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Pickling Cucumbers

10 Tips for Pickling Cucumbers

Picking cucumbers might sound like something that your grandmother did a long time ago, but it can actually be an enjoyable activity and provide you with delicious treats year round. It’s not as difficult as you might think and it doesn’t take long at all. Here are 10 easy tips that you can follow when it comes to pickling cucumbers the easy way!

1. First, you need to gather your ingredients and equipment together. Along with the cucumbers, you will need a packet of quick process pickling mix, a jar grabber, clear vinegar, a lid lifter, several large spoons, a large pot, lids, canning jars, a canner, and rings. The rings are the metal bands that hold the lids on the jars. The canner will be your most expensive item, but even it should only set you back about $35 or so.

2. Pick your cucumbers. You want to select cucumbers that are green, firm, and contain some warts. You do not want cucumbers that have white or yellow areas or warts that are nearly gone. Those are indications that the cucumber is overripe. If you want crisp pickles, then you need to use fresh vegetables. Otherwise, they will be limp.

3. A packet of quick process pickling mix will yield about a dozen jars of pickles. You can typically get around 3 or 4 cucumbers in a pint jar. Keep this in mind when you are pickling cucumbers because it will let you know how many you need to pick or buy.

4. Wash and cut your cucumbers. It is important to wash your cucumbers, even if you purchased them from the store. You don’t know what kinds of pesticides or other chemicals were used on them. To cut the cucumbers, slice the ends off and then cut them lengthwise. For bread and butter pickles, you can cut them cross wise or even leave them whole.

5. Sterilize. If your dishwasher has a sterilizing function, then you can place your jars in it and let it go to work. If your dishwasher doesn’t, then you can also just place the jars and the lids in a big pot full of water and let the water boil.

6. Heat up the canner. It’s important to also heat up the canner. Fill it about halfway full of water and let it begin to heat while the lid is on. You can do this while you are slicing your cucumbers.

7. In a pot, mix the pickling mix with the vinegar. Bring the mixture to where it is almost boiling. Use a pot that is either coated metal, such as Teflon, or non-metal since metal can make the solution look cloudy when it reacts with the vinegar. As an alternative, you can also make your own mix, but it’s very complicated and prone to error. It is probably not a good idea for a beginner or for someone looking for an easy way of pickling cucumbers.

8. Place the cucumbers in the jars with the pickling mix. Put the entire slices into the jars and then pour the mix over the cucumbers. Stop when you’re about ¼ of the way from the top and then place the lid and ring on the jar.

9. Use the canner. Place the jars in the canner and cover them with about 1 inch of water. Follow the directions on the pickling mix, but usually you will let them boil for about 10 minutes or so. Don’t leave them in there for too long or else you will wind up with limp pickles.

10. Store the jars. Using the jar grabber, or something that can protect your hands, lift the jars out of the canner and set them somewhere to cool. They are now ready! Store them in your cabinet and eat them when the mood strikes. It usually takes around 24 hours for the seasonings to kick in and make them taste more pickle-like.



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