Apple Cider Vinegar Helps Bring Out All The Savory Flavors In Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joes can bring back a lot of nostalgia. It's hard not to love that thick meat filling, held loosely together by a sugary sauce and layered onto a hamburger bun. For many, they represent the most pleasant way to eat ground beef; however, as your palate matures, that sweetness can become overwhelming. If that's the case, you may want to consider adding some apple cider vinegar to the sauce. This acidic ingredient definitely brings a tang, but it's also an equalizer: It tempers the sugary taste of the sauced meat, giving your sloppy Joe an adult upgrade that the kids will still like.

The sauce for sloppy Joes, at its most basic, uses ketchup or tomato sauce, brown sugar, mustard, and garlic. From there, it is a canvas waiting for you to create a flavor profile your mouth will enjoy. Enter the apple cider vinegar. It is exceptionally tart to the taste buds, and will certainly make your mouth pucker if you feel inclined to down a shot. It is also wonderful for tenderizing meat while adding a pop of bright flavor. That said, a little goes a long way, so be careful not to be too liberal or heavy-handed when adding it in.

Using alternative vinegars for sloppy Joes

You may be asking, why apple cider vinegar over any other vinegar? Despite its sharp taste, it's still a little sweeter than other common vinegars, and it also adds a hint of apple flavor. Plus, apple cider vinegar caramelizes with heat, so while your sloppy Joe sauce is going to be a little punchier, the vinegar won't overwhelm, but rather brighten and enhance the taste of your sandwich filling.

If you find your pantry is lacking a bottle of this acidic liquid, you can easily substitute it with either white wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar. The swap is a one-to-one ratio for both. Rice vinegar offers a mild and sweet flavor, while white wine vinegar has a similar level of acidity to apple cider vinegar, along with a slight fruitiness, which makes it a popular choice for swapping. However, if you find that using an alternative vinegar completely upsets the delicate balance of sweet and sour in the sauce, then you can add in a teaspoon of sugar. Again, less is more when adding sugar, so mix in a little at a time until you achieve the desired taste.