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For Educators

 

Frequently Asked Pickle Questions

Can I use flaked salt for pickling?
When making quick process pickles, can I store any leftover pickling solution for future use?
Why did the liquid in my dill pickles turn pink?
I don't have the type of dill my recipe calls for. How can I substitute what I have?
Can I use burpless cucumbers for pickling?
I have an old recipe that calls for adding a grape leaf to each jar of pickles. Why?
Why did the garlic cloves in my pickles turn green or bluish green?
I accidentally limed my pickles in an aluminum pan. Will they be safe to eat?
I would like to make sweet pickles, but I am diabetic. Can I use an artificial sweetener?


Can I use flaked salt for pickling?
Most recipes call for granulated pickling or canning salt. Flake salt varies in density and is not recommended for pickling.

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When making quick process pickles, can I store any leftover pickling solution for future use?
If the pickling solution is fresh and has not been used to make pickles, cover it and store it in the refrigerator for later use. If the pickling solution has been used, it can be stored in the refrigerator and reused in 1 or 2 days for barbeque sauce, coleslaw dressing or a marinade. If mold growth occurs, throw it out.

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Why did the liquid in my dill pickles turn pink?
Using overmature dill may cause this. If so, the product is still safe. However, yeast growth could also cause this. If yeast growth is evident, discard the pickles. Yeast growth may also make pickles cloudy or slimy.

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I don't have the type of dill my recipe calls for. How can I substitute what I have?
For each quart try 3 heads of fresh dill or 1 to 2 tablespoons dill seed (dill weed = 2T).

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Can I use burpless cucumbers for pickling?
Burpless cucumbers are not recommended for use in fermented pickles. This is because at their normal mature size, they produce a softening enzyme that causes the pickles to soften during fermentation. However, if smaller burpless cucumbers (those with small seeds) are used, they may be suitable for making fresh pack pickles. The skins on burpless cucumbers may be tough.

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I have an old recipe that calls for adding a grape leaf to each jar of pickles. Why?
Grape leaves contain a substance that inhibits the enzymes that make pickles soft. However, removing the blossom ends (the source of undesirable enzymes) will make the addition of grape leaves unnecessary.

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Why did the garlic cloves in my pickles turn green or bluish green?
This reaction may be due to iron, tin or aluminum in your cooking pot, water or water pipes reacting with the pigments in the garlic. Or, the garlic may naturally have more bluish pigment and it is more evident after pickling. Immature bulbs should be cured 2-4 weeks at 70°F. The pickles are safe to eat.

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I accidentally limed my pickles in an aluminum pan. Will they be safe to eat?
Aluminum is not recommended for use with lime because the lime can "pit" the container, increasing the aluminum content of the finished product. This is not a procedure that you would want to do each time you made pickles and then use the product. However, one batch of pickles should not cause health problems. If the container, however, is badly pitted, the best option would be to discard the product.

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I would like to make sweet pickles, but I am diabetic. Can I use an artificial sweetener?
The best approach is to take dill pickles slices, rinse to remove the salty flavor, and sprinkle with artificial sweetener. Allow these to sit in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before use. Substituting artificial sweeteners for the sugar in sweet pickle recipes is not recommended.

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