Sour pickles without sealing jars

jwr98August 28, 2012

My mother and grandmother use to make pickles so sour they would make you pucker and your eyes squint, just looking at them. Both have passed away and with them the recipe.

When I was a kid I helped my mother and remember some from that. What has me confused is most of the recipes I find in books or on the internet say to seal the jars. My mother never sealed her jars of pickles. Also, most say to use small cukes. My mother always used large cukes, probably 6-8" long, maybe more.

She made them in one gallon glass jugs from restaurants. I have one that still has the original dill pickle label on it.

I know she didn't seal them because after mixing everything together she would screw the cover on, set them in the cellar and tell us kids not to touch them, that it would take 6-8 weeks until they were ready.

Of course within a couple weeks we would open a jar to get a sample. Then the cover would be screwed back on.

There was never a problem with spoilage.

My aunt had a recipe using vinegar, sugar, salt, pickling spices and dry mustard. Her recipe says to use small cukes and to seal the jars.

Does anyone know of a recipe that allows sour pickles to be made using cider vinegar, without sealing the jars? This really has me puzzled.

Wouldn't the vinegar and salt preserve the pickles without sealing? Did my mother and grandmother have some little known secret?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

There are many old family recipes around that have fallen by the wayside over the years due to safety concerns, advances in research, the discovery of new bacteria, and the fact that vinegar used to be much stronger than it is today.

Without seeing the exact recipe there is no way to know if your grandmother's recipe was safe or if you were just really lucky.

They may have been a fermented pickle packed in water and salt with no vinegar and if the proper amount of salt was used - no problem - except that by today's standards once they finished fermenting they would need to be 1) canned in sealed jars or 2) stored in the refrigerator.

Or they may have been a brined pickle (based on the info you gave there is no way to tell) and if so then their safety all depended on how much vinegar she used or if it was diluted with water and how cool the cellar was etc. but by today's standards they would need to be canned into sealed jars or immediately stored in the refrigerator and would have a limited storage life.

There are modern recipes available to do them either way available from NCHFP and the size of the cucumber is your choice although it will affect the finished quality - smaller "pickling" cukes giving the best quality.

Hope this helps.

Dave

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 10:49PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Loquat jam bwb
These recipes I am looking at don't talk about boiling...
tim45z10
serrano peppers everywhere
I have so many serrano peppers this year it's amazing....
prairie_love
Sterilizing jars and tools
Hello, I think I'm getting a little neurotic about...
giddyupgo
Citric acid - powder or crystal form
I have been making simple jams for years but have been...
psittacine
Pressure canning jam?
Hi all -- Ok, I have to admit that I just hate BWB...
fearlessem
Sponsored Products
Comfort Dreams 8-inch Twin XL-size Memory Foam Mattress
Overstock.com
Armen Living Vengo Dining Table - LCVEDISTGL
$850.00 | Hayneedle
Double Block Chest - 2261
Hayneedle
Fabbian | Stick F23C04 Floor Lamp
YLighting
Marble Tile: MS International Flooring Greecian White 18 in. x 18 in. Polished
$7.88 | Home Depot
Furniture of America Harbor Platform Bed - IDF-7064Q
$489.99 | Hayneedle
Hampton Bay Ceiling Fans Glendale 52 in. Brushed Nickel Ceiling Fan AG524-BN
$69.97 | Home Depot
Octaspring Ortho Supreme 10-inch King-size Memory Foam Mattress
Overstock.com
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™