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6 Tips for Crisp Pickles | Prevent Soft Pickles

Tips for crisp pickles can be found right here, there’s no need to look any further. Get crunchy pickles naturally by using these easy steps. How to prevent soft pickles consists of a few basic steps. And in truth, it is much easier than expected.

canning pickles

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Tips for Crisp Pickles

Crisp pickles, is that too much to ask for? Preventing soft pickles is what every home food preserver worldwide strives to achieve. It has become a mission to keep home canned pickles crispy for as long as possible.

In the end, pickles that sit for an extended period of time will begin to soften. But, these tips for crisp pickles will delay the issue, allowing home canned pickles to last a bit crispier longer than normal.

In addition to canning pickles, this easy refrigerator pickles recipe is not only easy to make but absolutely delicious!

The Sustainable Canning Course

Are you searching for canning classes near you? Look no further! The Sustainable Canning Course is a self-paced series of online classes designed to help you on the road to achieving food ownership.

The Sustainable Canning Course is an extension of my book, The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest. I wrote this book to help guide those who seek to own their food source the opportunity to do so. It is a comprehensive, easy to understand book covering all methods of home food preservation, canning, drying, fermenting, curing, freezing, and storing fresh foods.

  • Understand why pressure canning is necessary to preserve foods.
  • Confidently alter or create recipes to be canned.
  • Preserve many tomato products utilizing scientific information with traditional tools.
  • How modern canning tools, such as the steam canner and steam juicer, revolutionized preserving methods.
  • Understanding how to decipher information shared by the National Center of Home Food Preservation.
  • Discover how easy it is to can meat, fish, soups, and stews.

These topics and many more are available within The Sustainable Canning Course. Reserve your spot now, and begin gleaning the necessary information needed to preserve foods as a modern sustainable homesteader does.

#1. The Best Tips for Crisp PicklesPlant the Right Cucumber Variety 

The first thing to know: not just any cucumber will do when crunchy pickles are desired. Select a cucumber variety which is especially suited for canning pickles. In all honesty, any cucumber can be used to make pickles, though they will be less likely remain crispy over a period of time.

  • Pickling cucumber seed packs will have the word pickle, pickler, or pickling in the variety’s name.
  • Gherkin mini cucumbers are a fun option for canning dill pickles.
  • Select cucumbers with thin skin.
  • Varieties such as Marketmore, Parisian, Lemon cucumbers, and hot house cucumbers are not ideal for pickling. They are softer in texture and tend to be quite seedy.
  • Avoid cucumbers which have been waxed for preservation. Many supermarket cucumbers are sold this way.

#2. The Best Tips for Crisp Pickles – Select Smaller, Younger Pickling Cucumbers

  • Selecting cucumbers which are smaller and younger will provide the desired crisp pickles. Younger cucumbers are less seedy, whereas, older cucumbers are extremely seeded and tend to be softer in texture.
  • Use cucumbers which are uniform in size when canning pickles.

#3. The Best Tips for Crisp Pickles – Can Cucumbers Right Away 

Plan on canning cucumbers on the same day they were harvested is another way to ensure crunchy pickles. The longer cucumbers are allowed to sit, the softer they will become in texture.

#4. The Best Tips for Crisp Pickles – Soak Cucumbers in Ice Water Prior to Canning

In reality, canning pickles does not always happen as planned. Storing cucumbers in cool dark location will help to keep them firm, such as the refrigerator, root cellar, or cold storage.

As the cucumbers are waiting to be preserved many will lose their firmness. This issue can be remedied by soaking cucumbers in an ice water bath for roughly 20 to 30 minutes.

#5. The Best Tips for Crisp Pickles – Slow the Ripening Process 

Enzymes found in raw, fresh foods causes ripening. Prior to canning pickles remove 1/4-inch of the blossom end of the cucumber to reduce the enzymes that cause further ripening.

#6. The Best Tips for Crisp Pickles – Add Natural Tannins when Canning Pickles

Products such as alum and pickle crisp were once a popular choice to prevent soft pickles. However, chemical options are not, and never have been, needed. The following items have natural tannins that will help to ensure canned pickles remain crisp for a longer period of time.

  • Grape leaves
  • Whole Black Tea leaves, 1/2 teaspoon per quart size jar
  • Horseradish leaves
  • Oak leaves

Once a mason jar has been filled, place washed fresh leaves over the cucumbers prior to adding the brine. Also, natural tannins will not firm up cucumbers which are already soft in texture.

Tips for Crisp Pickles | Prevent Soft Pickles

My Book

The Farm Girl’s Guide to Preserving the Harvest is a comprehensive book covering multiple methods for preserving foods in the comfort of your home. Learn how to safely can, dry, ferment, cure, freeze, and store foods fresh as a sustainable homesteader would. The tips, tricks, and recipes within this book will provide you the confidence and knowledge needed to own your food source.

What to Do with Soft Pickles

Preventing soft pickles is the ultimate goal. Even the best tips to crisp pickles cannot prevent them from softening indefinitely. The longer home canned foods are allowed to sit the quality of the food items decreases. In truth, there’s only one way to avoid this issue: do not preserve more than what your family will consume in a six month period.

Here are some preserving tips for crunchy pickles:

  • Calculate and plan what will actually be consumed.
  • Rotate inventory religiously, consuming older jars first.
  • Can different cuts in order to make them easier to be consumed: spears, whole, sandwich sliced, coined.

In order to minimize waste, use soft pickles as an ingredient in foods:

Tips for Crisp Pickles | Prevent Soft Pickles

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  1. Do you also can your pickles? If so how long do you put them in the water bath? I tried the grape leaves but still got soft pickles. I’m going to incorporate your other ideas next season. Maybe that will help. Someone told me the water bath “cooked” the cukes and that made them soft but, I don’t have enough room in my fridge for all my pickles. I guess I’m making relish this year. Thanks for that idea. Christmas gifts in the making.

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