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August 27, 2014 Canning, Canning 101, Pickles, Pickling, Preserving Recipes, Recipes

5 Tips for Crispy Pickles

We don’t all have the space in our refrigerators to be squirrelling away Refrigerator Pickles to last us the year. Some recipes call for a “pickling agent”, but if you’re adverse to that, or if you really want to increase your crispy odds, here are some tips and recipes that should keep your crisp-o-meter happy!Boys&Pickles-Fillmore Container

  1. Freshly Picked – pickle them as close to the harvesting as possible!Cucumber Relish in Jars
  2. Smaller is Better – stick with pickling cucumbers that have not grown too much larger than your thumb. Turn those big ones into refrigerator pickles, or relish.
  3. Trim off the blossom end of your cucumbers. While this may seem wasteful, there’s an enzyme (pectinase) that will cause your pickles to become soft. Trim about 1/16 inch from that blossom end before pickling. Some people have seen improvements with adding a grape leaf which contains tannins – a substance which is thought to inhibit the pectinase.
  4. Pint or Smaller – try canning in pint jars or smaller – the larger jars will require longer processing which results in a softer end product.
  5. Try Low Temperature Pasteurization as described here by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Read our blog post with detailed instructions and a recipe for using this method. Please note that you can only use this method if the recipe indicates that it is appropriate and be sure to monitor the temperature carefully!

Here’s a great collection of pickling recipes from Clemson University.

Post a Comment

10 Comments
  1. Linda M. Kiefer Posted July 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    You can freeze refrigerator pickles. The don’t suffer a bit. I freeze mine in pint plastic containers.

  2. canfoster60 Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    I do a fermented dill pickle that is to die for.

    • Gail Pickens Posted April 19, 2017 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Would love the recipe!!!! My husband is trying fermenting veggies now.

  3. Bill Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Use Pickle Crisp.

  4. Karminder Brown Posted July 13, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    For crispy dill pickles of any size, in quart jars, soak the cucumbers in ice water bath for minimum of two hours (max 8 hours) before processing them. No agent or additive needed, just extra time, and they always come out crispy, even if the cukes are harvested from the garden gradually over a period of 1-2 weeks and stored in fridge until there are enough to make a big batch of pickles. Works every time!

  5. Diana Posted July 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Do you soak the cucumber whole are after you have sliced?

  6. Nettie Sleeman Posted July 7, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    I place a clean towel in a large bowl and salt the pickle slice, wholes, or wedges. Refrigerate over night. The next day I lay them out on another clean towel to dry for an hour . This removes the water from the cucumbers. Leaving them ready to pickle ,staying crispy and crunchy.

  7. Marcy Gantenbein-Ungrodt Posted July 9, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Add a grape leaf to the jar.

  8. Lauren Posted July 9, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Use a grape leaf! If you place a grape leaf in the top of your jar before canning, the grape leaf keeps the pickles crispy. Not sure why, but I have tried it with and with out the grape leaf and it does make a noticable difference!