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How to Make Pickles
December 19, 2011 6:46 PM   Subscribe

Here is how to make pickles, with video. And here is how to make different kinds of pickles.

(Mgmnt not responsible for discrepancies between methods.)
posted by JHarris (27 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite

 
Posted because, gosh darn it, I want to make pickles. And I figure, if I want to do it, someone else might want to, too.
posted by JHarris at 6:47 PM on December 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


Missed one
posted by timsteil at 6:50 PM on December 19, 2011


timsteil, that would be a double.
posted by JHarris at 6:51 PM on December 19, 2011


Cool.

As an aside, this is a quick method, traditionally pickles are made through fermentation similar to sour kraut and the brine does not include vinegar.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:59 PM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Wow, really? That strikes me the same way when I discovered that, before soda, people actually made a drink called ginger ale. I wonder if store-bought pickles are fermented, and I wonder how store-bought ginger ale compares to the real thing.
posted by JHarris at 7:07 PM on December 19, 2011


How to handle a situation after pickles have been made.

thus satisfying the Achewood completeness theorem
posted by FatherDagon at 7:14 PM on December 19, 2011


That was not the kind of pickles I was thinking of. I can't help you with those.

Well, I won't help you with those.
posted by JHarris at 7:21 PM on December 19, 2011


fuk yea fermentation. I've been experimenting with all sorts of produce this year. Pickled lemons and oranges have been my favorite. The oranges make dank sauce, and the chopped lemons perk up hummus or chicken soup. The best success was a shredded mix of zucchini, romaine, and herbs. I baked it into a loaf of bread, and my korean waifu was amazed by the power of "western kimchi".
posted by MisplaceDisgrace at 7:29 PM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't forget the surprise.
posted by empath at 7:34 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pickles fermentation stylee.
posted by kenko at 7:35 PM on December 19, 2011


The store bought pickles I buy are fermented :) They are sold as Full Sour, Half Sour or New. Also specialty types such as Hot and Spicy. I buy full sour in Hot and Spicy brine.

You can order them from the pickle guys. Or Gus' pickles but they may have closed.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:43 PM on December 19, 2011


I consume an absurd quantity of pickles, so I should learn to can a few batches. The pure brine sounds interesting but more real time than something that will store for the winter.

If you're into pickles and not in Manhattan or on a farm, check out a russian specialty store, there may be an entire aisle, and cheap.
posted by sammyo at 8:47 PM on December 19, 2011


I have a ton of canning jars and lids, not to mention a pressure cooker, which I've ended up only using for sterilizing. Thanks for these links. They still have okra at my grocery store. And pickled green beans are delish in Bloody Marys. Ideas, ideas.
posted by shoesietart at 9:06 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I love pickles, so I love this.
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 PM on December 19, 2011


There's a basic recipe on the strub pickles website. I mostly do fermented pickles, but the vinegar ones have their place and are crazy easy to make.
posted by foodgeek at 9:21 PM on December 19, 2011


In high school biology, we picked cucumber slices for a unit on anaerobic something-or-another. When we were checking on them one day, about halfway through the process, I heard my friends' lab partner ask him: "So when are the little pickles going to start to form?" Thanks for reminding me of that special moment.
posted by frijole at 9:22 PM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Now I'm really hungry for a pickle.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:45 PM on December 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Kišela Kupis! That marvelously stinky cabbage they have in the Balkans. It is a wonderful source of vitamin C but I get the most horrific gas and bloating when I eat that stuff. Either I clear the room or float away like the red balloon.
That said, I love good crunchy pickles!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:08 PM on December 19, 2011


For anyone looking to learn to make pickles and other ferments or who is just interested in the process, I recommend Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. (With whom I am in no way affiliated, other than really liking his book.)

The most important thing I've learned in pickling is to just relax and play and experiment. Pickles are surprisingly hard to screw up in a way that makes them dangerous to eat, and if you do screw up you'll *know* when you smell or taste them.

My favorite pickle I have made was from watermelon rinds. I still have some jars of those in the pantry... maybe it's time to pop the seal on one!
posted by fader at 6:05 AM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pickles are surprisingly hard to screw up

Yeah, well I screwed up two batches of pickles somehow, although I successfully made kimchi and sauerkraut, all using that Wild Fermentation book as a guide.

I will try again!
posted by orme at 6:10 AM on December 20, 2011


There is this thing about pickles. Them and me have a history.

I used to love pickles when I was a kid, I mean really wonderfully and powerfully love them. (Get your mind out of the gutter, pickles are innocent.) But somewhere along the line I started enjoying them less.

It turned out to be because of the quality of pickle I had been getting. There are sort of two types of commercially available, jarred pickles that I've noted. The kind I like are pale green on the inside, wonderfully crisp, make a clean sound when you bite into them, and you can actually taste a bit of the cucumber. They are tart, but survivable.

The kind I hate are muted deep green on the inside, sodden and soggy, make a wet tearing sound when you bite them, and you can't really taste anything except vinegar and spices. They are overpoweringly tart, and because of it awful on hamburgers, which sucks particularly because almost every fast food place uses this kind of pickles on their hamburgers.

I can eat the second kind, but it's painful. I've become more sensitive to sour things I think as I've gotten older, and now eating even a slice of the bad kind now is like triggering the non-maskable interrupt switch on my brain: ABORT FUNCTION, DISCARD STACK, RESET SYSTEM. I have to eat them carefully.

Good pickles, however, were and are a joy.
posted by JHarris at 8:18 AM on December 20, 2011


Wow, really? That strikes me the same way when I discovered that, before soda, people actually made a drink called ginger ale. I wonder if store-bought pickles are fermented, and I wonder how store-bought ginger ale compares to the real thing.

JHarris, most store-brand pickles are quick-pickled, for the obvious costcutting reason. Traditional fermented pickles have a sour "zing" that is shared by sauerkraut, kimchi, and homemade yogurt (unless you drain a lot of the whey out), in addition to vinegar's acidity.

Real ginger ale is wonderful, and its flavor can be all over the map, just as beer can (Pabst/Guinness/Hop Devil/Gueuze...).


Pickles are surprisingly hard to screw up in a way that makes them dangerous to eat, and if you do screw up you'll *know* when you smell or taste them.

True, fader, but fermented pickles are somewhat tricky to get "right". They can easily become soggy a/o gray, if you don't follow the recipe/know the "path" well. Still edible, but gross.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:47 AM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


True, fader, but fermented pickles are somewhat tricky to get "right".

Oh, absolutely! I've made more than my share of Nasty Fermented Ick™ that was good for nothing other than getting out of the house as quickly as possible. But I've learned from each one and had a good time doing it, and can now quickly and easily make something better than I can buy most of the time. All I was saying is that it's something you can learn and do at home with little risk of accidentally poisoning yourself.

I do pressure canning at home as well, and believe me I'm far more cautious about dealing with toxic spoilage there, as it often can't be tasted or smelled. Pickles are fun because if something goes totally wrong and will kill you, you almost certainly won't be able to make yourself eat it.

And sauerkraut is really the right place to start. It's really easy and so much better than the store-bought stuff!
posted by fader at 10:47 AM on December 20, 2011


Master Pickler
posted by leigh1 at 11:20 AM on December 20, 2011


The nice thing about brine ferments is that there's no worry about dealing with many gallons of boiling liquid in conjunction with tongs. I make kim-chi from time to time and it's great!
posted by kaibutsu at 2:10 PM on December 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


pickle
posted by gorgor_balabala at 8:46 PM on December 21, 2011


That strikes me the same way when I discovered that, before soda, people actually made a drink called ginger ale.

Can someone do a ginger beer post? I've just spent the last 15 minutes looking at youtube videos of exploding bottles of it, lol.
posted by empath at 9:36 PM on December 21, 2011


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