Help my pickles are too salty

rainy230(10 Jupiter)June 13, 2009

I tried making refrigerator dill pickles. Tried one after two day's and way too salty. Does anyone know if there is a way to fix them? Any help would be great. Thanks

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

As long as you are going to keep them refrigerated you can replace some of the brine with plain water to eliminate some of the salt or you can add some sugar to off-set the salt taste. But honestly, I have never had much luck making overly salty ones palatable. So we always taste test the brine before adding it to the cukes.

Did you rinse them several times after the salt soak? Did you use canning salt? If not the measurement was way off.

Do a search here on 'salty pickles' for several previous discussions on the causes and possible fixes.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 1:54PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

For the proper salt to water ratio use the amout that Alton Brown recommends: 5.5 ounces (by WEIGHT) of pickling salt to one gallon of water. I use the small packets of Mrs. Wages dill pickle mixes which, when mixed with a gallo of water will give about the same taste. I learned years ago, how to taste test the salt brine even if it was not from a mix. I would add picklinmg salt to water, and storr to dissolve, then taste. If its too salty, your tonuge will tell you that its bitter, if its not salty enough, you will experience a flat salty taste. ONce you hit the right ratio, you usually get a sweet taste to the brine. Make sure the slt is totally dissolved. I pack fresh dill weed and dill seeds into half gallon jars, as wll a several cut up garlic cloves. Then teh pickling cukes are added, AFTER you cut the ends off both ends of the cukes. They sit at room temps for about 3-4 days for half sours, or a week to two weeks for regular fermented pickles. Then you add only a tablespoon or two of vinegar to each jar and place in the fridge. Mine last nearly a year, and do have a salty taste, but thats overpowered by the lactic acid the fermentation creates.

If you don't care for salt brine type pickles, suggest tat you make vinegar based ones instead.

At this point, I would dump out half to 3/4 the brine and then add water. Let them sit for two more days and then place in fridge with the added vinegar. Give them a few days in the fridge and then taste. No everyone likes salt brine pickles. If they don't taste good, toss them and start over with fresh brine. Always TASTE your brines before using!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2009 at 3:34PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

Remember the new standard with refrigerated pickles is not to leave them sitting out at room temperature to cure before refrigeration.

There's a risk of listeria.

You have nothing to lose by diluting the pickling solution. You've already made them, so all you're out is time and water. It might work for you.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 4:24PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

New standard?
Oh, so you make a salt brine and it ferments into lactic acid and then can become poisonous? Never heard that before. To get these to start to ferment in the fridge would take up to 6 months or more. I suspect your also saying the current method of making sourkraut is also dangerous? That is, you slice cabbaage and add salt to it and let it ferment at room temp for many weeks.

Because I use a Mrs. Wages pickle mix for my half sours instead of just plain salt, I never see mold, crust, or any failure to ferment at room temp. The Mrs. Wages products do have some added preservatives, which are fine with me.

One year, I didn't add enough salt and the cukes came out translucent and soft, and were tossed.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 4:55PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

No, I'm speaking of refrigerated pickle recipes, not lactic acid fermented in a salt brine. Fermented pickles are an entirely different thing. I've made them many times and I know the difference.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2009 at 11:31PM
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rainy230(10 Jupiter)

Thank you for you help.I just made two different jars of refigerator pickles.The first was Alton Brown;s bread and butter which were pretty good. The other a garlic dill recipe from recipezar is the salty one . I'm new to this and experimenting with recipes.If anyone has a good recipe for refrigerator Dill's I'd love to try it ! The advice on alway's tasting the brine makes sense!! Don't know why I didn't think of that first. now I alway's will.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 1:06PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Refrigerator dill pickles are also safe, as they call for vinegar and salt. If its a fermented one, its still refrigerated after a specified amount of days at room temps. My Mrs. Wages mixes are refrigeraor types, but as mentioned before, they also contain some preservatives, but nothing that can cause any health or safety issues. Heck, I have made fridge pickles too, by simply mixing some pickling salt to vinegar and adding some fresh dill seed and seed heads and some garlic.

Suggest that you try one of the Mrs. Wages dill pickle mixes and see for yourself. Don't just pour the packet into water or vinegar, but DO taste the brine prior to packing the cukes in there. The Mrs. Wags pickle mixes are in two sizes, one makes about 1 quart of brine, while the other makes about a gallon. Here, I am hoping that some of my fresh dill will still have green seed heads once the cukes are growing. Its a race right now and the dill has already started to form the seed head clusters, while cuke plants are an inch tall.

Not only should you taste a pickle brine, but also any home canned pickle types, tomato sauces, salsa, jellies and jams. That way you don't get surprises once its sealed in jars. For the B&B, I also use a Ball mix for them, and add a bit more celery seed and mustard seed, as well as a little dill seed. I also use a little cider vinegar and to avoid sugar, I use Splenda, but in very small amounts. I found that Splenda tends to become overly sweet when mixed with vinegar. A recipe calling for 4 cups of sugar for a sweet pickle, would be way too sweet if you used cup for cup Splenda. I use maybe 1/4-1/2 cup of Splenda compared to 3-4 cups of sugar, and the end result ie very similar, but more diabetic friendly.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 2:31PM
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rainy230(10 Jupiter)

Thank you for the info KS.Is the Mrs. wags pickle mix a product that you send away for or do you purchase localy? Sounds like a mix I would like to try.I'm not crazy about the couple of mixes that I've tried from the spice shelf in grocery store down here in FL. I've onlt tried making just a quart sized jar since I haven't yet found a recipe that I love.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 7:29PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Mrs. Wages canning and pickling mixes are sold locally in many grocery stores and in most any store that has canning supplies. All the Walmart's I have been in carry them in their canning supplies section. They make mixes for several types of pickles as well as salsa, spaghetti sauce, chili, etc.

You can find a picture of them in the thread here called the new Ball Blue Book is out.


PS: they can also be ordered online

    Bookmark   June 15, 2009 at 8:08PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

I have found them at Agway stores too. I don't usually buy the Ball brand as their dill pickle mixes have sugar in them, which is not something you see in dill pickles. I do use sweet pickle mixes too, for pickling beets, as well as the Bread & Butter mixes from both Ball and Mrs Wages for those pickle types. Being sliced, I add sliced onions and a bit of chopped sweet red peppers to give them color. They now have a 'Dilly bean' pickle mix too. The major difference in kosher dill and regular dill or Polish dill is the fact the one uses a few pepperdorns, and the other uses garlic as an added spice. I do add fresh dill weed and seed heads. Ideally the dill seed heads should still be green and swelled seeds for the most flavor.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mrs. Wages mixes on Amazon

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 1:59PM
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