What is a lug in pickles and recipe question

Mary1956July 19, 2012

Hi All,

I'm new to canning and received a recipe from a friend for sweet pickles. It calls for 1 lug of cucumbers but I can't find anything that tells me how much is in a lug. Cucumbers seem to be measured by the bushel. Also, the recipe calls for 24 cups of sugar, 12 cups vinegar, 15 teas salt and pickling spice. Does this sound right? I guess it would depend on what a lug is as it sure sounds like a lot of sugar to me. Unfortunately this is a handed down recipe and the person is now deceased so no one to ask. Thanks for any assistance.


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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

I Googled it and found this: 'A lug is a box that is 16 1/8 inches by 13 1/4 inches. It is about 30 lbs'

That's a lot of cucumbers and would account for the huge quantities of the other ingredients.

Others will comment on the safety of the recipe, I'm sure.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 12:42PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

"Lug" is a very, very old marketing measurement (European Medieval era oriented if I recall my history correctly) term which as Flora said is basically any container that holds approx. 30-35 lbs of produce.

Without seeing the entire recipe there is no way to know if it is safe to use or not other than to say that the majority of these old "handed-down" recipes are no longer considered safe since they they contain too many guesstimate measurements and often contain too little vinegar to maintain a stable pH. They could get away with it in Grandma's date because their vinegar was at least 2x as strong as any we have today.

It is definitely a use at your own risk recipe.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:04PM
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Thank you both for your response. I'm going to search for a similar recipe to be safe. I have about 10 pounds of cucs. Any recipes you would suggest?

Again, thank you!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:15PM
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Also, this is a 7 day recipe... A shorter time would be better for me. :-)

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:17PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Oh, then try my Sweet Pickle Chunks ! They are so good !
Sounds similar to your recipe. The days go by fast and I don't find this that time consuming, just a little time each day.
Use 24 medium pickling cucumbers. Wash and then slice off 1/16 of an inch off of the blossom end.
Boil enough water to in a large pan that will be enough to cover the cucumbers. Boil water , and let cool a little bit. Then, place cucumbers in the water. Let cool, then place a lid over the pot.
On the 5th day, drain the water and make this syrup.
Cut cucumbers into 1 inch thick chunks.
8 cups sugar
4 cups cider vinegar -5% acidity
3 1/2 tsp. pickling salt
2 Tbsp. pickling spices, tied in a bag.
Drain cucumber chunks, and boil this same syrup for 3 more days. Let cool some, then place the cucumber chunks back into the syrup daily. On 4th day, pack pickles into jars, seal with a lid and ring.
Process in boiling water bath canner for 10 minutes.

I love these with tuna!
I used pickle crisp on these and some say they are TOO crunchy. I like them crunchy. The pickle crisp didn't hurt mine at all.
You drain off the water each day, boil fresh water, and pour over the cucumbers. Let sit a while to cool down before you cover them up.
On the 5th day, drain off all the water. Cut cucumbers into chunks. Make the syrup; pour over the cut up cucumbers. Then, each day for 3 more days, pour off the syrup, bring syrup with the spice bag to a boil and pour back over the chunks of cucumbers. On the 4th day of the syrup, drain off, boil, pack pickles into jars, pour over the hot syrup, seal jars, and process in the boiling water bath canner.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:21PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

I just wanted to say there's a whole "family" of those sweet pickle recipes like the one you mentioned and the one Linda_Lou posted. They've been around forever. Generally they are safe as they're 100% vinegar and loaded with sugar. There may be an exception somewhere but I haven't seen it.

I make a similar 10-day pickle. I think of them as "candied cucumbers" because they're so sweet, but they are exceptionally good.


    Bookmark   July 19, 2012 at 1:38PM
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Hi Linda,

This may seem like a silly question but on the last step do you boil the syrup and the pickles together before putting them in the jars or separate put the pickles in the jar at room temp and boil the syrup and pour on top? Thanks!


    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:39AM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

Put the pickles in the jars at room temp. then boil the syrup and put over the pickle chunks in the jars.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 1:14PM
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