Time Frame for Canning Quality?

blackcowsAugust 5, 2012

We started canning last year to try something different for 4H and we didn't do so well. This year our kids did much better and we actually made some pickles that we enjoyed eating and they also did very well at the fair this week.

We made our pickles about 2 or 3 weeks prior to the fair, the recipies suggested 6 weeks before eating but I guess based on our results our time frame was sufficient.

If we made some pickles now for next years fair (51 weeks away) would we expect the pickles to look and taste the same as they would at two weeks? Basically I would like to know when taste and appearance should be at their height for canned goods and when they would start to decline.

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

Prime is going to be different for different foods and even different recipes and it is also going to personal taste bud oriented.

For example fermented pickles would take longer than fresh pack pickles to reach peak flavor. Recipes with 100% vinegar would be prime sooner than those made with diluted water and vinegar brine. Those with garlis take longer to peak, etc.

Many recipes, like the one you mentioned will usually include a prime time indicator of some kind but that is based on the taste buds of the person who wrote the recipe.

But once most pickles reach their peak they are slow to decline. They do decline in both flavor and texture but slowly and of course once opened they have a limited storage life.

I sure wouldn't make pickles now for next year's fair however. They would still be safe of course and still edible but not competition worthy. I would plan to make several jars of the recipe now and do a taste test of a jar at 4 weeks another at 6 weeks, another at 8 weeks etc. till you determine which time frame is the best. Then use that to tell you when to make the pickles for next year.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 9:38PM
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jimnginger(9)

Dave is so right.
The color of pickles will suffer if you let them sit on a shelf for one year. They will "dull down" and not show as well.
If you use fresh dill, it will not be a green in the jar.
If you store these pickles under less than optimum conditions, they will also deteriorate sooner (too hot or too ligh - near windows).
A summer garage or shed is NOT the idea long term storage facility. If you live in a cooler area, a basement or cave would be perfect.
Jim in So Calif

    Bookmark   August 5, 2012 at 11:34PM
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