Canning watermelon rind pickles at home can be easy with some basic equipment. Homemade watermelon rind pickles will taste better than those bought in stores, and an individual will have the pleasure of knowing that he or she helped create this specialty.
Individuals can follow the simple directions to make several batches of pickles to enjoy all during the year. The process will take a couple of days since the rinds will need to soak in brine for several hours as well as be refrigerated overnight. The watermelon rind pickles will keep for about a year if the jars are stored properly.
Basic Equipment Needed for Watermelon Rind Pickles
- A tool to lift the jars from the hot water, and a funnel to use to fill each jar.
- A large pot to use for preparing the jars.
- Large spoons and ladles
- Pint jars with lids and rings
- Water bath canner
Ingredients to Make Four or Five Pints of Watermelon Rind Pickles
- Watermelon rind
- Salt and water
- Ice cubes
- Nine cups of sugar
- Three cups of white vinegar
- Three cups of water
- One tablespoon of whole cloves
- Six cinnamon sticks cut into one-inch pieces
- One thinly sliced lemon with the seeds removed
Steps to Making Watermelon Rind Pickles
1. Scrub and wash about three quarts of watermelon with plain water to make sure that there is no dirt left on the rind. Gritty pickles will not taste very good.
2. The brine solution will consist of three fourths cup of salt and three quarts of cold water. Mix the solution together by stirring well.
3. The watermelon rind will be prepared by trimming off the pink part of the rind as well as the outer green part. The white portion of the watermelon rind is the part to use for the pickles. However, the pink flesh part can still be enjoyed by chilling it to eat later. Now, cut each prepared rind into inch squares or some other shape if desired.
4. Cover the prepared watermelon rind with the prepared brine solution. Add at least two trays or two quarts of ice cubes to the brine and watermelon. This solution will stand for three to four hours.
5. While the rind is soaking in the brine, the seasoning can be prepared. The seasoning consists of cloves and cinnamon sticks. Tie these items up in a clean white cloth. The cloth should be thin so the seasoning can penetrate into the syrup mixture.
6. After the specified time limit has passed for soaking the rind, the water should be drained from the watermelon rind, and then rinsed in cold water. Drain any access water from the rinds.
7. The watermelon rind will need to be covered with cold water again, but this time it will be cooked for about ten minutes until tender. Make sure that the rind is not overcooked. When done, drain off the water again.
8. Take the sugar, vinegar, water and seasoning bag and place in a large pot. Boil this mixture for about five minutes. After removing the syrup from the heat, add the watermelon rind and sliced lemons.
9. Chill the rinds in the refrigerator overnight.
Prepare the rings and lids by sanitizing them in boiling water. Then, heat the watermelon rind mixture to a boil. Once it reaches boiling state, the heat should be reduced to cook the rind slowly for about an hour.
The hot rinds will be packed into the prepared jars loosely leaving space at the top of each jar. Ladle the hot syrup solution over the rinds in each jar. Place the lids and rings on the jars.
Use the jar tool to place each jar in the canner. The tops of the jars should be covered with water. The jars should be processed in the water bath for about ten minutes. Remove jars from canner, and let cool before storing.