Really big pickling cucumbers, okay to use?

mochabeansJuly 31, 2010

This is my first year growing cucumbers for pickling, second year making pickles. Some of my cucumbers got really big, like 2-3" thick or so and 6+" inches long. Are these too big to slice and make dill slices out of? Also, some of them have been sitting in the fridge for a few weeks waiting for enough to ripen to make a full batch. They're still quite firm feeling, but are they going to be a bad idea to make into pickles? If so, what should I do with them?

Thanks!

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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

They are really only suitable for relish at this point. They should never sit in the fridge that long. They need to be picked and pickled within 24 hours.
Why not make up brine and keep in the fridge and just process a few jars in the boiling water bath at a time ?
The recipe I use for dill pickles only makes a few pints anyway.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 12:27AM
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2ajsmama

So you can't make pickles out of store-bought pickling cukes? I bought some yesterday, who knows when they were picked.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 8:02AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

So you can't make pickles out of store-bought pickling cukes?

You can of course but the quality of the pickles will be less. Growing your own or getting them fresh picked from a local grower or farmer's market gives the best results by far. They go soft very quickly once picked.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 1, 2010 at 8:40AM
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pixie_lou

My great grandfather used to make pickles out of overgrown cukes. He would peel the cukes, then take all the seeds out. He would use the white flesh only, cut into chunks. And they were pretty yummy.

I've been trying to find the family recipe. We used to call them "Grampas Pickles". My grandmother used to also make them. But she has alzheimers pretty bad now. I'm trying to contact the extended family tree to see if anyone else has the recipe. We just got home from a weeks vacation and have a couple almost baseball bat sized slicer cukes - and this would be the perfect solution for those cukes. But I think they are going to end up in the compost bin instead.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 11:59AM
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marymac

Isn't there a big sliced cucumber sold by Vlasic made out of the overgrown yellowed cucumbers? They come in a short squatty jar, and they fit perfectly on a hamburger bug.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:06AM
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emily65

If you will google "big yellow cucumber pickles" you will come up with some excellent recipes. The one at cooks.com is the one my mil used to make. What a treat.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 9:36AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Be sure to use a safe recipe with them. They are more alkaline (low-acid) and have much higher water content than normal so it is important for the vinegar to water ratio be adequate for them to safely store on the shelf.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 11:39AM
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david52 Zone 6

As a side note, this year I'm growing Diva cucumbers, a seedless, burp-less variety that I've had good luck with in the past. I've a couple dozen vines, and so miss a few, and they get enormous. This variety, no matter how large the fruit gets, stays with small seed core and tiny, soft seeds - even a foot long and 4 inches in diameter, they make great bread and butter pickles, as well as eating fresh.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 1:44PM
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chadg

With cukes that have gotten overgrown i make refrigerator pickles. I came home from vacation and had 6 cukes about 7" long and 3-4" diameter. Had to do something with them.

I personally like the seeds and extra flesh of an over grown cuke.

I start by taking each end off the cuke and hold it up to the quart jar to see if it will fit. Then i halve it. Quarter it, eighth it etc until i get the size pickle i want.

I only grow about 4 cuke plants up a trellis in my little garden so i know i am not going to get a lot of cukes ready to make a big batch. Don't let them sit. Pick them and pickle them in the next few days. They will be fresh and have a nice snap. I am not a big fan of processed pickles though. They tend to get so mushy and soggy. I like a pickle with a snap.

I like Alton Browns recipe for "Kinda Sorta Sours".
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/kinda-sorta-sours-recipe/index.html

It is a quicky recipe and you only need a few cukes.

Down side is they are not shelf stable. You have to keep them in the fridge and eat them in a couple months. They never seem to last that long in my house.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 7:55PM
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