Dill pickles are a staple in every American household. A classic topping on burgers and hotdogs, dill pickles epitomize summer for everyone.
However, if you love to make them at home, the problem is that you may end up with soft, mushy pickles instead of perfect, crispy ones.
As much as we’d like, it’s not possible to prevent pickles from going soft, especially if you didn’t pay attention during the canning process.
If left in jars for extended periods, your pickles will eventually begin to get mushy. That’s why it’s important to get the canning process right and leave the cans airtight.
Here are some tips to ensure you get that perfect crunch every time.
How To Get Crispy Dill Pickles Every Time
Choose The Right Pickles
Whether you buy them at the store or grow your own pickles, get fresh cucumbers that have the words ‘pickle’, ‘pickler,’ or ‘pickling’ in their name. Your local farmer’s market can help you find the right kind.
If you grow cucumbers yourself, try processing them the same day you plan on canning them. If you buy cucumbers from the store or farmer’s market, try asking the grocer how fresh they are and when they were picked.
Rubbery looking cucumbers should be avoided because there’s nothing you can do to save them. The best type of cucumber is a slightly curved one, that’s firm to touch and has a fresh green color.
Lastly, the smaller the cucumber, the crispier it’ll be when it pickles. Smaller and younger pickles tend to have fewer seeds as opposed to older, longer ones that also tend to get softer. More importantly, pick pickles that are all the same size when canning.
Soak Cucumbers In Ice Water Beforehand
If you’re not canning your cucumbers immediately, leave them in an ice bath or in your refrigerator overnight to maintain firmness.
Doing this before you start canning them will give you the crunchiest pickles you’ve ever had!
Cut The Blossoms Off
Cut off around a quarter of an inch of the cucumbers from the blossoming side as it contains enzymes that may cause it to soften during the canning process.
If you’re confused about which side is the blossom, cut off both ends.
Adding natural tannins such as grape leaves, black tea, or oak leaves can delay the softening process and keep your pickles firm. This is entirely optional and only works if your cucumbers aren’t already soft.
Find Some Pickle Mix
Many pickle canners now buy ready-made pickle mixes to ensure that they get the best, crispiest possible pickles. Although it sounds daunting, these products are completely harmless and create flavors everyone will love! Combine the ready-made pickle mixes with Mrs. Wages® Xtra Crunch™ to achieve the crispiest pickles.
The calcium chloride reinforces the cell walls in the pickles, keeping them sturdy throughout the canning process. This is also optional but is a sure shot way to guarantee perfectly crisp pickles when canning at home.
It’s important to remember that these bits of advice will only delay the softening of your pickles, not permanently stop it. So make sure you don’t can too many cucumbers at a time, to enjoy the crunchiest, crispiest canned pickles all year round.
Also, try to make sure the jars are consumed within six months, at least.