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Will this work for pickles??

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have wanted to make my own pickles for a good while.. 2 years ago I planted cucumbers and I made 2 cans of pickle spears.. they were very good.. but I have more cucumber plants and they look better for pickles.

The problem I had last time was getting enough cucumbers together to warrant the canning process.. that made it difficult on me and I lost a lot of them just waiting for the rest to grow.. So I got an idea.. to use one of the coolers that you plug in and they self chill... and create a brine/pickling solution for them using a standard recipe.. then.. just throw the cucumbers into the cooler as they are picked and washed.. when I get a bunch together.. I can then process and can them.

Does this sound safe? Will they be ok with enough salt and acid plus the cooler temperature? It seems no one else has done this same thing.. so I wanted to ask for those that are educated on the science/food safety side of this. Thanks!
post #2 of 8
are you actually canning the pickles? ie hot brine, sealed jars, etc?

there are many methods for pickling - including "refrigerator" pickles. I suspect storing them in brine will pickle them before you "process / pickle(?)" them in batches.

a simple guide: How to make refigerator dill pickles - with no canning or cooking,* easy, tasty and illustrated!

also some cuke varieties are better for pickling than others - consistent size and ripening - so picking the right kind for your purposes can help.
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks.. I've read a lot on the two basic methods.. what I would like to try and do is kind of a hybrid approach.. I want to keep them in a refrigerated pickling brine.. until I have a large amount of them.. then I would like to process them into glass jars which I would pasteurize like any other product you might can. The refrigerated pickling process would buy me some time, enhancing the flavor, while not letting the cucumber expire.
post #4 of 8
that's pretty much the route I deduced you wanted to take.

I cannot recall reading / hearing any 'things' about that approach. basically you may already have 'pickles' by the time you get to processing / hot packing them.

I have no idea how it might work out, but what the heck, invention does not get too far unless you try it, no? seems a sterile hot pack would take care of any cold pack issues.

keep us posted!
post #5 of 8
Dilbert is correct, you will have already pickled them if you are putting them in a brine. You need to do them all at once or they will be at different stages in the pickling process.

You can store fresh cukes for over a week in your fridge until you get enough for a batch. I can tell you the ones you buy commercially are much older than that!

You can make a large batch of the brine and use just what you need for each batch. Keep it refrigerated. (Just to clarify- we are talking about a pickle brine. I would not suggest holding a wet brine for proteins which contains nitrite).
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Well.. just an update. So far the cucumbers are doing well. We've had tons of rain. I've got these in a tupperware container.. had an issue with the ratio of salt/water but caught it early enough that I was able to pour off some of the brine and fill back with water.

post #7 of 8
I make a variety of refrigerator pickle every fall. No canning required and I still have some in the fridge that are fine. I do sterilize the jars and the pickle is a very high salt and vinegar type.
post #8 of 8
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