How to pickle

Pickling is one of the oldest methods of food preservation and has been utilized by almost every culture. The term pickle comes from the dutch word “pekel” which means brine. Makes sense. It’s simple and affordable and adding pickled veggies really boosts the flavor of so many dishes. Here is the recipe I have fine tuned for a couple of batches now and I really enjoy.

Ingredients:ย (makes 2 pint jars)ย 

  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1.5 cups white vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, halved
  • 3 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorn

For making pickles also add 1/4 teaspoon dill weed or 2 sprigs fresh dill


Bring water and vinegar to a boil and add salt and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and add in all the spices leaving out the garlic(and dill). Let the spices steep in the brine for 10 minutes. I use one of these tea catchers to hold the spices so I don’t have to strain them at the end.ย 

While the spices are steeping, chop your onions, jalapenos, cucumbers, or whatever ingredient you wish to pickle. Stuff them tightly into a mason jar with 2 cloves of garlic chopped into halves. Add dill at this point as well if needed. Strain the spices from the liquid with a slotted spoon or colander, and pour into the jars almost to the rim. Seal them quickly, being careful as the glass gets hot, and leave out on the counter overnight. Move to the refrigerator and enjoy after letting them sit for at least 48 hours and for up to 3 months, although they never last that long ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks for reading!


50 responses

  1. There is TONS of info on how to can or pickle on the internet… just google it and start reading. In just a couple hours you should have all the info you need to start pickling things yourself! Other option is to ask amongst the people you know and I would be very surprised if nobody knew enough about pickling to help you get started. Good luck!

  2. I am looking for the name is called wickle pickles and there awsome there a little on the hot side but you can also taste the sweetness in the pickle. If you find out how to make them please let every one know. Thank you for sharing….

    • I’ve had those too, I like them a lot! I’ve been making a combination of cauliflower, carrots, and jalapenos that is really great using the same pickling recipe. The veggies stay crunchy and the jalapeno gives it a nice kick of heat. I bet if you added a jalapeno to your pickle jar it would give the pickles some extra heat too! Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Adding a jalapeno (whole with seeds) or any hot pepper of choice is always a great thing to do to kick up the pickled veggie. I do this with pickled asparagus!!

    • Hi Jerome, I’ve always used white vinegar for the recipe and haven’t experimented with cider vinegar. It would certainly get the job done, with a mother or not, but it would have a different flavor for sure. And yes it works for eggs too! Try adding beets to the jar to get a really vibrant pink color in the egg. Thanks for checking in ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. So you don’t give them a water bath in 10 minutes boiling water? They are not bacterial when you leave them on the counter like that? I saw Alton Brown do that in his pickle jar. He just filled a great big crock with pickles and brine and let them sit like that all summer basically.

    • Hi Leslie,

      I make sure to thoroughly wash the jars and the veggies first, and as long as you have an airtight seal you will be ok. I do not boil the jalapeรฑos because I want them to maintain some crunch and texture, boiling will give you a softer end result. Thanks for reading!


  4. Leslie – this method, pickling, is different from canning. Canning uses a hot water bath to kill bacteria and preserve the jar’s contents. Pickling in this recipe uses the same jars, but no heat – instead it is the acidity of the pickling brine that prevents overgrowth of bacteria.

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  8. I’m on a low-salt diet. Would there be a way to cut back or at least move toward “heart-healthy” and still maintain the taste and preservative power without as much?

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