3 tips for crisper pickles

Ever made a batch of cucumber pickles and had them turn out on the mushy side? Ever bit into a pickle and had a bunch of brine pour out from the hollow middle? Ever had pickles turn brown on you after a couple of months? Disappointing, isn't it? These 3 pickling tips should help solve at least some of your troubles.

  • Weather, most especially heavy rain fall can have an effect on homegrown and farmer’s market produce. It can cause the produce to retain water; the excess water absorbs into the cells of the vegetables and is hard to remove and can cause your final pickle to be soft and lacking in flavor. Wait at least 2-3 days after heavy rain fall to use vegetables from your garden to make pickles
  • Try to use produce that has been picked within 24 hours. Cucumbers and items like squash will start to develop hollow centers when they stand for longer than 24 hours. These hollow centers trap air and will cause pickles to float and spoil earlier.
  • The high temperature of a boiling water bath, even for a short period of time can rob pickles of their crispness and colour. To prevent this, pickles should be processed for a longer period of time in a 180F to 185F water bath to pasteurize the contents of the jars. This method is called low temperature pasteurization.

Are there other tricks that you use to ensure pickling success?