Why purchase pricey, store-bought pickles when you can make your very own crisp and fresh pickled foods at home? Pickling at home may seem like a daunting process, but it can actually be accomplished quite easily when the right techniques and equipment are employed. Furthermore, home pickling is a great way to preserve any extra produce, rather than wasting perfectly good food by throwing it away. Using home pickling processes, you will be enjoying the savory tang of your favorite pickled foods in no time.
HOW TO PICKLE YOUR VEGETABLES: THE BASICS
Pickling is accomplished by adding fresh vegetables (most commonly cucumbers) to a brine of vinegar, water, and pickling salt. Typically, this brine consists of six parts vinegar to six parts water to one part salt. When making pickled vegetables, check the ratios that are indicated by your pickling recipe and do not experiment with the given amounts. Pickled vegetables need to be immersed in a brine of a set acidity in order to be sterilized properly. Also, a disproportionate brine will yield pickled vegetables that have an odd flavor and texture.
After a proper brine has been prepared, the brine and the vegetables are placed in an airtight jar, which is then processed with a canner to ensure proper sterilization and preservation. It is vital that the vegetables and the jars are immaculately clean, or else harmful bacteria may grow on the preserved foods. When adding the brine and the vegetables to the jar, the brine should rise to about 1/4 inch from the jar’s top edge. Make sure that the jar’s top is securely fastened with a jar ring, then insert the jar into the canner. The canner will then boil the jar of vegetables.
After the canner has boiled the jar for about ten minutes, carefully remove the jar from the canner using tongs. Place the pickled vegetables in a well-aired environment where they can cool. Technically, the pickled vegetables are now ready to eat. However, it is generally best to wait several weeks after pickling before eating the products, as this will enhance the pickled vegetables’ flavor.
GIVING YOUR PICKLED PRODUCTS SOME INDIVIDUALITY
Home pickling can be performed on a number of different vegetables. For instance, you could go the traditional route by pickling cucumbers, or you could opt for a slightly more unique product by pickling peppers, carrots, beets, beans, and more. But your options as a home pickle maker do not stop there. By using home pickling instead of purchasing store-bought pickled products, you can add your own personal flair to your foods. For example, you could add a hefty dose of garlic to your pickles, or add sugar to your pickled carrots to make them especially sweet. You can chop and dice your pickled vegetables to create relishes that are completely made from scratch. The possibilities presented by home pickling are virtually endless., and the secret to becoming a truly fantastic home pickle maker lies in giving your creativity full rein. Whereas store-bought pickles have a very uniform, undistinguished taste, you can make homemade pickle products as bold and unique as you like.
Home pickling offers endless opportunities for foodies to put their own spin on the typical pickled product. All one needs to accomplish fantastic home pickling is a simple brine, a few jars, and a canner (which can be purchased at many kitchen appliance retailers for a mere twenty to thirty dollars). After experiencing the scrumptious results of a simple home pickling process, you will never resort to bland store-bought pickles again.