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Dark Cloud

Easy Crunchy Pickles

35 posts in this topic

The gardens overflowing and im making my favorite thing about every other day - "crunchy, salty, vinegar, dill, garlic pickles"

Im a big fan of pickles and this is my base recipe I have settled on after lots of expermenting. These are crisp and ready after 2 days in the fridge. You can eat them after one, but are better after another day...

In a sauce pan combine

A few slices of onion

1 cup white vinegar

2 cups water

3 teaspoons salt - you can go 50/50 on the liquid or more or less salt. This is what I settled on and its easy to remember with the 1,2,3...

I dont let this boil - just get up to a decent temp(starting to steam a little) looking to dislove the salt and soften the onions a tad while releasing some onion flavor. Heres the key to cripsy - Let this brine cool completly!

Ok on to the cukes. I use "straight 8s" and "pickling" ones. No real preference. Usually have a mixture in each jar...

The smaller and fresher the cuke the better. I try and make em the day they are picked. Most batches have a mixture of slices, rings, halfs, and baby wholes in em...

Also needed...

3-4 peeled cloves of garlic

1 teaspoon pickling spice

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 or 2 heads of fresh dill - when not available i'll use 1/4 teaspoon of the stuff in the little shakers

This makes roughly a quart to a quart and a half sized container. I have a bunch of the quart and a half glass jars that are my favorite. All the diff size containers is a pain! I have a plastic one that I use alot that is a pint and 5/8th's. My brine ratio always stays the same but i'll adjust other stuff as needed. Its not an exact science and can be played with to suit your tastes...

Add all the stuff to the container. I dont pack the cukes tight. Full but I want things to move around a bit when topped off with the brine and shaken around...

Put em in the fridge and patiently wait two days, shake them a little after a day if you remember...

I snack on them all the time and they go on sandwiches and with meals. Also try chopping them up with a jalapeno and topping a hotdog with it or in some tuna salad! Rarely do they last more than a week so im not sure on shelf life. I did have a jar I found in the fridge that was about 3 months old and they were still good, not as crunchy but still quite good. Enjoy, I hope... grin

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Thanks DC got a garden spewing with cukes Ill def. try this recipe.Ever try pickling zucchini?

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Before you dump your juice in the jar with the pickles add 1/4 to 1/2+/- cup of a good horseradish. Horseradish pickles are good

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Kirk - In the wise words of one of my best friends - "you can pickle anything". I have never done zucchini but searched around and found plenty of recipes. My mix would work fine. Most pickling recipes vary in a few ways.

Vinegar - most use 50/50 or more vinegar to water. I like the bite of vinegar but dont want to kill the other flavors so I tend to opt for 2:1 water being the 2 or 1:1

Sugar - Alot of recipes call for sugar. I dont like sweet when it comes to pickling, some do. I do add a little to my pickled eggs but not enough to really tell unless you have a pallat like our buddy Iron Chef CNY...

Salt - Salt varys a ton in recipes. I look for a balance of flavors in all my cooking...

Spices - alot call for "pickling spice". I like to use it. Mustard seed, cummin, celery seed, cloves, ginger cinnimon, you name it, some recipes have it...

Definatly try the zucchini, im gonna. I'll probably try two ways - regular and slightly sweet seeing as most recipes I found for zucchini called for sugar...

Yesterday I made a batch of green beans that are awesome already and still need a day or two to soak. I trimmed the ends and blanched them for 4 minutes then into icewater. Then into my pickle recipe. Green tomatoes are next!

This winter when we all fish together i'll pull out a tray of pickled stuff and cheese. cool

Creek Boy - I like the horseradish idea. I add jalapenos to mine sometimes also...

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Dark Cloud,

Do you chop up the garlic or leave them whole? Also, so you add the onions to the jar also?

Thanks,

Flash

"Set the Hook"

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Flash - I usually cut the cloves in half. Reason being I want to release more of the flavor but I also want to be able to grab the pieces to eat the garlic when the pickles are gone. Yep the onions go in the jar too. They are great on a sandwich! smile

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DC - these were great!Also made a gardenia batch with zuchinni,green tomatoes ,scallions carrots beans etc. The tomatoes and zuchinni were fantastic.Only problem is they dont last!4 kids in the house the gallon jar dont make it too long!

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Kirk 1 - Glad you and the kids liked em. I made a jar of green tomatoes before leaving on vacation and forgot them. So they sat in the brine for over a week and were fantastic. Im gonna be makeing some spicy gardenia soon - i'll add a few hot peppers in the jar with all the other stuff...

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Darkie- so there is no cooking?.. all the pickling I have done you have to boil the bottle and hope for the "pop" of the top?.. I have never done pickles, but do pickled green beans all the time... love them things.

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Hey Deitz, what kind of recipe do you use for the green beans? I have a friend that is looking to try a new one for beans.

Rob did up a batch of pike the other day, they should be good to go on Friday I think.

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Deitz - Nope, no canning or boiling. These are not preserved. I just make em a jar at a time and they are crunchy and fresh...

This recipe works well with beans(I just blanch em for 4 minutes first), I made green tomatos that were awesome also...

Heres a Canned Pickled Bean recipe I found Similar to mine. I plan on making a big batch here soon...

Directions for Making Canned Dill Pickled Beans

Ingredients and Equipment

4 pounds fresh, tender green or yellow beans (5- to 6-inches long)

8 to 16 heads fresh dill

8 cloves garlic - minced (optional)

½ cup canning or pickling salt (NOT table salt)

4 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)

4 cups water

1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes (optional)

Jar grabber (to pick up the hot jars)

Jar funnel

At least 1 large pot

Large spoons and ladles

Ball jars

1 Water Bath Canner OR a pressure Canner

Recipe and Directions

Step 1 - Selecting the beans

The most important step! You need beans that are FRESH and crisp. Limp, old beans will make nasty tasting canned beans. Guests will probably throw them at you.. Select firm, crisp beans. Remove and discard any soft, diseased, spotted and bug-chewed beans.

How many beans and where to get them

You can grow your own, pick your own, or buy them at the grocery store. About 4 pounds of beans makes about 8 pints of pickled beans.

Step 2 - Prepare the jars and canner

Wash the jars and lids

This is a good time to get the jars ready! The dishwasher is fine for the jars; especially if it has a "sterilize" cycle. Otherwise put the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. I just put the lids in a small pot of almost boiling water for 5 minutes, and use the magnetic "lid lifter wand" (available from WalMart, Target, and sometimes at grocery stores) to pull them out.

Get the canner heating up

Rinse out your canner, put the rack in the bottom, and fill it with hot tap water. (Of course, follow the instruction that came with the canner, if they are different). Put it on the stove over low heat just to get it heating up for later on.

Step 3 -Wash the beans!

I'm sure you can figure out how to scrub the beans in plain cold or lukewarm water using your hands or a vegetable brush.

Step 4 - Trim the ends and cut into smaller pieces

Just take a sharp knife and trim off beans tops, leaving an inch of stem and roots to prevent bleeding of color.

Of course, if your prefer French cut green beans, you can cut the beans lengthwise instead, or you can use a "bean Frencher" (No, that does not make the beans smelly, hairy or surrender quickly, it's just the name.. ). The "Frencher" enables you to prepare a huge quantity of beans quickly!

See the bottom of this page for makes, models, prices and ordering info for bean frenchers.

Step 5 - Pack the herbs into the jars

In each sterile (right out of the dishwasher) pint jar, place 1 to 2 dill heads and, if desired, 1 clove of garlic.

Step 6 - Pack the beans into the jars

Place the whole trimmed beans upright in jars, leaving ½-inch of headspace. Trim the beans to ensure proper fit, if necessary.

Step 7 - Make the Pickling Solution

Combine the salt, vinegar, water and pepper flakes (the latter if desired). Bring to a boil.

Step 8 - Pour the pickling solution into the jars

Use a ladle or pyrex measuring cup to carefully fill each packed jar with the hot vinegar solution, again allowing ½-inch headspace. The beans should be covered and there should still be 1/2 inch of airspace left in the top of each jar. Be careful not to burn yourself, (or anyone else - children should be kept back during this step!)

Step 9 - Put the lids and rings on

Put the lids on each jar and seal them by putting a ring on and screwing it down snugly (but not with all your might, just "snug").

Step 10 - Put the jars in the canner and the lid on the canner (but still vented)

Using the jar tongs, put the jars on the rack in the canner. Make sure the tops of the jars are covered by at least 1 inch of water.

Step 11 - Process for 5 minutes*

The chart below will help you determine the right processing time and pressure, if you have a different type of canner, or are above sea level. For most people, using a plain open water bath canner, the time will be 5 minutes (check the table below for altitudes above 1,000 ft). You can use either a plain water bath canner OR a pressure canner, since the vinegar adds so much acidity (if you can vegetables other than tomatoes without adding vinegar, you must use a pressure canner).

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Thanks for the ideas. I don't have cukes of my own but someone at work just brought in an entire bag of em to give away. I don't care for them raw but love pickles. I will definitely make some.

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DC - these were fantastic. Making a 2nd batch of 8 quart jars now... definitely going to do some tomatoes, okra, and the beans too. Thanks!

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These were fantastic DC! Got some more pickles from the in laws garden coming on Thursday and I'm going to make a another batch and vacuum seal them this weekend.

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If you add a little alum they will stay crispy longer...you can also use some cleaned Grapevine Leaves, but not as crispy...

If they are kept in the Fridge, they don't need the full Hot Water Treatment...as long as all Jars, Lids, Ingedients etc. are Clean...

If you are using the Screw On Rings and Flat Gasket Lids, you can get the Lids to seal by putting in Fridge, as it is the Contraction that does it...and if the Screw On Rings are tight enough, they will stay sealed if taken out again, especially if tightened down after they are Cold, but if they are not completely processed, the Bacteria or Mold will eventually Grow and Spoil the Product...so usually a few Months in the Fridge is OK...but the more you open them and take some out and leave more air space, and put them back in, the sooner they will Spoil...even the fully Processed Foods you buy at the Grocery...

With fully Processed you can leave them out and even take the Rings off, and they will stay sealed until they Spoil, when the Gas will unseal them...though most leave the Screw Rings on...but will usually get a Mushier Product, and who wants Mushy Pickles...or Fish...

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Brought back this thread,since it was mentioned in another.It was to late in the year for my garden last year.But I'm getting lots of pickles,zuchinni,and yellow summer squash now.So I started a jar full yesterday.

Tried them today......even after only one day they are great eating.Crunchy and just the right tang.The next jar will have some jalapeno.

Thanks Dark Cloud

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No problem grin

I love pickled just about anything! We have had cukes out of the garden for about a week and im on my 3rd jar. We make and eat about a quart every few days...

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Thanks for posting. It's looking like I'll get a bunch of cukes this year. I'll be trying this one out.

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Another great one from Dark Cloud!

I still say you should put out a cook book because I have yet to try something that you have suggested that I won't make again and again. Let me know when your book is complete so I can pick one up.

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Brought back this thread,since it was mentioned in another.It was to late in the year for my garden last year.But I'm getting lots of pickles,zuchinni,and yellow summer squash now.So I started a jar full yesterday.

Tried them today......even after only one day they are great eating.Crunchy and just the right tang.The next jar will have some jalapeno.

Thanks Dark Cloud

Yep, this is a great thread. Thanks Dark Cloud

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So I've been waiting all year to try this recipe and finally did this last week. I love the fresh, crunchy texture. They wont last long. Sounds like once you make the base brine you can also customize it to your taste as well. Can't wait to experiment a little

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I covered them with water and added some Alum.Put them in the fridge for a couple hours before finishing them.They are super crunchy.

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I just did as big batch with 8 jars. I experimented a little by adding bannana peppers to some and sugar to others. I'll let you know how they turn out.

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