Don’t you just love pickles? The tangy, yet slightly sweet flavor, makes for the perfect balance in taste. The crispy texture compliments your sandwiches, burgers, meats and makes them much more enjoyable.
With so many uses for pickles in various foods and recipes, it may be beneficial to learn how to make bread and butter pickles. If you store them properly they will last throughout the year.
Whether you are new to canning pickles or have been doing it for a while, here are a few tips to help you improve your canning process:
1. Use An Ice Water Bath
One of the best ways to prepare crispy pickles is to soak your cucumbers in an ice water bath for nearly five hours before starting the pickling process. Place water and ice in a large container and add the clean pickling cucumbers into it, letting them soak.
To ensure a successful process, refill the ice frequently to keep the water bath cold throughout the process. You can even refrigerate the container during the soaking period. After 5 hours you can drain the water.
2. Saltwater Brining
Use the saltwater brining process to remove the excess water from your fresh cucumbers. Placing these in the brine overnight will make them more flavorful before the pickling process. It also prevents the development of possibly harmful microorganisms that also impact the flavor of the finished pickles.
As a result, you must use brine before you pack the pickles into the jars and cover them with the pickling liquid.
3. Use The Right Salt
Once you have thoroughly washed your onions and cucumbers and sliced them finely, you must be sure to use the right salt for their brining process. The anti-caking agents and iodine in regular table salt can darken the pickles and leave you with a clouded jar.
If you use pickling salt, also known as canning salt, the pickles will retain their color.
4. Use Proper Canning Equipment
Make sure you use the right equipment instead of using random pots and containers to make the canning process easier. Here’s what you need:
- Pint Jars
- Water bath canner
- Lids and bands
- Canning tools like jar lifter, lid lifter, funnel, canning ladle, bubble popper
- Basic kitchen utensils like a large bowl, saucepot, small pot, knife, cutting, towels
5. Sterilize The Jars
It is essential to sterilize all the jars you use for canning to kill any bacteria that may be present.
Set up your water bath canner and place the canning rack on the stove. Sterilize your jars by washing them, placing them in the canner, adding water, and boiling them for ten minutes.
6. Use Crisp Pickling Cucumbers
It is best to use freshly harvested and crisp pickling cucumbers instead of the normal waxed ones. Pickling cucumbers are thin-skinned cucumbers, and are explicitly used for pickling and processing. They allow the picking liquid to penetrate the cucumber, which is difficult with the wax in an average cucumber.
Pickles are an absolutely delightful addition to different foods that add a depth of flavor to any dish and offer unique textures. You can enjoy bread and butter pickles throughout the year when you use the proper methods and tips.
Head over to Mrs. Wages® for more canning recipes and learn how to store various foods properly.