Canning Pickles

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Canning your own pickles is fun and gratifying. Certain cucumbers are better for specific pickles, but most cucumbers can be used for any pickle. The method of canning is the secret. Some prefer the fresh-pack or quick process. This involves the curing of the cucumbers in vinegar then combined with spices and seasonings. Most dill and bread-and-butter pickles are processed in this manner. 
 

The fermented process involves soaking cucumbers in a brine solution for several weeks. The salt eliminates the growth of decay. Dill pickles can be processed this way.  Refrigerator dills are marinated for up to a week in salt and spices in the refrigerator. No canning is necessary and the pickles can be stored in the refrigerator up to two months.
 

It is important to remember that soaking sliced cucumbers overnight in a lime solution will make your pickles crisper. The ingredients for good canned pickles are fresh, crisp cucumbers. Never use cucumbers that are wilted or overripe. White or apple cider vinegar should be used. Jars of different sizes should be washed in soapy, hot water and then sterilized in a hot water bath. Thongs, to pick up the hot jars, rings and lids are always handy to have available.  A jar funnel that fits into a wide-mouth jar is important to have. It is best to have a large pot that will hold up to 6-8 quarts of cucumbers, brine and spice. Some receipts require the cucumbers to sit overnight packed in ice.   

Jars can be reused from season to season, but the flats (lids) and rings should be new each year. It is best to wait at lease three weeks before eating. This allows the pickles to absorb the spices.  Different pickles require different spices. Most will call for garlic, hot peppers, onions, vinegar, cloves, canning salt, water and dill. Different receipts also call for the cucumbers to be hole with the ends cut off, sliced or wedged. 

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Pickles require specific measures. To create a great batch of pickles, make sure you use the proper ingredients and tools. Though vinegar and salt are used, pickles still must be boiled in an open water bath to kill the enzymes that cause spoilage. Earmark hollow or odd-shaped cucumbers for relish and use only pickling cucumbers.

If you want to make homemade pickles, you'll want to check out this refrigerator pickle recipe for details on how to make crisp, delicious pickles without bothering with canning.

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Dill pickles are a fabulous snack, easy to eat and fun to make. If you've got a little room in your garden, you can easily grow enough cucumbers to make jars and jars of dill pickles.

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Crunchy bread and butter pickles perk up any sandwich. There's no need to run to the grocery store to enhance your lunchtime meal. You can create your own pickles for canning with bread and butter pickles recipes that are sure to make your taste buds smile. 

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