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Refrigerator Pickles - Heating the Vinegar?

nickdziegler | Jul 28, 201611:59 PM


I have been looking at recipes for refrigerator pickles, and they mostly seem to call for heating the vinegar before refrigeration. Is there a food safety reason for this?

What I'd like to be able to do is just put vegetables (including root vegetables like garlic and radishes... the botulism paranoia rears its head) in a glass container, cover with vinegar, and eat over a couple days. I might also like to put more vegetables in the same vinegar and maybe keep the whole thing up to a week. So not long term pickles necessarily.

I like very acidic foods so I will use full vinegar. But I want to understand the principle behind boiling in general: shouldn't a 50/50 water/vinegar mixture be perfectly safe in the fridge? Is boiling just about dissolving the sugar and salt (I will only lightly salt my veggies to taste)?

I feel intuitively any veggies in vinegar in the fridge for a week (or even more) should be safe. But if that's the case, I can't comprehend why people are boiling their vinegar "brine." Any insight?

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