22 January 2012

Making Pineapple Vinegar

I was browsing through the Member Forum yesterday and came across Amanda's post in the January 2012 No Waste Month Challenge and she was talking about saving the tops to plant. That jogged my memory (it needs jogging sometimes) to write about making Pineapple Vinegar. 

For those of us who have to buy our fresh pineapples, especially in the southern states, using the whole fruit makes the purchase worthwhile. And you have to love a fruit that actually gives back more than it's initial cost.

I tried this last summer with the peels from a small pineapple and it worked a treat. Not only that pineapple vinegar is so good in salad dressings and stir-fries. It adds a delightful touch of sweet acid to dishes. I know that sounds odd - a sweet acid - but you have a hint of pineapple flavour in with the acid of the vinegar and it really is good.

And making pineapple vinegar couldn’t be easier. You simply cover the peel with water, add a cup of apple cider vinegar, cover and leave it in a dark cupboard for a couple of weeks. By this time the vinegar mother will have formed and it's ready to strain and bottle. Easy!

If you are not convinced it really is that easy, here are the step-by-step instructions.

You will need:

A large, clean, wide-mouthed 2 litre glass jar
Muslin, cheesecloth, netting or a Chux
Peel and the top (leaves cut off) from a fresh pineapple
Any juice or trimmings from the pineapple, including the core
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1 litre cool water

Step 1. Make sure the jar is very clean - sterilize it using either the boiling or oven method.

Step 2. Place the pineapple trimmings and peel in the jar, pushing them down.

Step 3. Combine the water and cider vinegar and pour over the pineapple peel. Make sure all the pineapple is covered, you may need to add a little more water to the jar.

Step 4. Cover the jar with cheesecloth, muslin, netting or even a clean Chux and put a rubber band around the rim to hold it in place.  Do not be tempted to put the lid on. Vinegar requires air to ferment so use a covering that will let the air in and keep the bugs out.

Step 5. Place the jar in a cool, dark cupboard and let it sit for four - six weeks. During this time it will form a scum on the top and the liquid will get very dark and murky. Don't worry, it's supposed to.   You'll also begin to see a whitish scum forming at the bottom of the jar. This is the vinegar mother and you'll know your vinegar is working when the mother forms.  You can use the vinegar mother to start another batch of vinegar.

Step 6. When the vinegar mother has formed and the liquid has cleared your vinegar is ready. Strain the vinegar through a double layer of cheesecloth. Bottle in clean sterilized bottles. Store in a cool, dark cupboard.

Use this vinegar in salad dressings and stir-fries. It is lovely in marinades too. Add it to spicy dishes such as tacos or chili to make them extra special.

When you've strained the vinegar put the leftover peels into the compost or if you have chickens let them have a treat.

And there you have it -  a lovely fruit vinegar and absolutely no waste from your fresh pineapple.


  1. Another great idea for pineapple skins is pineapple honey. I keep the skins in the freezer until I have 4 then cover with water and boil for 1 hour. Strain the skins out through a fine strainer to catch all the bits the match the liquid cup for cup with sugar. Reboil for around 1 hour but test for setting as you would with jam. Makes the loveliest tasting clear golden honey that is wonderful on crumpets for a treat. Store in the fridge.

  2. Meryll that sounds delicious. Pineapples have been quite cheap recently, if I see them again I'll get some and bottle the fruit, then try your pineapple honey. We always have crumpets in the house this time of year so I'm going to be eagerly anticipating an afternoon tea treat in the next couple of weeks :)


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