Pickle Like a Boss: At-home Pickling Recipe
September 07, 2018
Reading: how to make real dill pickles
We receive many inquiries about at-home pickling, so we figured it was time to share our favorite tips and tricks with you. It may seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, pickling is a fun and easy activity that doesn’t require advanced culinary skills or kitchen supplies. All you need is vinegar, salt, spices, and sugar for your brine and your favorite herbs and fruit or dark vegetables. While working on dill pickles, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box and let your inner chef guide you!
- You can pickle that
- Cucumbers are just the tip of the iceberg. Experiment with your favorite fruits and vegetables; if it’s edible, you can pickle it! The only thing we shy away from are delicate, leafy greens. The rest is fair game. We love pairing carrots with cardamom and ginger and cauliflower with curry powder, lime leaves, and Thai chiles.
- Switch up the vinegar
- Although people commonly use white vinegar, white wine, red wine, apple cider, and rice vinegars will help you step up your pickle game. Stay away from fancier vinegars like balsamic and sherry; they will overpower your herbs and spices.
- Don’t fear sugar
- A little bit of sugar will round out your dill pickles’ flavor. In addition to cane sugar, we love using honey and molasses as sweeteners.
- Taste your brine as you go
- Ultimately, your brine is going to determine the flavor of your pickles, so make sure to taste it before you add it to your jar and adjust as necessary.
- Mason jars
- Pickle in Mason jars. They are tried and true, and they allow you to see everything in your jar.
- Patience is a virtue
- Allow your pickles to sit for at least 48 hours in the fridge or leave them in for even longer to build deeper flavors.
Quick-Pickle Recipe | yields 1 qt.
1 pt. water 1 pt. white wine vinegar (or vinegar of choice) 3 oz. pickling salt 1 oz. cane sugar 1 T. black peppercorn 1 T. coriander seed 1 t. crushed red pepper flakes 10 raw garlic cloves, peeled 1 lb. dill, fresh 3 lb. pickling cucumbers 3 mason jars
Combine water, white wine vinegar (or any type you like), cane sugar, and pickling salt in a pot. Add black peppercorn, coriander seed, and crushed red pepper flakes (and any other spices you like) to the pot and bring to a boil. Once the contents are boiling, turn off the heat and let the liquid steam for 45-60 min.
While the brine is steaming, trim off the blossom end of the cucumbers and slice into spears (or experiment with any fruit or vegetable. We love using carrots, cauliflower, green beans, and onions.)
Once the brine is done steaming, strain out the spices from the pot and reserve. Bring the brine to a boil again.
Read more: Sweet Pickle Relish | Family Cuisine
Divide the reserved spices, dill (or any other herbs) and garlic into even amounts and place into jars. We also recommend adding red onion, green onion, cilantro, sage, jalapeno or chile peppers. Next, pack the jars with the vegetables so that there isn’t much space between them. Pour the hot brine into the jars within 1/2-inch from the top. Gently tap the jars on a counter to release any air bubbles. Cap the jars as tight as possible, and let them cool. Place jars in the refrigerator for 48 hours. For a more developed flavor, let the jars sit for longer.
* Best enjoyed after a week or two of pickling time. These must be refrigerated!
* Don’t be afraid to experiment with different vinegars, sweeteners, spices, herbs, and vegetables. This is just a basic recipe guide that you can transform.
Read more: Pickling Grape Leaves | Family Cuisine