Quick Recipes and Easy

Secrets to Pickling at Home

One of the fantastic things about pickles is that anyone, and I DO mean anyone, can make their own right in their own home. There is no special skill and just a bit of pickling knowledge that you will need. You will also need just a few simple to get, cheap items that you can find at most of your local shopping outlets. Pickling is not only fun, but it will save you money, and impress your friends and neighbors. There really is no excellent reason that you shouldn’t learn to make pickles at home. So let’s take a look at some of the items that you will need to get started.

First off, you will need some pickling jars, some lids, and some rings. These can be found in a number of places, including various online stores. You will also need a water bath canner; this is basically just a large pot that will be used to make the seal on your pickle jars. I also highly recommend purchasing a pair of tongs; it will help you to avoid getting burned. This is really all of the equipment that you need to get started. So now we need to choose what we want to pickle. Wait, pickles are just made from cucumbers right? Right, but you can pickle a whole lot of other things, including fruits, other veggies, and sometimes even meats; pickling cucumbers is just the beginning. But, there are also many tasty variations of your classic dill cucumber pickles, my personal favorites being spicy garlic pickles. There are many other items that can make your pickling go much smoother, but, they are purely optional. They may just be able to make your life a small bit simpler.

So now you have all of the items that you need to pickle, what’s next? Well for your first batch, it will be best to pickle cucumbers, they are considered the simplest items to pickle, and quite frankly they are the toughest to mess up. Your main ingredients will consist of vinegar, sugar, salt, mustard seed, and a few others, depending on the recipe. You are free to add items such as sliced onions, garlic cloves, bunches of dill, etc. Whatever flavor you want your pickles to have, is up to you and your imagination.

Once you have completed your pickles and sealed them in your pickling jars, the only thing left for you to do is wait. It normally takes from 4 to 6 weeks for the cucumbers to pickle, but it does not hurt to wait a small longer rather than shorter, just to be safe. Once the 4 to 6 weeks has elapsed, open up a jar, and delight in your creation! Why stop there though; share your pickles with your friends, family, or even the people you work with. You will be amazed at how people react to homemade pickles. It is as if you performed some act of magic. But they don’t have to know how simple it was, so delight in the compliments and certainly delight in the pickles.

Once you have pickled cucumbers once or twice, you may want to try pickling something else, such as asparagus, or watermelon rind. Yes, you can pickle watermelon rind, and yes they are very tasty. The sky becomes the limit with what you can pickle, and how you can pickle it. Spicy carrot pickles, crunchy cucumber pickles, garlicky pickled eggs, the choice is yours. I hope you choose to try your hands at pickling, and see just how fun and tasty it can be. If you are not sure where to start, you may want to check out my Ultimate Guide to Pickling for simple 1-2-3 instructions and over 30 recipes for you to try.

Jonathan Heusman grew up with a family of picklers, and enjoys helping others learn how fantastic pickling is. You can learn more about his comprehensive pickling guide at

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