Pickles are delicious, and a big part of their delectable taste is related to the way in which they are canned. Canning pickles needs to be down with precision and care. In addition, when this process is done poorly, it may lead to the damage of the pickles. When done properly, canned pickles can last for up to two years. The first step in the process is gathering all the necessary equipment and utensils. Next, the equipment needs to be sterilized and ensured that the equipment is in working order. When using jars or barrels, they need to be in tip top shape, because scratches or cracks can be detrimental to the finished product. The containers need to be cleaned with hot and soapy water to ensure cleanliness, and they should then be thoroughly dried.
Canning pickles involves preparing the pickles with a favorite recipe. A popular recipe for pickling is making sure the cucumbers are fresh and blemish free. The recipe is basically one of personal preference, however, pickling salt, vinegar, sugar and pickling spices is usually standard. In addition, mustard see and dill seed are usually added to give the pickles an extra bit of flavor. Other vegetables, and even fruits can be added to the pickling brine if desired.
Although canning pickles makes for delicious tasting cucumbers, sometimes they do not come out as desired. At times, certain minor problems can occur with the pickles such as shriveling, discoloration and pickles that are hollow. Generally, shriveling occurs because the solution of either vinegar, salt or sugar is too strong when the process begins. In addition, overcooking the product or not using fresh produce may cause the pickles to shrivel. Hollowing of the pickles can be caused when the cucumbers stand in excess of 24 hours prior to the processing procedure, and discoloration can be caused by iron cooking appliances of hard water. In addition, pickles that come in contact with copper appliances or utensils have the potential for turning a peculiar green color. In addition, if the dill is too mature, it may cause the liquid to turn a shade of pink after the canning process.
Most often, canning pickles go off without a hitch, however white sediments might appear that can be caused from agents present in salt or from bacteria that has fermented. In addition, purple or blue garlic that has been instilled into the brine may be from too young garlic, from copper utensils of from a high concentration of copper in water. Garlic contains a substance that when coming in contact with other substances, may cause a chemical reaction that can cause the garlic to change colors.
The fermentation and curing process takes approximately three weeks. During this process, the flavors and colors change as the amount of acid changes. Since canning pickles requires lots of care, skimping on procedure, cleanliness and ingredients can mean the difference between a superior, highly fresh product and a substandard product that is barely edible. Ideally, the cucumbers that are used in canning pickles should be freshly grown with high quality seeds for optimal taste, however, any good quality cucumber from a farm stand of grocery store will produce great tasting, fresh pickles.
Just like canning pickles produces a tasty treat, canning other fresh vegetables and fruits can prove to be just as delicious. Fresh zucchini, green peppers and tomatoes can be pickled in a similar fashion as cucumbers can, and can be made into a fresh relish that is a delightful addition to any summer meal. Remember, it does not matter so much as what is type of produce is used in the canning process, but more importantly it is the process itself that produces a quality product. Before experiment with more exotic flavors and foods, it may be a good idea to stick with canning pickles for a while until this process is perfected and until it yields a high quality, tasty product.