Want to join the pickling craze, but don’t know where to start? We have
tips and resources to help.
Pickling is one of the oldest forms of food preservations, traditionally
taking hours to prepare, and weeks to cure today can be done in small
batches, stored in the refrigerator and enjoyed in 24 hours.
* Lime – No more breathing pickling lime, soaking cucumbers for hours,
rinsing, and then more soaking. New product formulations create crisp
pickles in 3 step process – wash, combine, pack. (Note: the traditional lime
method is still available and considered the granddaddy of pickling
* Time – once pickle recipes took weeks to cure. Not today. Companies like
Mrs Wages and Ball have created pickle mixes which create a tasty pickle in
as little as 24 hours.
* Storage – Grandma had root cellars and fruit rooms. Today’s do-it-
yourselfer living in a condo and enjoy the pleasure of home packed pickles
stored in the refrigerator in glass, food grade plastic and stainless steel.
Note: do not use chipped enamel, aluminum or other reactive metal
containers for preparing or storing pickles.
Here’s a fine peck of pickles. Every culture has it favorite pickle –
from kraut to kimchi, pickled onions and Swiss Raclette cheese, even local
cultures love deep-fat fried dills at state fairs. Today’s do-it-yourselfer is
experimenting with a wide variety of delicious pickles and serving them up
as sides and on sandwiches and even craving them with ice cream.
Because improper home canning may result in unsafe food, use caution
when selecting food preservation recipes from cookbooks and off the
internet. Check to make sure it is a research tested recipe. A study by the
University of Georgia found listeria, which causes food poisoning, can grow
in home-fermented refrigerator dill pickles. If a water bath process is not
used to preserve the pickles, refrigerate jars after preparation and use
within two weeks to avoid this risk. NOTE: This is contrary to many on-line
recipes for refrigerator pickles. Follow tested recipes for safety and quality.
Where do you find tested recipes? Here are a few sources.
* National Center for Home Food Preservation www.uga.edu/nchfp/
Recipes, education resources, seasonal tips. Established with funding from
the Cooperative State Extension Service, USDA to address food safety
concerns for those who practice home food preservation. Based on the
USDA Home Canning Guide; links to canning supplies.
* Utah State University Cooperative Extension
su.edu/foodpreservation/ Publishing safe home food
preservation recommendations since 1909. Site provides links to local
offices throughout Utah, canning resources and publications.
* “So Easy to Preserve”www.uga.edu/setp/ University of
Cooperative Extension, 375 pages of recipes, tips and knowhow for the
beginner to experienced home canner. Book is available online and at USU
Cooperative Extension offices. NOTE: As of July there is a notification on
their website they are out of stock, due to unprecedented number of
orders. Books should be available online by the end of August.
* “Ball” www.FreshPreserving.com
Online source of recipes, tips, kits,
products and canning supplies.
* “Ball Complete Guide to Home Preservation” Book available at Barnes and
* Mrs. Wages www.mrswages.com/ Many
stores carry Mrs. Wages
products. See their website for a complete line of available products.
“Good pickles have an audible crunch at 10 paces. This can be measured at
‘crunch-off’ using the scientific device known as the Audible Crunch Meter.
Pickles that can be heard at only one pace are known as denture dills.”
(Pickle Packers International, Inc)