I can’t wait to show you how easy it is learn How to Pickle Vegetables! Did you know that you can pickle almost all the vegetables?
I’ll also add a list of things that you can pickle, just to inspire you to learn how to pickle more vegetables (and fruit)!
Consequently, what I love about pickling with vinegar is that there isn’t any specific equipment that you need. Except get this…A glass jar with a lid.
Indeed, that’s it! I suggest this one. It’s a 1 gallon barrel jar. It’s perfect for the recipe that I’m providing, but you can use any 1 gallon jar (preferably glass), or you can put your pickles in multiple jars.
Tips and Tricks to Pickle Vegetables
- Bleeding Vegetables – Some vegetables tend to bleed when pickled. Such as, beets and radish. They will turn anything else in the brine pink.
If you don’t mind this, then it’s fine to pickle them with other vegetables. However, to avoid having all the vegetables turn pink, you can pickle those bleeders separately.
- Flavors – You can easily change the flavor of your pickles. They don’t have to be dill pickles. You can choose just about any herb from you garden to flavor your pickles with.
- Fresh is Best – Using fresh vegetables is a must. Don’t use blemished, damaged, moldy, old or otherwise tainted vegetables.
- Waxed Vegetables – You might have noticed, those big cucumbers in the store, are waxed. This is supposed to prevent moisture loss during transportation.
This wax is edible but not great for using when fermenting (like these fermented pickles) or pickling. The pickling brine has a difficult time penetrating the inside of the cucumber when its waxed.
- Not Removing The Ends of a Cucumber – The blossom and stem of the cucumber releases enzymes that help the cucumber soften or ripen.
- Rinse – Just about any vegetable you want to consume should be rinsed with cool water.
- When in Doubt – Throw it out! If the brine is cloudy, or you spot mold, or your nose detects something funky, throw out the entire batch! Mold, and other bacteria grow rapidly in wet conditions and will easily spread to all of the food in the jar.
- Using the wrong materials – Glass, high quality stainless steel, or ceramic should be okay to use when storing your pickles. For cooking, use stainless steel, or hard-anodized aluminum.
However, you should avoid using containers or even utensils made of copper, iron, zinc, or brass, as these materials may react with acid (vinegar) and/or the salt.
Table Salt Vs. Canning Salt and Sea Salt
Don’t Use Table Salt for Pickling – Table salts have additives that are not conducive to a pickling environment. The iodine in table salt can cause pickles to darken. The anticaking agents found in table salt may cause the brine to become cloudy.
Canning Salt– Specifically designed for pickling, this salt will give you the consistency for measuring.
Sea Salt – can be used, but you need to use a recipe that offers salt as a weight, and not volume. This is because sea salt comes in a variety of grain sizes, and can skew the measurements.
Pickled Vegetables List | How to Pickle Vegetables
I’ve made a list of some items that you can pickle, to spark some ideas and inspire you to get in the kitchen and start pickling your favorite foods.
- Cucumbers (of course!)
- Lemons & other citrus
- Soft beans, like sugar snap beans, fresh green beans, etc…
- Peppers, sweet and spicy!
- Fiddlehead ferns
- Mustard greens
- Bok Choy
She says firmer fruit such as pineapple, and grapes pickle well. Also, underripe green fruits can be pickled.
Karen also states that you can add citrus to other pickled vegetables to aid in the acidic venture, which will add some delicious flavor, no doubt!
How to Pickle Vegetables Recipe
Crunchy, crispy, and fresh pickled vegetables are a wonderful treat! They are super easy to make too.
Typically, when we pickle vegetables, we make a brine by combining water, vinegar, herbs and spices with vegetables.
In this recipe we will boil the water, vinegar, herbs and spices but NOT the vegetables. Boiling those ingredients is important for a couple of reasons.
- Helps dissolve salt and sugar.
- Flavors are infused into the water/vinegar mix more quickly.
- Boiling helps to pickle the vegetables more quickly.
How to Pickle Vegetables
- 5 cups water
- 3 cups white vinegar
- 2 tbsp Canning salt
- 1/2 large white or yellow onion (sliced thick)
- 4 large carrots (sliced)
- 8 cloves garlic (leave whole)
- 6 stalks celery (chopped)
- 1.5 lbs pickling cucumbers (cut off the ends, leave whole, slice, or quarter. See notes)
- 2 tbsp dried or fresh dill
- 4 tbsp dill seed
- 1 tbsp mustard seed
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp peppercorns
- Add all of the vegetables to your glass jar/s.
- Add all the other ingredients to a large saucepan.
- As this mixture starts heating up, give it a good stir, to make sure the Canning Salt gets dissolved.
- Heat on high until boiling, and then remove from heat.
- Pour the water/vinegar mixture over the vegetables in the glass jar.
- Allow to cool.
- Then, secure the lid and place in the fridge.
- These vegetables should be ready to eat in 48 to 72 hours, but they are usually best in about 1 week.
Reuse The Pickling Brine
If you plan to can your pickles it’s important to note that you should NOT reuse the pickling brine.
However, for refrigerator pickles the brine CAN be reused.
Ideas for Reusing Pickling Brine
- Pickle More Veggies! – i.e., recycled brine. In other words, you can reuse the brine up to 3 times. Of course, you should make sure that the brine isn’t cloudy or smells funky, before reusing it.
- Vinegar Substitute – In recipes that call for vinegar use brine instead.
- Boil Potatoes – The unique flavors in most brines, such as the dill, and other herbs can help make your potatoes be especially tasty!
- Pickle Popsicles – Granted, this sounds ridiculous. My husband actually did this once. However, my son loves pickles and loved the pickled pops dad made!
- Meat Tenderizer – Use this acidic mix to help tenderize those especially tougher cuts of meat.
- Cleaning Agent? – Indeed, one of my favorite cleaning agents is vinegar. You can undoubtedly, use the brine to clean copper pots and pans.
- Heartburn – Amazingly, some people swear by using pickle juice to curve their heartburn, although it doesn’t work for everyone.
- Kill Weeds – Since a mixture of vinegar and water is often used to kill weeds, it comes as no surprise that pickle juice can be used to kill weeds too!
- Make Dill Pickle Soup! When you LOVE pickles you are sure to make soup full of pickles!
- Compound Butter – Make a compound butter by adding a little pickle juice, and a little bit of dill to butter and mix well.
Pickle Vegetables without Boiling
Subsequently, there are a couple of recipes that don’t call for the boiling technique. Honestly, I haven’t tried this method, so I can’t speak to its accuracy.
However, from what I’ve read, it takes longer for no-boil pickled vegetables to get pickled.
Here’s a Couple of No-Boil Pickle Vegetables Recipes
Canning Pickled Vegetables
Eventually, I’d like to experiment with canning my pickles, but for now I’ve only made refrigerator pickles.
Since there are different rules for canning, I suggest using recipes from reputable sites like Fresh Preserving (link to canned pickle recipe).
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