There are few foods more satisfying than the sounds of a crunchy cucumber or pickle. However, veggies don’t stay fresh forever, and if you don’t want to waste your delicious cukes, then you need to find a solution. That’s where canning cucumbers comes in handy!
Cucumbers are one of the best vegetables to can because they make delicious pickles. Pickles are the perfect condiment for hamburgers or sandwiches, but they also make a great snack on their own.
Next time you start craving pickles, skip the grocery stores, and head to the farmers market and then follow these easy recipes for canning cucumbers.
Best Ways to Can Cucumbers
Of course, there are many different ways to preserve cucumbers. However, canning and pickling them are among our favorites. Canning is an excellent food preservation method, and cucumbers are a shelf stable food, which means you can store them at room temperature.
However, they have to be appropriately processed and sealed in an airtight container. By canning cucumbers, you’re ensuring that you can safely enjoy them for months or even years after they’re picked from the garden.
Preparing Cucumbers for Canning
There are various ways to can cucumbers, but all of them require the same preparation. The key to canning is choosing the right cucumbers and preparing them properly for the preservation process. To start, pick the cucumbers early in the morning for the best flavor.
Additionally, make sure to use a picking variety of cucumber that is firm and blemish-free. It would be terrible to try to pickle a bad cucumber. You never want to risk ruining the entire batch of pickles with one that is moldy and mushy!
The ideal size for pickling cucumbers is between an inch and a half to four inches long, and some of the best varieties are Kirby, Bush, and Boston pickling cucumbers.
Once you’ve found the right cucumbers, it’s time to wash them. Make sure you clean thoroughly around the stem to remove soil that may carry bacteria.
If there are any cucumbers with mold or that look like they may spoil soon, throw them away. Pickle the cucumbers within one day of picking.
How to Can Cucumbers
Regardless of the canning cucumber recipe you use, the process of preparing the pint jars and putting them in the canner is the same, as are the items you need. The prep time is relatively short, whether you’re doing water bath canning or using a canner, and is worth the results of delicious canned cucumbers year-round.
Canning starts with sterilization. Wash the lids of the wide mouth canning jars with warm soapy water. Place the quart jars in a large pot and fill with water until the jars are just covered and heat until the water is boiling.
Remove them from the hot water bath and place them on a towel. After following the canned cucumber recipes, use a fork to push down on the vegetables to release all air bubbles. Secure the lids on the cans and place them back in the water bath.
Allow the water to boil and leave them in the pot or canner, according to the National Center for Home Food Preservation (..). Remove the jars and let them sit out for the day. Store the canned cucumbers in a dry, dark, cool place until you are ready to eat them.
Simple Canning Cucumber Recipe
Learning how to can cucumbers so they taste like classic, crunchy dill pickles is easy with this recipe. Start by leaving your freshly picked cucumbers in a large bowl of ice water overnight and prepare your jars.
It may also be a good time to take inventory of your garlic and peppercorns to be sure you have enough for the recipe. How many cloves are in a head of garlic? That all depends on the type of garlic you are using.
In the morning, dry your cucumbers and pack them into your jars. You can either put them in whole or cut them into lengthwise spears. Pack in the garlic, dill, and peppercorns.
Place a large pot with two quarts of water over medium-high heat. Bring it to a boil and then add the vinegar and salt. Let it boil for five minutes to make the brine.
Pour the liquid over the jarred cucumbers but leave a quarter inch of space at the top of the jar. Place the lids on the jars and place them in the hot water bath for canning.
How to Make Refrigerator Pickles
This simple refrigerator pickle recipe doesn’t require the preserving process. The total time you need for this recipe is only about 30 minutes. How long do cucumbers last in the fridge after making a refrigerator pickle recipe? They keep in the refrigerator for up to three months if you don’t eat them all before the time is up.
Bring six cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Turn down the heat to a simmer and add garlic. Let the liquid simmer for five minutes before adding the vinegar and salt and bringing it to a boil.
Stir until the salt dissolves and then remove from heat. Divide the peppercorns, seeds, and dill into four or five clean Mason jars. Strain the brine to remove the garlic and then place two to three cloves into each jar.
Tightly pack the jars with the cucumber spears. Bring the brine to a boil again and, once boiling, pour it over the cucumbers. Cover the cucumbers completely.
Put the jars in the fridge after allowing them to cool. They keep for up to three months.
Bread and Butter Pickles Recipe
This easy recipe produces yummy, old-fashioned sweet pickles. It may take longer than the other recipes on the list, but you won’t regret it once you have your first taste. For more authentic bread and butter pickles, start by cutting your cucumbers into even slices.
Place your cucumber slices in a large crock and pour in the pickling salt, a quarter cup of vinegar, and two quarts of water. Weight down the cucumbers using a plate with a cup full of water and then cover the crock. Allow the cucumbers to ferment.
Check on your cucumbers every day for two weeks. You can expect to see a white film on the top of the brine. Remove this during your daily check. After the two weeks pass, strain the pickles and place them in cold water for 24 hours. Rinse the cucumbers.
In a saucepan, pour three cups of vinegar, six cups of sugar, and an eighth of a quart of water. Place two tablespoons of whole cloves and pickling spices in cheesecloth and tie it. Place it in the pan with the liquid. Bring to a boil and pour over the cucumbers.
Let it stand for 24 hours before draining, reheating the vinegar solution, and repeating the process four times. Pack the pickles into your sterile Mason jars and bring the vinegar solution to a boil one last time. Pour the brine over the pickles and seal with a water bath.
Pickling Cucumbers for Kosher Dill Pickles
This recipe offers a delicious take on dill pickles. After following the recipe, give the cucumbers about one to two weeks to ferment before eating. For a little bit of extra heat in these dill pickles, add half a teaspoon of ground turmeric.
In a large pot, combine the vinegar, salt, and three cups of water. Bring ingredients to a boil. In a sterilized quart jar, layer in the dill seeds, a clove of garlic, and the mustard seeds. Place the cucumbers vertically in the jar until it is about half full and then pack another layer of dill, garlic, and mustard seed.
Fill the rest of the jar with cucumbers. Repeat this process in as many jars as you wish. Remove the boiling brine and fill the jars, leaving about a half inch of space at the top. Seal the jars using your canner or a hot water bath.
Canning Cucumbers with other Vegetables
If it’s your first time trying to can or pickle something, then you might not know if pickled cucumbers suit your taste buds. If that’s the case, you might want to try canning pickled cucumbers with some other vegetables to see which you prefer.
The best thing about this recipe is that you can swap in just about any vegetable you have on hand, like zucchinis, bell peppers, green beans, or jalapenos for a little heat.
Pack your cut vegetables into two jars along with the garlic cloves, dill, coriander seeds, and peppercorns, dividing the ingredients in two. In a medium pan, combine sugar, salt, white vinegar, and water and bring to a boil.
Pour the boiling brine mixture into each of the jars and top it off with water if the vegetables aren’t fully covered. Put the lids on the jars and let them sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours before eating. These pickled vegetables last for up to a month in the refrigerator.
Pickle Recipes for Canned Cucumbers
Now that you’ve made your delicious pickles, you’re ready to eat them on their own or add them to any of your favorite meals. One of our favorite meals to add pickles to is the classic grilled cheese sandwich.
Slather butter on your slices of French bread and place a slice of cheese on the bottom piece. Layer as many slices of dill pickle as you prefer on top of the cheese and then sprinkle on some fresh dill. Top it with another slice of cheese and your second slice of bread.
Heat a pan over medium heat and place your sandwich on top. Grill until golden and then flip it to grill the other side. Your cheese should be nice and melted, but turn down the heat if the bread browns too quickly. Take your sandwich off the pan, let it cool, and enjoy!
Pickles are a staple in many households, and learning to can your own cucumbers means you can strike at least one item off your grocery list. Canning and food preservation is a great skill to learn so that you can cut back on food waste and introduce new, delicious recipes to your household.
If this article helped you learn more about canning cucumbers, then share these canning tips and recipes with your friends on social media.