Another recipe safety question...sorry

kelgalon(9)October 13, 2010

Ok, I found this recipe and would like to try the flavor combination. From the looks of this one the vinegar/water ratio is definitely not right. They do call for a much longer boil though. My idea was maybe to use the BBB dilly bean recipe and change the spices as some other posters have done (when I did a quick search). I question the sugar though. I'm not sure what that will do to the pH. I appreciate your help.

Dante's Kitchen Pickled Green Beans

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 2/3 cups white vinegar

4 cups water

2 lbs green beans, trimmed

1/2 tablespoon clove

10 garlic cloves, cut in half

1/2 tablespoon allspice

6 dried small hot dried chilies

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon peppercorn

3 tablespoons kosher salt

Directions:Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 30 mins

1 Combine sugar, vinegar and water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. 2 Mix all the spices and salt together. 3 Pack green beans tightly into clean sterilized jars. 4 Divide the spices into the jars. Pour boiling pickle base into jars to cover beans and spices, leaving 1/2 inch head space. 5 Cover with lids and bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 20 minutes. 6 Adjust time according to your altitude. Carefully remove hot jars. 7 Let cool at room temperature for a day.

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

Sugar doesn't affect pH, just taste, so it and the amount of it are optional.

The problem would be the ratio of vinegar to water. The safe recipes call for a 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water and that is the lowest recommended safe ratio. This recipe is a ratio of 0.66:1 so too low in vinegar (or too high in water).

Granted the processing time is doubled but longer processing doesn't make it safe if the acidity level is too low to begin with. It just makes the beans softer. ;)

Stick with the approved 1:1 ratio of vinegar to water and the rest of the recipe is fine.


PS: I'd give some serious thought to using the spices in a spice bag rather than leaving them loose and packed in the jars. Especially the bay leaves and cloves as they can get very strong during shelf storage. But it is taste issue not a safety issue so your choice.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2010 at 6:57PM
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readinglady(z8 OR)

1 1/3 cups of sugar is outrageous unless you're using a very strong vinegar, well over 5%, something like 10%.

I'm guessing that's an "inherited" recipe that's been around for a long time. Even my old 1973 Farm Journal canning book calls for a 50:50 ratio of vinegar to water for dilly beans.

But as Dave indicated, you can take a current approved dilly bean recipe and alter the spices and sugar as you wish.


    Bookmark   October 14, 2010 at 3:20AM
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