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Preparing and Canning Pickled Vegetables

Sweet Gherkin Pickles

  • 7 lbs cucumbers (1-1/2 inch or less)
  • 1/2 cup canning or pickling salt
  • 8 cups sugar
  • 6 cups vinegar (5 percent)
  • 3/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp celery seeds
  • 2 tsp whole mixed pickling spice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 tsp fennel (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla (optional)

Yield: 6 to 7 pints

Please read Using Boiling Water Canners before beginning. If this is your first time canning, it is recommended that you read Principles of Home Canning.

Procedure: Wash cucumbers. Cut 1/16-inch slice off blossom end and discard, but leave 1/4-inch of stem attached. Place cucumbers in large container and cover with boiling water. Six to 8 hours later, and again on the second day, drain and cover with 6 quarts of fresh boiling water containing 1/4-cup salt. On the third day, drain and prick cucumbers with a table fork. Combine and bring to boil 3 cups vinegar, 3 cups sugar, turmeric, and spices. Pour over cucumbers. Six to 8 hours later, drain and save the pickling syrup. Add another 2 cups each of sugar and vinegar and reheat to boil. Pour over pickles. On the fourth day, drain and save syrup. Add another 2 cups sugar and 1 cup vinegar. Heat to boiling and pour over pickles. Drain and save pickling syrup 6 to 8 hours later. Add 1 cup sugar and 2 tsp vanilla and heat to boiling. Fill sterile pint jars, with pickles and cover with hot syrup, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. For more information on sterilizing jars see "Sterilization of Empty Jars". Adjust lids and process according to the recommendations in Table 1, or use the low-temperature pasteurization treatment. For more information see "Low- Temperature Pasteurization Treatment".

Table 1. Recommended process time for Sweet Gherkin Pickles in a boiling-water canner.
  Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of Pack Jar Size 0 - 1,000 ft 1,001 - 6,000 ft Above 6,000 ft
Raw Pints 5 min 10 15


This document was adapted from the "Complete Guide to Home Canning," Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 539, USDA, revised 2009.

Reviewed November 2009.

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