"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Canning and Preserving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-30-2014, 06:20 AM   #11
Head Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,079
This year, I had an abundance of cukes in the garden, so I was able to treat my pickles like a science project, trying all different recipes containing many different quantities of each ingredient.

What I had found was 2 Tbs of salt for every quart of liquid is the perfect amount ( for me), which is basically the same ratio as Steve said ( 1 tbs for 2 cups of liquid)

I do not can mine, my pickles sit on the counter for at least 3 days, and up to a week ( but since I have a weakness for pickles, usually they never last more than 4 or 5 days).

I used to add all the ingredients to the quart jar, shake things up, and hope for the best, but Ive found a better way. I now first add the garlic, dill and spices, then pack the cucumbers. I then take a separate quart container and fill it up with water and 2 Tbs of salt, mix it thoroughly to make sure all the salt has dissolved. At this point, i pout the salty brine into the quart jar, close it and wait impatiently for 3 days.

I premake the salty brine for 2 main reasons.

First, it guarantees the perfect salt/ liquid ratio every time. One of the problems is that the cucumbers vary in shapes and sizes. So if you load up the jar with cukes, then start pouring in water, vinegar then dump in the salt at the end. If the cucumber sizes allow for less liquid than is called for ( because lets say the cukes were more tighly packed ( leaving less room for the required liquid), then the salt ratio will be off.

Second, premaking the brine will allow you to make sure all the salt was dissolved. In my initial phases of making pickles ( before I used to premake the brine), if i added the salt and it didn't all dissolve, some would be sitting at the bottom of the jar. And when I would bite in to the end of the pickle that was sitting on top of the undissolved salt, it would be way too salty.

One thing I also do, is I keep some of the left over water / salt solution in the fridge. This way, when I taste a pickle at day 3, and the brine level in the jar sinks, exposing some of the other pickles to the air, I just top it off with the premade salt solution to make sure everything is covered up.

The above may help you on your next batch, but as far as this batch goes, as mentioned above ( assuming they are counter/ fridge pickles and not canned since i know nothing about canning), letting them sit for a few days in a more watered down ( less salty) brine, may reduce the salt content in the already made pickles and making the other flavors more prominent.

As far as adding additives to give he pickle more of a crunch, I had too experimented with this ( alum, oak leaves, grape leaves ..). What I found more important than these additives, was the size and shape of the cucumber itself. I use younger cukes that dont have that bloated, bulged out look to them( if that makes sense). They have much smaller, compact seeds in the center, which makes them more dense, better crisp, less likely to get that soggyness and also less likely to get that kinda ' hollowed' pickle effect in the center. Since using these shaped pickles, ive never had a crunch issue.

By no means am I an expert, but having a science background, I literally treated this pickling process like an experiment, cause I was determined to finally get it right and have it in writing so i can predictably make good pickles each time. Since late June, Ive had at least 2 jars of pickles going at any time, proably starting a new batch every 2 or 3 days. I must have made at least 30 + quarts pickles this year, almost to the point where I cant stand them anymore. Varying salt ratios, different spices ... I must say it was a great and successful experience, since i finally got it down.

Sorry for rambling on, Im just so proud for finally getting it right after 40 + years, I had to tell someone LOL
__________________

__________________
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2014, 07:42 AM   #12
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,896
Congrats, Larry! Glad you had a fun summer experimenting with pickle-making! :-)
__________________

__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2014, 08:02 AM   #13
Head Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,079
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotGarlic View Post
Congrats, Larry! Glad you had a fun summer experimenting with pickle-making! :-)
Thanks
Ive been making them ( or at least trying to make them) for decades, but usually obly one attempt at a time. This year allowed me to do a lot of trial and error, and as Buggs Bunny said " If you try and don't succeed, try try again">
__________________
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2014, 02:42 PM   #14
Wine Guy
 
Steve Kroll's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Twin Cities, Minnesota
Posts: 5,414
Larry, just out of curiosity, why don't you cook your brine on the stove top? This is what I've always done. For one thing, the salt dissolves easily. But more importantly, you also get that initial sterilization. When I make refrigerator pickles, I pour the hot brine over the packed cukes and then put them away in the fridge.

You must be a hardcore pickle lover to go through them so quickly. I love them, too, but I thought I was bad going through about a quart a month.
__________________
Steve Kroll is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2014, 03:07 PM   #15
Chef Extraordinaire
 
GotGarlic's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Southeastern Virginia
Posts: 16,896
I do the same. Using boiling brine also gives the pickles a flavor boost by heating the herbs and spices in the jars.
__________________
The trouble with eating Italian food is that five or six days later you're hungry again. ~ George Miller
GotGarlic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2014, 03:31 PM   #16
Certified Pretend Chef
 
Andy M.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 41,387
When my parents, then I made this type of pickle, we stuffed the jars with the veggies, garlic and spices. Separately mixed the brine and brought it to a boil. Pour the boiling brine into the jar leaving 1/4"-1/2" of head space and slap on a lid. As the jar cooled, it created a partial vacuum sort of sealing the jar as canning would.

I don't know if we were flirting with disaster or not, but my parents for many years and I for a few, would park these jarred pickles in a cool part of the basement and leave them for 6-8 weeks before we opened them. Then they sat all winter as we worked our way through them. It was a sad day when we opened the last jar.
__________________
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
Andy M. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2014, 03:41 PM   #17
Master Chef
 
Aunt Bea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: near Mount Pilot
Posts: 7,005
You could convert some of the salty dills to sweet chips or spears using a recipe similar to this one from Paula Deen. Just google "candied dill pickle recipe" and you will have several to choose from. These will be similar to the 14 day pickles that Kathleen made recently, notice I said similar meaning not nearly as good!

Candied Dills Recipe : Paula Deen : Food Network
__________________
Aunt Bea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-30-2014, 04:03 PM   #18
Head Chef
 
larry_stewart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 2,079
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
Larry, just out of curiosity, why don't you cook your brine on the stove top? .
I've done this in the past, and actually continue to do so when making pickled green tomatoes. This year after following several recipes that didnt call for pre-boling, and being successful ( or at least good enough for my standards), I realized I didnt have to to do this step to get the taste I was looking for. That being said, its a steP i wouldn't skip when making the pickled green tomatoes.

As far as being a pickle lover goes, when I was a little kid, anytime my mom would bring pickles ( or olives) to the dinner table, a fistfight would practically break out between my brother, sister and myself as to who was going to grab them first. Whoever didnt grab them first would hope there would be some left by the time the serving dish got to the other side of the table . Now as adults, everytime we go to my moms house she still hides the olive and pickle serving dish until dinner time ( so none of use pick at it until they are served) , and when she finally brings the dish out, we still fight over it Sure, we could all just go to the store and buy a selection of olives or a jar of pickles ourselves for a few bucks, but there is something about beating out your brother and sister ( even when in your 40's) to get the first one, and the best one. And my mom ( in her 70's) still yells at us everytime we fight for them.

Going back to making pickles, 3 days into the pickling process ( using the small kirbies which I would say are 3 - 4 inches in length and no more than an inch in width) they have that cucumbery/ innitial pickle taste ( which my wife loves). at about 5 days or so they are in half sour mode and about 7 days + they are on the sour side. DEpending on my mood, ill toss them in the fridge to kinda stop the pickling process at whatever point i choose for the desire pickle taste. And all of this done without boiling the brine / spices first.

When I make pickled cabbage ( and pickled green tomatoes as mentioned earlier) I do boil everything prior. But now thinking about it, I think with the green tomatoes, I allow it too cool first, but Im sure with the cabbage I pour directly into the jar over the cabbage.

For me , the cukes always go in whole ( i dont spear of slice them). And although I used to add vinegar in the past, with my current method, I found that it wasnt necessary to get the tatse I wanted ( similar to a Ba Tampte - pickle taste, which are my favorite)
__________________
larry_stewart is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2014, 11:07 PM   #19
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: indiana
Posts: 6
salty pickles

I LOVE this sight. I have received so many great, great tips. the problem I have now, is which one am I going to try first. Bless you all. I will keep in touch and let you all know how I make out. thank you
__________________

__________________
rodsgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dill, pickles, salt

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.