Monday, July 29, 2013

My First Attempt at Canning Pickles

This week I tried my first attempt at canning pickles. I've got a ton of them in my garden. I only planted 3 small plants, but I'm getting lots of small 3-5" pickles. They were specifically for pickling.

Okay don't get all impressed.  I used a packet of seasonings that I bought last year in clearance. It didn't have an expiration date, so I gave it a try.

It's pretty easy. Start with a bunch of cucumbers. Size doesn't really matter. Smaller sized cucumbers are easier to fit into the jars and fill small spaces.

Cut them up into slices (crinkle cut if you can). You can also cut into length-wise strips as well. It's your preference really.

Next start putting the cut up cucumbers into clean, sterilized jars. Any size jar will work. I had pint size jars on hand so that's what I used.

Now it's time to make the liquid that will make the cucumbers taste like pickles. I used the package of seasoning mix, but you can follow any recipe you wish. There are lots available for free on the web. Mostly it spices and lots of white vinegar.

Once your liquid is complete according to your recipe's directions, add the hot liquid to the jars full of cucumber slices. I found it much easier to use a funnel (which can be found in most dollar stores). Leave 1/2" from the top of the jar with no cucumbers or liquid.

After you add the liquid seasoning, be care because the jars will be hot. Wipe the jar with a dry towel, especially around the top rim. Add a dry, clean and sterilized lid and ring and tighten.

Add all the jars to a canning pot. Once the water is boiling, let the jars remain in there for 5-10 minutes or however your recipe calls for.

After the jars were boiled for the designated time remove them to a towel on the counter.  Let the jars remain their for 24 hours to cool thoroughly. You may hear them pop as they cool.

My recipe said they were ready to eat after 24 hours, but we waited 2 days to try them. Let me just say- Yummy!!  Next time I will try sweet pickles, because I still have a ton of cucumbers growing. We will be eating pickles forever! LOL

Feel free to leave a comment with your pickling stories.

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