refrigerator pickle question

renie50(5)August 25, 2009

Hi all! I made some homemade refrigerator pickles(bread and butter using cukes and zucchini) last Sept and they are due to expire. They have been kept in the frig. I cant remember if I got the air out of the jar and, when I shook them to disperse the spices, it seems like there is alot of air bubbles in them. They are sealed but I just wonder if all those bubbles will be a problem. They look good, but I took a canning and pickling class every Friday this summer and Im more afraid than ever to trust myself. Thanks for all and any responses and let me know if there is another forum for canning and pickling questions. thanks renie50

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Hi Renie - did your classes cover pickling? Those that do would probably have explained that these pickles are likely unsafe and why but without seeing the full recipe and the details on how you processed them, if you did, for storage it would be difficult to know for sure.

Refrigerator pickles have their own set of problems but those issue aside, I honestly have never seen an unprocessed pickle recipe that would allow for a year of fridge storage. 3 months tops in most of the recipes I have seen.

Can you provide more info please?


    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 4:32PM
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Oh boy, do I agre with dAve on this one. Refrigerator pickles kept a year? That's more than I've ever seen, unless they were fermented pickles which I'm assuming they are not.

Nope, I wouldn't eat 'em, not unless they were properly processed in the first place and then refrigerated which makes absolutely no sense to me at all.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 4:48PM
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Thanks for your responses. These are done by boiling brine and then covering them, you use hot jars and hot lids etc. They have to sit in frig for 5-7 days, no BWB. The lady who gave the cannning and pickling class uses the same recipe (and she has us all scared to death about botulism etc.) and she keeps her for 12 months. She told me last week she is still eating hers from last summer. She also worked for our local extension office for years and she is a bug about proper and I mean proper)canning methods. I dont know, Im getting so paranoid about bugs in food, especially after reading all the recent articles about what all is out there to get us. Maybe Ill just toss em and start over!

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 4:55PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

She also worked for our local extension office for years and she is a bug about proper and I mean proper)canning methods.

Well as any one here can tell you I just LOVE people who are "bugs about proper canning methods". But I got to tell you that this isn't one of them - proper method I mean.

She may have worked for the extension for years but she hasn't kept current with the changes since retiring so I'm guessing this wasn't a certified canning class?

Ask her about listeria - it's the main problem with refrigerator pickle recipes - and the current extension position on them is do not make them. Botulism is only a problem with pickles if too little vinegar (less than 50:50) is used.

I'd strongly recommend you dump these but it is your choice. Without seeing the recipe we have no way to tell if it is safe to use or not.


    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 5:57PM
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Ok, the recipe calls for 3/4 cukes or zucchini, sliced. 4 cups sliced onions, 4 cups sugar, 2cups vinegar, 1/2 cup pickling salt,turmeric, celery seed, mustard seed and dill seed or dill heads. Boil sugar, vinegar, salt and spices 5 minutes. Let cool Pour over cukes/zucs ,onion and dill. I put them in hot jars with placed hot lids and rings on them and put them in the frig. They were supposed to be in frig 5-7 days, before consuming them. Supposedly good for 12 months. I think Ill just toss them...thanks for your help

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 6:06PM
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Oh my, they will be going in the trash tonight. Im just going to buy pickles. I lost all my cucumbers this year and my zucchinis are gone too. The extension lady just loves that website (The one about home food preservation). She swears by that now. And the Ball Blue Book. There is a class on Friday night, I will ask her about Listeria. Im not sure she ever mentioned the possibility of that. But she is a bug about botulism :)

    Bookmark   August 25, 2009 at 6:17PM
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Hi, I am new to gardening this year and new to canning NEXT year! I just found this canning site and plan to read all winter and get caught up for next years harvest. Thanks in advance for all the great questions/advice/information!!
Here is what my mom always said "When in doubt, throw it out" and to add to that "it's not worth getting sick over".

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 12:24AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

As mentioned in another post. Listeria was INJECTED into the cukes before they were fermented in the salt brine to do the tests. That would only show you that if there was listeria inside a cuke, it would not be killed off immediately. Not eveyone can tell if they have any listeria in their cukes. And its natural contamintion is minimal.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2009 at 1:53PM
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