When summertime is here, cucumbers are available at every farmers’ market and all grocery stores. Their crisp and fresh flavor is unmistakable and adds a bounce to salads and other dishes. Cucumbers are healthy meal options as well. We want the benefits of cucumbers all year long, and pickles are the way to make that happen.
Pickling our cucumbers allow us to enjoy them all year long. That’s why it’s essential to know how to can pickles. Canning pickles is a great way to ensure that our families taste their great flavor every season.
In this guide, we look at the best method for canning dill pickles. We show you how to can crunchy pickles, and we walk you through the canning process itself and offer tips to let you personalize your canned pickles.
We give you info about the health benefits you get from eating cucumber pickles regularly, and we close out our article by letting you in on our favorite recipe with canned pickles. Before you know it, you’ll be adding pickle dishes to your regular meal rotation.
Preparing and Preserving Pickles
We’re planning for the long term when we can pickles or when canning jalapenos, and we put a lot of effort into the process. That’s why it’s important to make sure that we use a safe, healthy, and tried-and-true canning method so that we get optimal results the first time and every time after that.
It’s an awful feeling to reach for a jar of pickles in the middle of winter only to find that you contaminated your veggies during canning. To prevent pickles from spoiling, we’ve got to treat every step of the process with loving care.
You must also take care when preserving other types of produce, as well. Canning tomato sauce, peaches, mushrooms, and beans all require fresh specimens and proper preparation of your canning equipment.
In this section, we go over the preparation and canning procedures. We look at the best way to make sure that your pickles are ready for canning, and we also show you a foolproof canning method that will keep your pickles fresh and delicious for months on end.
Preparing Your Pickles
Canned goods rely on the quality of the ingredients that go into them. With that in mind, make sure that you only use the freshest pickling cucumbers when you preserve them as you learn how to pickle cucumbers the right way.
Bread and butter pickles make an excellent choice for canning. Make sure that your cucumbers are ripe, but try not to use any that are too ripe or limp to avoid being disappointed with a soggy pickle when you open the jar. Crispy, crunchy pickles are always the best.
Trim each cucumber’s stem and blossom end, as they are bitter in flavor and should not make it to the jar. Once you’ve trimmed all of the cucumbers, cut them as you see fit.
To make pickle spears, cut each cucumber lengthwise in half, and then cut each piece lengthwise in half again. Use a specially designed blade for waffle-cut pickle chips.
For the best way to can beans, follow the same rules. Pick only the freshest beans and trim off the stem end. Of course, you do not need to cut the beans but if they are longer, you could snap them in half so they fit better in the jar and are easier to eat after preservation.
How to Can Pickles – Canning Dill Pickles Procedure
Now that you’ve gotten your cucumbers ready for their big day, it’s time to get your pickles into the jars and prepared for the shelf. Pickles do best when you can them using a hot water bath canner. If you don’t have a canner, you can create a makeshift one using an instant pot and a small rack.
We’ve included a basic dill pickles recipe for canning, but feel free to add personal touches to the recipe and experiment with herbs and pickling spice until you find the perfect flavor for your needs and create your own canning recipes.
It is essential that you take care of sterilizing canning jars, lids, and rings properly before starting the canning process to ensure that you will not introduce contaminants into your preserved pickles. Fill the canner with hot water, add the empty wide mouth jars without rings or lids to the canner, and bring the water to a boil.
As soon as the water begins to bubble, turn off the heat, and let the canning jars sit in the water while you work with the pickles. Use hot, soapy water to take care of the lids and rings and rinse thoroughly.
Mix the vinegar and two cups of water in a large saucepan, and add the pickling salt or Pickle Crisp. Substitute kosher salt for pickling salt if you wish, but adjust your measurements to compensate.
Replace every teaspoon of pickling salt with 2 tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 ½ tsp Morton’s kosher salt. The vinegar, water, and salt mixture is your brine. Bring the brine to a boil.
Use the jar lifter to remove the hot jars from the canner. Peel the garlic. Add 1 garlic clove to each pint jar and 2 cloves to each quart jar.
Add three to four dill sprigs to pint jars and six to eight sprigs to quart Mason jars. Fit as many cucumber spears as will fit snugly in each jar, and fill jars with the pickling liquid, leaving ½ inch headspace at the top.
Use the utensil to gently push the cucumbers around until you’ve coaxed out any air bubbles. Add any additional spices now; try adding dill seed, mustard seed, red pepper, or anything else that you want to experiment with, wipe the jar rims with a clean cloth, and seal the lids.
Using the jar lifter, place the filled jars in the canner, add enough water to have one inch of water over the top of the jars, and bring the canner to a boil. Processing time varies depending on container size and altitude; check the National Council for Home Food Preservation’s pickle canning chart to find out your required cook time.
Use the lifter to remove jars from the boiling water bath, place them on a cutting board or towel, and allow them to sit at room temperature for twenty-four hours before storing them. Adequately sealed and processed jar lids will be dimpled inward and will not move when you press on them.
The process for canning pickles is similar to that of how to can sauerkraut and other vegetables like beets, carrots, and green tomatoes. You will find that a pickled beets recipe is quite similar to that of cucumber pickles and pickled cauliflower.
Proper processing techniques provide you with delicious pickled veggies like quick pickled green beans all winter and satisfy your health need for fermented foods at the same time.
Of course, you can also can your favorite fruit, too. Learn all about canning pears at home or even apples and making applesauce. The possibilities are almost endless!
Why Preserve Pickles?
There’s no denying that refrigerator pickles are delicious and add a bite to hamburgers and hot dogs, as well as providing a yummy side dish to your favorite barbecue, but why go to so much trouble to preserve them for long-term storage? Making sure that pickles last through the long, cold winter months can be tricky, so why do we bother?
What’s so special about pickles that make them worth spending so much time and effort to make them available year-round? This section addresses those questions and provides a couple of excellent answers. In this section, we look at the many health benefits that pickles provide.
We look at the ways that pickles aid your heart and your insulin resistance, and we also see how pickles up your antioxidant levels. Finally, we give you a fantastic recipe with canned pickles that will blow you away.
We all know that pickles are crisp and delicious, but did you know that including pickles in your diet can be a boon to your health? Pickles are full of antioxidants, which help your body fight off free radicals.
Considering the part that free radicals play in causing cancer and heart disease, the fewer free radicals, the better. You can also get a fantastic digestive aid when you eat pickles fermented in apple cider vinegar and other unpasteurized fermenters.
The pickles themselves don’t provide all the health benefits you get with canned pickles, either. Pickle brine has become very popular in recent years as a sports drink, thanks to its ability to manage your electrolytes. Because pickles use salt as a preservative, if you are on a low-sodium diet, check with your physician before eating pickles regularly.
It’s important to note that cucumbers are not the only veggie worth pickling. Try a pickled carrots recipe or one for pickled cauliflower. Experiment with different vegetables or even combine them to make the most of a bountiful summer harvest.
Intense and Unparalleled Flavor
When it comes to our preferred foods, health concerns are essential, but what we really want are foods that taste good, whatever their benefits might be. Fortunately, pickles pack an incredible flavor into a small package.
Every bite of a pickle releases a briny burst of goodness that gets our mouth watering and stimulates our senses. You’ll find pickle’s unique flavor in many recipes, including salads and green beans, and it’s also in our favorite canned pickle recipe.
Add potatoes to a big pot of water, and place over high heat. When the water starts boiling, reduce the heat, and cook the potatoes uncovered for fifteen to twenty minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes, and let them cool.
Dice the potatoes into 1-inch cubes, and put them in a bowl. Chop up four eggs, and slice the last one. Add the pickles, onion, and chopped eggs to the potatoes.
Combine the celery seed, pepper, salt, and mayonnaise, and stir it into the potato mix. Garnish the dish with sliced egg, and sprinkle paprika over the top.
We hope that you enjoyed this guide on canning pickles. Having fresh pickles all year long makes our families happier and our winters more bearable, which is why it’s essential to know how to can pickles. With our guide, you can turn your garden cucumbers into a year-long treat!
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