The pickles I canned up last week are soggy. Yuck! What do you all think about using Alum to help keep them crispier??
The first thing is to figure out why the pickles are "soggy." The most common reason is that the cucumbers aren't fresh enough. Crisping agents have limited effectiveness if there are other issues.
Alum works only with fermented pickles. For quick process pickles Pickle Crisp (aka calcium chloride) is what to use.
In addition to not using fresh-picked cucumbers as Carol mentioned, using the wrong kind of cucumbers is the next most common cause. Trying to make pickles out of slicing cucumbers will guarantee soft, mushy, "soggy" pickles. Use pickling cukes only.
Check out the many discussion here about problems with pickles for more details.
PS: Agree that alum will be of no help. Pickling lime is what used to be used for crisping, not alum. Pickling lime has been replaced by Pickle Crisp since it is much safer to use and much easier too.
Yes, I used pickling cucumbers, but purchased them from the farmer's market, so they had probably been sitting around for a few days before I got them.
My cucumbers from the garden have been nuts lately, so I'll try again with those and try with Pickle Crisp.
Thank you Dave and Carol.
Just for clarification, alum and pickling lime are different but both are crisping agents.
Both are still approved for use in certain recipes (the NCHFP offers several) but as Dave mentioned, Pickle Crisp works well without the challenges of alum or lime.