How do I Separate Water From Vinegar?

Vinegar reductions are a favorite with many cooks.
Vinegar reductions are a favorite with many cooks. (Image: essig und öl image by Weimar from

Separating water from vinegar results in a reduction prized by many cooks. Through boiling vinegar, water evaporates and leaves a concentrate of the acidic liquid. Balsamic vinegar reduction is the most well-known boiled-down vinegar, and is a common oil to dip bread in. Since the concentrate is quite strong, use it sparingly following separation. With a couple tools and a well-ventilated kitchen, you can separate water from vinegar in a few hours.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 cups vinegar
  • Small saucepan

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Pour 4 cups of vinegar into a saucepan. Water comprises much of the liquid in standard vinegar.

Place the pan on the stove at medium high heat, ensuring that windows are open or the stove fan is on to keep the kitchen ventilated.

Simmer the vinegar until it reduces by three-quarters of its size and becomes thick when stirred with a spoon. This generally takes about 10 to 20 minutes.

Remove the vinegar from the heat and let it sit until cool.

Drizzle the vinegar reduction on dishes as a garnish for a variety of foods, or in sauces and marinades.

Tips & Warnings

  • More or less water can be separated from the vinegar, depending on the consistency desired.
  • Always be careful when boiling liquids on the stove, as it can splatter and burn quite easily.


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