If in the past you canned okra in vinegar, and it wasn't a pickled okra, then the vinegar was probably used to raise the acidity to make it "safe" for a using a boiling-water canner (?) - since okra is a low acid food. If that recipe was from before 1990 - it probably wouldn't be considered safe these days. But, since you didn't like it - I guess that recipe is really moot anyway.
You can can okra - if you have a pressure CANNER - NOT a pressure COOKER. For an explanation of why - read this
While I understand your reluctance to trust your harvest of okra to the freezer - you might want to conduct a simple experiment to see if you really want to count on canned okra as the foundation for your fried okra. Go to the grocery store - buy a can of okra - and try frying it. For less than $1 you will know if you want to make the investment in canning - or take a chance on trusting your freezer.
If you decide you want to can your okra - this
is the currently accepted safe method.