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Pickling question

Discussion in 'The Harvest: Recipes, Canning, Preserving' started by AMKuska, Jan 28, 2019.

  1. Jan 28, 2019
    AMKuska

    AMKuska Garden Addicted

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    My husband is on a quest to grow pickles this year. He tried last year and did not get any cucumbers.

    He wanted to know if he took juice from a jar of commercial pickles (after it is emptied) and used that, would it pickle the cucumbers?

    I have a ton of recipes we can use, but I think he wanted to know just to know.
     
    valley ranch and flowerbug like this.
  2. Jan 28, 2019
    digitS'

    digitS' Garden Master

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    Fortunately for me, I'm not much of a pickled food eater.

    Your husband may be something like me. Lack of culture? Maybe you shouldn't share that with him ;). Mostly, I've just got fresh and cooking heat. Please, I admire simplicity ... and others' creativity. And, Thank You.

    I've tried pickled and cured this and that. Disappointed and sometimes deeply suspicious of the results. Dad and I - and I stress the partnership - made very good beer and were perfecting techniques and recipes. Then, he tired of the enterprise. I thought that I could simplify, simplify, simplify ... and make good beer. Wasted 5 gallons right out the gate. Okay, it was barely drinkable.

    Suggest to your husband that he make refrigerator pickles. Here's another idea that works for me - freezer sauerkraut. Some, more knowledgeable, will roll their eyes but it's safe and really okay at the dinner table and I did it myself :).

    Steve
    culturally curious, at least
     
  3. Jan 28, 2019
    canesisters

    canesisters Garden Master

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    Are you trying for dill or sweet?
     
  4. Jan 28, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    i drink the brine.

    commercial is strong enough you could likely use it again for refrigerator pickles. i'd not use it again (don't like it) for regular pickles.
     
  5. Jan 28, 2019
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    Interesting question. What preserves the cucumber or anything pickled is the acid, in pickling usually vinegar in some form. If the overall pH of the mix is low enough (somewhere in the low 4's) then bacteria generally can't grow. Some molds can grow in those pH levels but not bacteria so washing the cucumbers and keeping everything sterile is important. Water bath canning kills many molds but maybe not all. Refrigerating the food will slow the growth of many things, that's why recommended storage times are lower than water bath canned for refrigerated pickles. If yo do things different ways you get different results. Cucumbers are alkaline, a high Ph number. I'd think the commercial pickles went through some type of water bath process to get a seal and kill off some of the mold and such.

    That's what I'm basing my opinion on. That's what mine is, opinion, I really don't know for sure. if the liquid was kept fairly sterile (don't use dirty forks or fingers to pull a pickle out) you probably haven't introduced many mold spores. If you kept it refrigerated what got in hasn't had a chance to grow much anyway. When you add the alkaline cucumbers to the acid liquid you raise the pH some, how much I don't know. That's probably going to vary some, to me this is the great unknown. Maybe you can use a good pH meter to get a reading? You could add more vinegar to lower pH but I don't know how much to add. I don't know how the commercial people do their water bath canning process.

    I would not trust it for water bath canning and then storing the cans on the shelf at room temperature. Too many unknowns. I'd be more comfortable if they were refrigerated but I doubt you will find many Home Ec professionals that will agree with that, they tend to be very safe and go by strict recipes.

    I understand your husbands curiosity but instead of using cucumbers I'd be more tempted to drop a hard-boiled egg in that liquid and refrigerate it for a week to give it time to absorb the flavors. See how pickled eggs taste. I bet those would be really good in pickled beet juice.
     
    aftermidnight and thistlebloom like this.
  6. Jan 28, 2019
    so lucky

    so lucky Garden Master

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    What if you bring the pickle juice to a boil and pour it over sliced cukes, allow to cool and then refrigerate?
     
  7. Jan 28, 2019
    Beekissed

    Beekissed Garden Master

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    Yes, he could use that juice, but as so lucky says, it would have to be heated and the pickles processed in the fluid for it to penetrate the cuke enough to pickle them well.

    Best get a Ball Blue canning booklet for how to proceed for real homemade pickles if he wants to pursue the matter further.
     
  8. Jan 28, 2019
    catjac1975

    catjac1975 Garden Master

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    I wouldn't do that.
     
  9. Jan 28, 2019
    aftermidnight

    aftermidnight Garden Addicted

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    Pickled Eggs? did I hear pickled eggs mentioned, love them. In our younger days we used to go out to a pub on a Saturday night, beer was 20 cents a glass. You could get swacked on $2.00 if you were inclined to do so. I never got past the second one which others seem to appreciate but beer went so good with the pickled eggs this pub put out.
    At first the mention of pickled eggs I turned my nose up them that is until I tasted them, I was hooked in fact so much so I tracked down the owner and pleaded for their recipe, begging on knees if I had to :).
    Hang on a minute while I go look for the Cassidy Inn's pickled egg recipe...

    Cassidy Inn style Pickled Eggs
    Brine...
    1 cup white sugar
    5 cups vinegar
    1 TBSP pickling salt
    This can be reduced if not hard boiling 4 dozen eggs.

    In a glass jar pour hot brine over hard boiled eggs that have been layered with sliced onions, throw in a couple of dried chili peppers and a TBSP of picking spice. Let it 24 hours and then have at it, YUMMY. The onion is really good too.

    Annette
     
  10. Jan 28, 2019
    Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Garden Master

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    So one day was long enough for them to get the flavor, I would have thought it would take longer. When I make sweet pickles I add sliced onions, partly for flavor but I really enjoy the onions too, probably more than the cuke pickles. I like pickled beets too. I tried pickled okra, wasn't all that impressed but we all have our own tastes.

    Boiling the brine not only sterilizes it but also dissolves the sugar, just like you do when making jelly. So I agree with So Lucky, the brine should be boiled before reuse just to sterilize it.
     

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