Question on Refrigerator Pickle Recipe

dse1July 7, 2012

I made my first batch of pickles today using this recipe:

This recipe does not have a hot water bath processing step yet says pickles will last for up to 3 months. Does this seem like an overall safe pickle recipe or is it safest to avoid any direct refrigerator recipes that don't have a hot water bath processing step like this one?


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readinglady(z8 OR)

There are refrigerator pickles to avoid, but this one doesn't fall into that category.

I compared the recipe with a similar one from The Joy of Pickling, which is a reliable book. Linda Ziedrich's pickle is 3:1 water to vinegar while Ted Allen's is 2:1, so his brine is well within the safe range.

There are two aspects of this recipe I would disagree with. He says to pack the vegetables tightly, but it's important in any pickle recipe that the vegetables are thoroughly bathed in the brine. I would rather make additional solution and pack a looser mixture for a more secure sense of safety. You don't want dry areas where one vegetable is jammed up against another. For the same reason, I wouldn't want the pieces of vegetable to be too big, reducing the penetration of the brine.

Ziedrich says one month to age and one month beyond that, a timeline I'm comfortable with. Three months seems a little long.

You can see Ziedrich's recipe at the Google Books link. Just be prepared to struggle with the yellow print. Her book is highly recommended for anyone with a serious interest in pickling and all her recipes are verified.


Here is a link that might be useful: Armenian Mixed Pickles

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 3:13AM
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Thank you for the great response!!

I did pack the cucumbers in pretty tightly, I will remember not to do that so tightly the next time. There was plenty of extra brine, so the amount that was made was certainly not an issue.

I do have the Joy of Pickling book (just bought it). One last question. Why does it say in Ted Allen's book that they can be eaten within a day or 2 and the Zeidrich recipe says 1 month to age? Is it because the vinegar concentration is higher with the Allen recipe? That is why I used that particular recipe, because the time to tasting was so short!

    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 9:22AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Why does it say in Ted Allen's book that they can be eaten within a day or 2 and the Zeidrich recipe says 1 month to age?

No way to know since it is just the author's opinion that they are ready to eat by then. But it is an unusually short time so they may very well be quite bland in such a short time. Most approved recipes call for much longer time and short tasting time is not a goal for most of us. Rather safety and high quality is the goal.

This is another example of why unapproved, untested recipe sources should be avoided and only approved recipes used. While the vinegar to water ratio meets the minimum requirement, it is the bare minimum. And the dense packing is definitely to be avoided. Not to mention that the 3 month storage time is far too long. Listeria growth in these will be an issue if stored that long.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2012 at 12:33PM
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