Food Guide

Discover the Perfect Buttermilk Substitute for Your Next Marinade

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about...

What To Know

  • The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice reacts with the milk, thickening it and giving it a tangy flavor similar to buttermilk.
  • The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice reacts with the coconut milk, thickening it and giving it a tangy flavor similar to buttermilk.
  • Whether you use yogurt, milk mixed with vinegar or lemon juice, sour cream, kefir, or coconut milk and vinegar or lemon juice, you can achieve a similar tangy flavor and tenderizing effect in your marinades.

Marinades are the secret to juicy and flavorful meat and poultry, and buttermilk is a staple ingredient in many recipes. But what do you do when you’re out of buttermilk? The good news is that there are several simple substitutes that will give you the same tangy flavor and tenderizing effect. Whether you’re in the mood for a dairy-based option like sour cream or yogurt, or a dairy-free alternative like coconut milk and vinegar, this guide has got you covered. Let’s take a look at some of the best buttermilk substitutes for your next marinade!

Yogurt

Plain, whole-milk yogurt is a great substitute for buttermilk, especially in marinades. Not only does it have a similar tangy flavor, but it also helps to tenderize meat and poultry, just like buttermilk. The acid in yogurt works to break down the proteins in the meat, resulting in a juicy and flavorful dish. To have the same effect as when you use buttermilk, use an equal amount of yogurt as you would buttermilk. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 cup of yogurt.

Milk + Vinegar/Lemon Juice

This is probably the most common substitute for buttermilk and is very simple to make. All you need is some milk and either vinegar or lemon juice. The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice reacts with the milk, thickening it and giving it a tangy flavor similar to buttermilk. Mix 1 cup of milk with one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it has thickened, then use it in equal amounts as you would buttermilk.

Sour Cream: The rich substitute

Sour cream is another great substitute for buttermilk in marinades, and it has a similar consistency and acidity, which makes it perfect for tenderizing meat. Plus, the added fat content in sour cream makes it great for adding richness and flavor to your dish.

Substitute conversion ratio: Use an equal amount of sour cream as you would buttermilk. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 cup of buttermilk, you can use 1 cup of sour cream.

Kefir

Kefir is a fermented dairy product with consistency and acidity similar to buttermilk. It’s also a great source of probiotics, making it a healthy alternative to traditional buttermilk. Kefir is especially good for marinating poultry and seafood.

This ingredient can be used in the same way as other buttermilk substitutes in any recipe. It is easy to remember, right? Just use an equal amount of kefir as you would buttermilk.

Coconut Milk and Vinegar or Lemon Juice

For those with dairy allergies or who follow a dairy-free diet, coconut milk and vinegar or lemon juice make a great substitute for buttermilk. The acid in the vinegar or lemon juice reacts with the coconut milk, thickening it and giving it a tangy flavor similar to buttermilk.

Mix 1 cup of coconut milk with one tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes until it has thickened, then use it in equal amounts as you would buttermilk.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there’s no need to let a lack of buttermilk hold you back in the kitchen. Whether you use yogurt, milk mixed with vinegar or lemon juice, sour cream, kefir, or coconut milk and vinegar or lemon juice, you can achieve a similar tangy flavor and tenderizing effect in your marinades. So, go ahead and experiment with these substitutes and see which one works best for you. And, most importantly, have fun cooking!

Note: While these substitutes are great for marinades, they may not work as well in baking recipes that rely on the unique chemistry of buttermilk. So, if you’re in doubt, it’s always best to stick with the original ingredient.

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Emily W.

Emily Wong is an Asian-American food writer the founder of Cookindocs.com. With nearly 8 years of experience, she has a passion for making cooking accessible to everyone and sharing her personal experiences with food. Emily's vision for Cookindocs.com is to create a community of food lovers who are passionate about cooking, eating, and sharing their experiences with others. Read my story
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