, lemon does a great job in baking. 

It is used in making desserts and other baked foods. Lemon adds a light and fresh flavour. In addition, it can tenderise meat and be used as a great substitute for vinegar for dressings. Moreover, lemon juice added to the steamed vegetables keeps them fresh throughout the day while enhancing the flavour.

An Overview of Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a great choice for all-purpose cleaning and cooking. One can use apple cider vinegar combined with water to clean the kitchen. On the other hand, you can also use it to cook dishes. Regarding cooking, it adds texture and flavour to baking.

The Never-Ending Debate Between Lemon Juice Vs Apple Cider Vinegar

You can understand their differences by checking the table below:


Apple Cider Vinegar

Lemon Juice




pH level

2 – 3

2 – 3


Amber and cloudy

Pale yellow


A tangy, strong, and sweet taste

A sour and strong taste

Cooking uses

Salad dressings




Salad dressings

pasta sauces


lemon baked goods/desserts

Nutritional Benefits

Acetic acid, trace minerals, enzymes

Vitamin C, citric acid

The Ultimate Battle between Lemon Juice Vs Apple Cider Vinegar in the Kitchen – Top Parameters to Consider

The prime differences between lemon juice and apple cider vinegar lie in their flavours and acidic levels. While lemon is sour and citrusy, apple cider vinegar comes with a milder acidity. It rather has a fermented and fruity taste. The following are the parameters that distinguish apple cider vinegar from lemon juice.

Considering the Taste, Smell, and Colour

Lemon juice consists of a vibrant light yellow hue. On the other hand, apple cider has an amber hue. Lemon juice has a zesty taste, while ACV has a tangy taste. The acidic yet fruity taste makes apple cider a great consideration for culinary wonders. 


Truth be told, lemon juice does not undergo fermentation. However, apple cider undergoes a special process. Once yeast is added, sugars are turned into alcohol. Acetic acid is another bacteria that also changes into alcohol. So, it offers a unique taste. 

Acidic Level

The pH level of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar ranges between 2 and 3. So, both are pretty acidic.

Cooking vs Baking – The Battle between Apple Cider Vinegar vs Lemon Juice

A tinge of lemon juice brightens up a plate of salad and adds a citrusy zing. This zesty yet refreshing flavour may blend in well with dishes like seafood and pasta, thereby balancing the flavours. Surprisingly, ACV's subtle fruity and acidic level improves the quality and taste of pickles. You can add it to barbecue sauces and improve the flavour. 

Your Final Verdict – A Personal Taste

You can always choose between apple cider vinegar and lemon juice. It mainly depends on your unique taste. So, whether for salad dressing or pickling recipes, the choice between lemon juice and apple cider vinegar depends on your preferences. While lemon juice has a brighter and citrusy flavour, apple cider vinegar has a tangier and punchy taste. Go with your preference or what you have on hand. 

However, a baker cannot use them interchangeably since both have different benefits and usages. Using lemon juice in baking desserts can slightly alter the sweet taste. On the other hand, apple cider vinegar in any lemon-based dessert may introduce unexpected tartness. So, you must always stick to the ingredients as per the recipe for the most excellent results.


So, which one should you choose for your culinary wonders – is it the tangy taste of ACV or a citrusy flavour of lemon juice? The answer depends on your personal preferences.

If you are planning to choose a versatile ingredient that enhances the flavours of dishes combined with vitamin C benefits, always opt for lemon juice. Nonetheless, if you want tangy flavours for marinades and dressings, apple cider vinegar is a better option. It's most appropriate for slow-cooked dishes.


1. Is apple cider vinegar better for salad dressings? 

Both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar make great additions to salad dressings. Notably, apple cider vinegar has a tangy flavour that enhances the taste of leafy green vegetables. On the other hand, lemon juice offers a bright taste that complements lighter salads. Creamy dressings are incomplete without lemon juice.

2. Can you use apple cider vinegar and lemon juice to tenderise meat?

The truth is both lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are used for tenderising meat because of their acidic nature. Lemon juice has citric acid that can excellently tenderise proteins such as chicken and seafood. So, it's great for marinades. On the other hand, the acetic acid present in Apple cider vinegar helps break down tough fibres. 

3. Does apple cider vinegar and lemon juice work similarly?

Apple cider vinegar and lemon juice come with significant health benefits. Both have similar traits, from aiding digestion to offering a source of acidity. However, their distinct flavours and nutrient profiles make them different from one another.

4. Which one should you drink, apple cider vinegar or lemon juice?

The decision to drink apple cider vinegar with water or lemon juice depends on your own preferences. However, ACV can offer benefits for digestion as well as blood sugar regulation. On the other hand, lemon water offers vitamin C and supports hydration.

5. Can apple cider vinegar or lemon juice be great for baking?

Lemon juice is better when it comes to baking than apple cider vinegar. The citrusy flavour enhances cakes and cookies. In short, lemon juice is a tenderiser in recipes when combined with yoghurt or buttermilk. However, apple cider vinegar has a richer flavour. So, you can use it in but a small amount for pie crusts and breads.

6. Is lemon juice better for blood sugar?

Well, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar are great blood sugar regulators. However, more research is required to determine which one is better. It's important to consult a medical advisor to understand this front more.

7. Can you use apple cider vinegar and lemon for weight loss?

Of course, yes. You can use both apple cider vinegar and lemon for weight management. It helps control appetite as well as support digestion.

8. What's the pH level of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice?

Both the pH levels of apple cider vinegar and lemon juice range between 2 to 3.


Zandu Ayurvedic Team

Zandu Ayurvedic Team has a panel of over 10 BAMS (Ayurvedacharya), boasting a collective experience of over 50 years. With a deep-rooted understanding of Ayurveda, they are committed to sharing their expertise & knowledge through our blogs.
We use all kinds of Ayurvedic references in our content. Please use the contact form for any editorial queries.

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