Making pickles is as easy as growing, or buying, pickling cucumbers, making a brine, adding herbs, and letting them sit before enjoying.
Are you thinking about starting a new fall project? Learn how to make pickles at home!
Perfect Cucumbers for Pickles
Making pickles starts with selecting the right pickling cucumber variety. If you want to grow cucumbers in your backyard, plant varieties that are best suited to canning.
The main difference between a pickling cucumber and slicing cucumber is their texture. Slicing cucumbers are larger, and the thin-skin and fleshy insides are suited for eating fresh. Pickling cucumbers, on the other hand, are smaller and have thicker skin with a crispier inside. This combination is what makes pickling cucumbers ideal for canning projects.
Bush pickle cucumber, Boston pickling cucumber and the national pickling cucumber are all perfect cucumbers to use. All of these can grow in your garden or can be bought at your local market in the summertime.
How To Make Pickling Brine
Brine is made with equal parts cider vinegar and water mixed with salt. This mixture is poured over the cucumbers. You can also use rice vinegar or white wine vinegar. Before using, bring to a boil and then pour into the jars. Cucumbers can be whole or cut into spears or sliced coins when pickling.
one cup vinegar + one cup water + one cup salt = brine
The Canning Process for Pickles
1) If you are planning to can your pickles for long-term storage, bring a large pot of water to a boil and sterilize jars and their lids. If you are planning to make refrigerator pickles, simply wash the jars and lids.
2) Wash and dry the cucumbers. Trim away the stems and cut the cucumbers into spears or coins or keep whole.
3) Add spices, garlic and other additions evenly through jars, then add the cucumbers.
4) Pour hot brine into the jars – fill each jar with at least ½ inch of space left at the top.
5) Gently tap the jars against the counter to move air bubbles.
6) Place lids and screw rings onto tight.
7) If you want to store pickles long-term, place the sealed jars in a boiling pot of water. Set a timer for 5 minutes and remove immediately. Make sure the lids pop down.
8) Or, if you have no plans to store them for a long time, just let the jars cool to room temperature. Place in the fridge for at least 48 hours.
9) Canned pickles will keep for at least a year on the shelf, and for several weeks in the fridge once opened. Refrigerator pickles will keep for several weeks.
The Best Recipes For Pickles
Here is a look at some of our favourite pickle recipes
• Dill Pickles – a classic dill pickle recipe
• Sweet Sliced Dills – the perfect pickle for sweet ‘n sour lovers
• Cuked Honey Spears – a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy
• Traditional Bread and Butter – a perfect garnish or snack
• Sweet Icicle Pickles – perfect sweet pickles for snacking