Best cukes/recipes for pickles

lisamannJanuary 20, 2014

We had an over-abundance of cukes last year, and made pickles for the first time. We've discovered that even though they were slicing cukes and not quite as crisp as pickles as we'd like, we like pickles more than we thought. I'm planning the garden now, and would like to plant some cucumbers just for pickling. Any suggestions for best varieties to try? Also, I'd love to hear everyone's favorite pickle recipes. Thanks!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi Lisa - there are lots of discussions here about making pickles, best varieties, safe and unsafe recipes, etc. that the search will pull up for you. Just type 'pickles' in the search bar at the bottom of the page.

My personal preferences are two of the varieties bred especially for making pickles - National Pickling and Boston Pickling but there are many other varieties available. I'm going to try a couple of new ones this year - Agnes as it is bred for making gerkins, Calypso as I have read good things about it.

Which ones do best for you all depends on the common diseases you have to deal with in the garden as some are more resistant than others.

But the big tip for success is to pickle them fresh - within 24 hours of harvest. To have enough to do that and make it worth the time and effort you have to plant several plants. Otherwise they sit in the fridge waiting till you have enough and they make poor pickles.

Dave

PS: you'll find all the pickling recipes you might need at NCHFP and I strongly recommend the book Joy of Pickling for safe tested recipes. Keep in mind that many of the old 'family' recipes floating around are too low in acid for shelf storage and are meant for fridge storage only.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 4:02PM
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myfamilysfarm

I used the variety "homemade" last year and they did really well even not used within the '24 hr' time period. I also did not use any pickle crisp.

Pickles and slicing cukes are not quite the same thing, close. Try to choose pickles if you are making pickles from them.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2014 at 4:24PM
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calliope(6)

If you are a real pickle perfectionist, you need to know that what kind of pickle you are making might influence you to what variety of pickling cuke you wish to grow. Some are bred to make the perfect gherkin, some are more large and tubular shaped, even when young with small seeds to make lovely dill spears. I have two heirloom varieties I adore for bread and butter pickles and they also do well in my garden with productivity. One of them is called Sumter, and I'd have to look at the other variety from my old notes. For my dills, I like Boston Pickler.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2014 at 10:57PM
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laceyvail(6A, WV)

If cucumber beetles are a problem, County Fair pickling cuke is quite resistant to the wilt they carry.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 6:48AM
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smithmal

bump on an old thread...

What are your favorite pickle recipes?

Here's what I made this year using County Fair and SMR58 pickling cucumbers:

Bread and Butter Pickles:

Taken from recipe girl: http://www.recipegirl.com/2011/07/20/bread-and-butter-pickles/

5 1/2 cups (1 1/2 pounds) thinly sliced pickling cucumbers
1 1/2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
1 cup granulated white sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup light brown sugar (packed)
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric

Garlic Dill Pickles
taken from epicurious: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Fast-Favorite-Garlic-Dill-Pickles-230707

8-10 small pickling cucumbers (about 3pounds/1.5kg)
2 cups (500 mL) white vinegar
2 cups (500 mL) water
2 tablespoons (25 mL) pickling salt
4 heads fresh dill or 4 teaspoons dill seeds (20 mL)
4 small cloves garlic

I still have another harvest I have to deal with as well so if anyone has any other great recipe suggestions, I'd love them.

For those cucumbers that have "seeded out" I put them in garden salads or eat them with some yummy homemade hummus.

smithmal

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 3:20PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Favorite recipe - way to make pickles? Fermenting, especially if you want dills.

Have a big crock of these working right now.

Alton Brown Fermented Dills

Ingredients
5 1/2 ounces pickling salt, approximately 1/2 cup
1 gallon filtered water
3 pounds pickling cucumbers, 4 to 6-inches long
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon dill seed (used 1 1/2)
1 large bunch dill (+1 tsp dillweed)
Directions
Combine the salt and water in a pitcher and stir until the salt has dissolved.

Rinse the cucumbers thoroughly and snip off the blossom end stem. Set aside.

Place the peppercorns, pepper flakes, garlic, dill seed and fresh dill into a 1-gallon crock. Add the cucumbers to the crock on top of the aromatics. Pour the brine mixture over the cucumbers in order to completely cover. Pour the remaining water into a 1-gallon ziptop plastic bag and seal. Place the bag on top of the pickles making sure that all of them are completely submerged in the brine. Set in a cool, dry place.

Check the crock after 3 days. Fermentation has begun if you see bubbles rising to the top of the crock. After this, check the crock daily and skim off any scum that forms. If scum forms on the plastic bag, rinse it off and return to the top of the crock.

The fermentation is complete when the pickles taste sour and the bubbles have stopped rising; this should take approximately 6 to 7 days. Once this happens, cover the crock loosely and place in the refrigerator for 3 days, skimming daily or as needed. Store for up to 2 months in the refrigerator, skimming as needed. If the pickles should become soft or begin to take on an off odor, this is a sign of spoilage and they should be discarded.

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/dill-pickles-recipe.html?oc=linkback

Dave

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:03PM
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malna

If you like sweet pickles, Linda Lou's Sweet Pickle Chunks are great. Super crunchy, too. DH doesn't normally care for sweet pickles, but he loves that recipe. I've made them with summer squash, too - not quite as crunchy, but still very good.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:21PM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

I have a question about Alton Brown's recipe'.

There is no acidifier in the ingredients. So you have to refrigerate it
Here is the Question:
IS THERE A WAY (LIKE ADDING VINEGAR TO IT, after fermentation) TO CAN IT AND KEEP IT OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR ?

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 3:16AM
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smithmal

malna,

The Linda Lou's recipe seems delicious but it takes 9 days to make it and I would think the chance for mold contamination would be high.

What is the point to repeatedly exposing the cucumbers to boiling water and letting them soak over night five times and then repeat the boil/soak process using the syrup for 3 days?

How would these taste if you one eliminated the water soaks and cold packed cucumber chunks into Mason Jars followed by topping with boiled syrup and a 5-10 boil process?

I can't see my wife having me take over the kitchen for 9 days for making pickles. She already complains when I take 4 hours at night due to the "embalming" I do to the house with boiled vinegar.

smithmal

Here is a link that might be useful: Linda Lou's Sweet Pickle Recipe

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 9:31AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

IS THERE A WAY (LIKE ADDING VINEGAR TO IT, after fermentation) TO CAN IT AND KEEP IT OUT OF THE REFRIGERATOR ?

Of course. NCHFP provides all the instructions for how to can (either BWB or pasteurization) fermented foods.

There is no need for added acid when fermenting anything. The process of fermentation creates its own acidic environment - lactic acid.

Dave

____________________________

What is the point to repeatedly exposing the cucumbers to boiling water and letting them soak over night five times and then repeat the boil/soak process using the syrup for 3 days?

As Linda Lou has explained in the past, to kill any bacteria that has developed and it actually contributes to the firming of the cukes as some of the water that has leached out of them into the brine is boiled off.

How would these taste if you one eliminated the water soaks and cold packed cucumber chunks into Mason Jars followed by topping with boiled syrup and a 5-10 boil process?

Not nearly as much flavor. Not only would it be diluted by all the water in the cukes but the flavor won't have had the time needed for the cukes to absorb the syrup. It is a time consuming recipe true, but well worth the effort. Otherwise just stick with one of the quick-pack sweet pickle recipes like Quick Sweet Pickles.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 10:39AM
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seysonn(8a WA/HZ 1)

Of course. NCHFP provides all the instructions for how to can (either BWB or pasteurization) fermented foods.

%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%%

I know BWB. You practically cooking pickles.
How does one pasteurize pickle ?

    Bookmark   August 3, 2014 at 10:10PM
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