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Thread: Making Pickles

  1. #1
    Woodsman Adventure Wolf's Avatar
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    Default Making Pickles

    I had a friend whose mother made homemade pickles, and they were good. I however know nothing about making pickles, and was wondering if anyone had done it and can give me advise?


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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    I've made a few pickles over the years. What type do you want to make?
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    Senior Member Solar Geek's Avatar
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    I make about 50 quarts+ per year.
    Did you want
    Refrigerator pickles ( sweet or dill)
    Canned pickles (dill as family not as keen on sweet)
    But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

  4. #4

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    Making pickles is a lot of fun and not difficult to learn. You don't need a lot of special tools. There are several good books on canning and preserving that have chapters on making pickles which would provide you with a start. If your friend's mother is still available, you could go visit her for a lesson (and maybe learn her favorite variations on the basic pickle recipes). Your local Extension Office personnel may know of some local folks (often farm or ranch families with kids in 4H) who would be willing to chat about how they do it.

    We prefer using cukes specifically grown for pickling as opposed to what is usually sold in grocery stores (salad cucumbers). If you can grow your own, plant heirloom seeds specifically listed as pickling cucumbers. When making dill pickles, use fresh dill as opposed to the dried stuff from the spice aisle. If you can grow dill, that is the way to go. Farmers who make pickles often grow their own pickling cukes and dill and you can sometimes source supplies from them.

    Like making beer or growing yeast culture, sterilization is important in making pickles. Pickling is a little more forgiving of contaminants than beer or bread mothers, but the concerns are the same.

    After learning the basic techniques, pickling allows for a lot of creativity in adding one's own special flavorings. In some rural communities, each family is likely to have its own signature recipe. Competitions at County Fairs can get quite keen. Experiment with the type of flavors you like -- we often add onion and red chile slices to our pickles. Each jar you make can have a different balance of adjuncts, be sure to note them on the jar label or in a log so you can recall later what you did. Lots of things can be pickled once you get the basic technique.

    Since pickles typically are stored in cool, dark places, it helps to have a root cellar, cold room, or extra refrigerator. In my case, our garage is built into the side of a hill so it stays cool enough to store pickle jars/crocks on shelving there.

    Let us know the answer to Crash's and S G's questions.

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    Woodsman Adventure Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crashdive123 View Post
    I've made a few pickles over the years. What type do you want to make?
    Sandwich pickles and dill type pickles you can eat from the jar with your fingers.

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    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    Keep in mind that there are two basic recipes for pickles. Water, vinegar, vegetables and wait. The other is water, salt, vegetables and wait. If you are anywhere in the ballpark with these ingredients you will be fine.

    You can make pickles in a quart jar tomorow in a quart jar knowing this and nothing more. You may not win a blue ribbon at the county fair, but you will have pickles. After that, the basic stops and the art and preferences begins. I prefer the fermented pickles with whatever other vegetables and spices.

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    Ed edr730's Avatar
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    Oh....safety note....If you do make fermented pickles in a quart jar, don't screw the lid on tight while it is fermenting or it will explode. Like wine would do.

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    Woodsman Adventure Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edr730 View Post
    Keep in mind that there are two basic recipes for pickles. Water, vinegar, vegetables and wait. The other is water, salt, vegetables and wait. If you are anywhere in the ballpark with these ingredients you will be fine.

    You can make pickles in a quart jar tomorow in a quart jar knowing this and nothing more. You may not win a blue ribbon at the county fair, but you will have pickles. After that, the basic stops and the art and preferences begins. I prefer the fermented pickles with whatever other vegetables and spices.
    Okay, so that's the basic recipes? Got it.

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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    This is a recipe and process I use for dill pickles. I process them via hot water bath canning, but as you can see from the article they can be processed as refrigerator pickles. http://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make...-kitchn-193350
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    Super Moderator crashdive123's Avatar
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    Here is a bread and butter pickle recipe that I like. http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes...utter_pickles/
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    Senior Member Solar Geek's Avatar
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    I am traveling right now and my recipes are at the house. I will post several for you when I return on Sunday.
    One, not my own, is fabulous for Dill-pickles. I constantly get asked for the recipe and it came from my cousin Jane.

    I also have two refrigerator pickle recipes that I have modified from the James Beard winning chef, Sanford D'Amato. So ridiculously easy. And no water bathCanning involved.
    But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15

  12. #12
    Senior Member gryffynklm's Avatar
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    I make fermented pickles and use a fermentation air lock with Tattler reusable canning lids. I drill a hole in one of the reusable plastic lids large enough to fit a rubber grommet that fits the air lock. this allows me to tighten the lid and still prevent air from entering the jar which can mess up the fermentation. Sorry no camera.

    Here is one of many sites that describe fermentation in Ball jars
    http://www.cookinggodsway.com/eshop/...-air-lock-kit/

    Air lock
    http://www.midwestsupplies.com/airlo...FSsV7AodkQcAaQ

    reuseable lids
    http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/Home.html

    What the grommets look like Hardware or even auto parts stores have them.
    http://www.harborfreight.com/180-pie...set-67582.html
    Karl

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    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    My favorite has been the Old Fashioned Crock pickles for the Carla Emery Encyclopedia Of Country Living....

    I consider this book to be the next Must have after the Bible.....

    http://www.amazon.com/Carla-Emery/e/B001K8GM3A

    Old-Fashioned Crock Pickles



    Crock pickles cure in a saltwater solution by means of fermentation caused by lactic acid bacteria, a cloudy film or scum that floats on the surface of the brine. Naturally, in this day and age of sanitation and concern about harmful microorganisms, this scum appears somewhat suspect. In fact, lactic acid is responsible for changing the pickles from bright green to an olive or yellow green and produces the characteristically tart, sour flavor we associate with pickles.

    For every 5 pounds of cucumbers you will need one gallon of pickling capacity; for example, a 5-gallon crock will hold 25 pounds of cucumbers. Select a ceramic crock, large glass jar, or food-grade plastic container; do not use a metal pot, as it will negatively react with the vinegar.

    Season: Mid- to late summer
    Yield: 4 quarts
    Store: Cool, dark pantry

    For every gallon of finished pickles you’ll need:
    4 to 5 pounds clean, unwaxed, firm cucumbers about 4 to 6 inches long ( I like smaller ones)
    2 tablespoons dill seed or 4 to 5 heads fresh dill weed
    2 cloves garlic
    2 dried red peppers
    8 cups water
    1/2 cup pickling salt
    1/4 cup vinegar
    2 teaspoons whole mixed pickling spices

    Carefully pick through the cucumbers and discard any that are bruised or have soft spots; wash well. Place half of the dill, 1 clove garlic, and 1 pepper at the bottom of your clean crock. Add the cucumbers and the remaining dill, garlic, and pepper.

    Bring the water, salt, vinegar, and pickling spice to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow this brine to cool completely before pouring over the cucumbers in the crock. Weight a dinner plate or a glass pie plate with a heavy-duty, food-grade plastic bag filled with water and place in the crock to keep the fermenting pickles at least 2 inches below the surface of the brine.

    Store the crock of cucumbers at room temperature; fermentation will take longer to complete under cool temperatures, whereas excessively warm temperatures will result in soft pickles. Check the crock daily and skim any scum that appears. A clean cloth draped over the crock will keep out dust and other contaminants. Complete fermentation for “full sours” will take about 3 weeks; however, you can remove pickles from their brine before that if you prefer what are known as kosher-style or half-sours.

    Fully fermented pickles covered with brine may be refrigerated in jars for months or canned for stable shelf storage. To can the pickles, pour the brine into a pan, heat slowly to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes. Fill hot sterile pint or quart jars with pickles and top with hot brine, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Brine may be strained through a clean cloth or paper coffee filter to reduce cloudiness, if desired. Place lids on the filled jars and process in a water bath: pints for 15 minutes, quarts for 20 minutes.

    From Canning & Preserving Your Own Harvest, by Carla Emery & Lorene Edwards Forkner, 2009 Sasquatch Books.

    From Blog:

    http://plantedathome.com/2009/09/14/...crock-pickles/

    Couple of note:
    I like plastic or grass "crocks" as the ceramic crocks seen to leak thru the coating (newer) as the coating seems thinner, and if left out side in the winter the coating get egg cracking?......
    Old crocks (ceramic coating thicker) work well, but are expensive and you have a hard time cleaning and sterilizing them.

    Mostly used a 5 gal or one gal food grade plastic bucket.

    Crock pickles can be made and eaten "on the fly" you can add a few cukes and eat one at the same time (good if you have a small garden with ones a few cukes a day)........this will be very salty until they are done.....I don't think a crock ever lasted till done....Kids (and I ) loved them.
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  14. #14

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    I use the two sweet pickle recipes in the old 1975 version of the book "Putting Food By" another book I consider necessary next to the Carla Emery book.
    Here's a link to the new version:
    http://www.amazon.com/Putting-Food-B...utting+food+by

    I have the 1975 version, which they say not to use any more, but the recipe is better than the 4th edition. They forgot the "rinse the salt off" instruction.

    Another handy book for all things pickle and preserving is the Ball "Complete Book of Home Preserving." Skip the Ball "Blue Book." Everything in the Blue book is in the Complete book plus many many more options.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member hunter63's Avatar
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    DW is making Dill Beans today....DD/SIL garden is over run with green beans........
    Similar recipe
    http://www.pinterest.com/pin/412431278346383649/
    Geezer Squad....Charter Member #1
    Evoking the 50 year old rule...
    First 50 years...worried about the small stuff...second 50 years....Not so much
    Member Wahoo Killer knives club....#27

  16. #16

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    I make canned pickles once in a while. It was hard at first but I totally got accustomed to making it. I never knew how to do it but just turned to the internet for some recipes.

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