+
Home Cooking

Calling all pickle freaks

Pantry Party | Aug 12, 200907:56 PM     13

Pickles.

Right now the little pickling cukes are very plentiful at the market, so these are what I'm focusing on at the moment.

I'm very curious to find out from experienced pickle-makers (not quick pickles, but jarred and processed ones with a shelf life):

- How do you maintain crunch? I just read about and tried the "slow pasteurization" method, where instead of processing the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, you process at a simmer (exactly 180 degrees) for 30 minutes, which supposedly keeps things crunchy. (I haven't opened these jars yet... fingers crossed). Anyone try both these methods and seen a difference?

- What is your usual water-vinegar ratio in the brine? The first recipe I ever used (from the Bernardin - Canada's answer to Ball - home canning book) for sliced, spicy pickles was 100 per cent vinegar and they obviously turned out crazy sour - horrible. But maybe they will mellow in a few months?? Then I read online that you should have a 1:1 ration for food safety reasons. But then I've seen tons of recipes in my preserving books and online that use all kinds of ratios, some with very little vinegar. I'd be very interested to hear any thoughts on this and what ratios have worked best for people in the past.

- And finally: I've made a few batches now and seem to always need to frantically cook up more brine than the recipe calls for as I run out before I've filled all my jars. Am I not adding enough cucumbers to the jars - how tightly should they be packed? Or is something else going on?

Want to stay up to date with this post? Sign Up Now ›

More from Chowhound

The 7 Best Baking Ingredients to Buy from the Grocery Store, According to Pastry Chefs
Food News

The 7 Best Baking Ingredients to Buy from the Grocery Store, According to Pastry Chefs

by Alli Hoff Kosik | When it comes to the best baking ingredients, they're not necessarily expensive or hard to find—or...

13 Essential Apple Recipes for Fall
Recipe Round-Ups

13 Essential Apple Recipes for Fall

by Chowhound Editors | There are so many things to love about autumn rolling around again, especially apple season. Make...

The Ultimate 'Farewell Summer, Hello Fall' Food Guide
Recipe Round-Ups

The Ultimate 'Farewell Summer, Hello Fall' Food Guide

by Chowhound Editors | Early fall recipes can overlap a lot with late summer dishes; it's a transitional time period, and...

Ring in Fall with a Bowl of Creamy, Bacon-Studded Butter Beans
Food News

Ring in Fall with a Bowl of Creamy, Bacon-Studded Butter Beans

by Amy Schulman | Plucking a cookbook off the shelf is easy. But pulling one that’s guaranteed to bear a recipe that...

Get fresh food news delivered to your inbox

Sign up for our newsletter to receive the latest tips, tricks, recipes and more, sent twice a week.