I’ve made a few pickles in the last few years and honestly, canning pickles is probably one of the easiest things to make with garden produce. There are really not a lot of places to go wrong so you get success every time. All you need are a few basic ingredients and some fresh cucumbers from the garden and you are on your way to great pickles that will last you all winter long. Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
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6 Things I Have Learned When Canning Pickles
Label Your Jars
Last year I made a classic mistake. I tried about five different pickle recipes and didn’t mark the jars. When we found a jar we loved (or didn’t love), I don’t know which recipe I used so there’s no way I can remake that same taste. There was one batch that was way too sweet and another one had too much garlic, but I don’t know the recipe so feedback didn’t really matter. Lesson learned – label every jar clearly!
**I typically use Mrs. Wages Dill Pickle mix because it is so easy but I may try other recipes later on this season. I’ll just remember to mark them carefully!
Pack the Jars Tight
I do a cold pack method typically which means I pack in as many cold cucumber slices as I can fit in each jar. Then I pour the hot brine over the cucumbers before placing them in the hot water canner. No matter how tight I pack the cucumber slices, they will still float after being canned. I have come to accept that this is inevitable and not a problem I stress over.
Don’t Peel the Cucumbers
Now, this may sound like a no-brainer to you, but the first time I made pickles, I peeled the cucumbers. The results were still edible but they sure looked more like a science experiment than delicious pickles.
Pick and Can the Same Day
For the crunchiest pickles, pick the cucumbers the same day you are planning to can. If you can’t get the job done the same day, then store the cucumbers in cold water or in the refrigerator.
Use Pickle Crunch Granules
I love crunchy pickles so I always add 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon of pickle crunch granules in every jar. This is easier than soaking the cucumbers in lime for hours and creating the extra mess.
Make Different Types of Pickles
I like different pickles for different occasions. When I’m eating a grilled cheese sandwich, I want a pickle spear but when I am eating a hamburger, I want slices or stackers. Mix up the types of pickles you make so you can have something for every occasion!
Do you make homemade pickles? Got a favorite recipe or tip? I’d love to hear!