Pickle & Cucumber Question

kenyadenola(z8b CA, Sunset 17)August 18, 2006

I am growing a long english cucmber variety and hadn't intended on making pickles, but now I have so many I thought why not try. This is where my confusion has set in, first, is it okay to use this variety? Also, I wanted to make pickles chunks instead, particularly, kosher styldill chunks. I read somewhere that you shouldn't use regular cucs to make pickles and that you shouldn't cut them up or they will get mushy. Is all this true? Am I out if luck inregards to making pickles? If not, can I uses any kosher dill recipe and instead cut the pickles into chunks? Any help would be great!!

Thanks,

Kenya

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gardenlad(6b KY)

Kenya, it's perfectly OK to use those English cukes for pickling.

In practical canning terms, the only difference between pickling cukes and slicing cukes is that the slicers contain more moisture. So, in theory, they soften up easier. But I've never found that to be true in practice.

If you're concerned, a little pickle crisp, used as directed, will help retain the crunch.

My favorite kosher style dill pickle:

4 lbs cucumbers
6 tbls pickling salt
6 cps water
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional
4 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
16 garlic cloves, split
16 heads fresh dill.

Wash cucumbers and remove a thin slice from blossom end. Leave whole, in chunks, slices, or spears as desired.

In a large saucepan combine wagter, vinegar, saltg and red pepper. Bring to a boil. Meanwhile, place 2 pieces of garlic and 1 head of dill in each of 8 hot pint jars. Firmly pack cucumbers in jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Place 2 additional pieces of garlic and 1 head of dill on top of cucumbers. Immediately pour hot vinegar mixture over cucumbers, laving 1/2 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles, adjust lids, and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 7:24AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The English cuke types have a very soft skin and are somewhat more tender compared to a picking cuke. They also contain more water than a picker, or even a regular cuke. They may work well for a short term pickle, like ones that would be consumed in less than 6 months. Also, you can try doing some salt brine type half sours with added dill, and garlic, and just refrigerate. These do not ferment well, so for fully fermented pickles they are not suitable.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 7:52PM
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Linda_Lou(SW Wa.)

This is what I use. I cut some into thick slices this year. Some in spears, some left whole. You can use regular cucumbers, even the ones that say "burpless". Just not the ones from the store that are waxed. If you soak the whole cukes in ice water for a couple hours, that can help keep them crisp, too. I use Pickle Crisp in mine.
Just be sure your recipe has at least half vinegar that is 5% acidity to water ratio to prevent botulism.
Kosher Dill Pickles

4 lbs pickling cukes
14 cloves garlic, peeled & split
1/4 cup salt
3 cups distilled or apple cider vinegar 5% acidity
3 cups water
12 to 14 sprigs fresh dill weed
28 peppercorns

Wash cucumbers; remove 1/16 inch from blossom end, cut in half lengthwise. Combine garlic and next 3 ingredients; heat to boiling. Remove garlic and place 4 halves into each clean jar, then pack cucumbers, adding 2 sprigs of dill and 4 peppercorns. Pour hot vinegar solution over cucumbers to within 1/2 inch of top. Immediately adjust covers as jar manufacturer directs. Process 10 minutes in BWB. Makes 6-7 pints.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 9:17PM
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