Calcium Chloride and Pickles

gardengrl(Northern Virginia)May 22, 2009

Well, I finally was able to order some calcium chloride from Bulk Foods (thanks Ken!) and it's pickle time here in Florida again!

I've never used CC and just want to be sure of how and how much to use. From what I read in older posts, is it 1 tsp of CC per pint and 2 tsps per quart of pickles?

Also, I read that it fizzes when liquid is added. How should I use it for cold pack pickles?

Finally, has anyone who used it noticed a significant improvement in crispness? I've made limpy pickles for the past 2 years, and no one wants a limpy pickle!

I'm tired of limpy pickles!

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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Suggest that instead of creating new threads for the same subject, that you add your comments to the one you prevsiouly created here. Its much better for searches if the info is bundled together in a main topic, as opposed to posting more subjects about the same thing. The amount used is slightly higher compared to the Ball brand. Thats due to the slightly larger granule size. It doesn't fizz like vinegar and baking soda, but you will 'hear' a little fizzing sound. Cold packing in vinegar brine with no Boiling Water Bath, will require refrigeration at all times. Originally they said to measure the amount on top of the packed jars of cukes, but I don't add it then. Instead, I add it when packing each jar with the dill and cukes, just like I do when adding salt and citric acid to jars that are to be filled with tomato sauce. The original PC was 3/4 teaspoon per pint, and 1 1/2 teaspoon per quart. The storage time for pickles will also depend on how fresh they were to begin with, as well as the type of pickling cukes. By their nature, pickling cukes usually have thinner ligher green skins and are quite crisp compared to those old mushy dark green excuses for a salad cucumber. My pickles, including sweet mixed, and bread & butters are always going to stay crisp a few months longer than ones that have no CC added.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 4:15PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

We are now recommending you add the calcium chloride to the brine since people were saying either the bottom part of the jar of pickles was crisp, or the top, depending upon where it was placed in the jars. It didn't seem to dissipate through the whole jar.
I still used the same amount of the bulk. I also use it in my pressure canned potatoes. They are nice and firm. Very nice. Like store bought canned ones.
Yes, the pickle crisp really does work !

    Bookmark   May 22, 2009 at 9:48PM
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gardengrl(Northern Virginia)

Thanks for the tip Linda! Can you confirm the amount of CC to use for pints and quarts? I can figure the total amount needed for a recipe based on how many pints or quarts it will make.

Just want to make sure I'm adding enough and not too much!

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 11:06AM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

I used the amount Ken posted, 3/4 tsp. per pint or 1 1/2 tsp. per quart.
Next I am going to try adding some to some dried beans when canning them.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 3:07PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The amounts I posted are based on the msaurements given on Balls Pickle Crisp product. Becuase the Bulf Foods CC has a larger granule size, I increase the amount need for points and quarts. I prefer to also flip my jars over a few times once they are cooled. This helps to redistribute the herbs and garlic, as well as the CC. I have never seen the CC fail to dissolve quickly. Keep it in a tightly covered jar away from any moisture. If left exposed to air and humidity, it will liquify (soaks up moisture) and become unusable.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2009 at 4:24PM
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I tried a batch of pickles with some Calcium Chloride not too long ago. I did the soak with it instead of putting it in the jars. The odd thing with this batch (I probably messed something up) was that though the pickles are really crisp to bite into, they are still quite limp at the same time. Kinda funny but they taste good.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 8:03PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Salt and vinegar seem to work very effectivly when it comes to breaking down the cells of cukes. The cell walls do soften so the cukes do get a bit softer. BWB will also cook them, so when I make mine that need BWB, I use no added water and process a bit quicker. Half sours seem to stay much crisper as they are refrigerated at all times. I make 3-4 half gallon jars that last me a few months or almost a year if I ration them.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2009 at 12:51PM
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