There’s nothing quite like the crunch of a fresh pickle, and making your own at home is easier than you might think. Fermented pickles are delicious, healthy, and full of probiotics that promote good gut health. Plus, they’re a great way to preserve cucumbers when they’re in season so you can enjoy them all year long.
Here’s everything you need to know to make your own fermented pickles at home.
– 2 to 3 pounds of firm, fresh cucumbers
– 3 tablespoons pickling salt
– 1 head of garlic, peeled and crushed
– 2 sprigs of fresh dill
– 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
– 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
– 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1. Start by cleaning and sterilizing your jars. You’ll need a quart-sized jar with a lid and a smaller jar that fits inside as a weight.
2. Wash your cucumbers thoroughly and slice off the blossom end. This is important because there are enzymes in the blossom end that can cause the pickles to become soft and mushy.
3. In a large bowl, dissolve the pickling salt in four cups of water to create a brine. Stir until the salt is completely dissolved.
4. Add the crushed garlic, dill, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, and black peppercorns to the bottom of your jar.
5. Pack your cucumbers tightly into the jar, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top.
6. Pour the brine over the cucumbers until they are completely submerged. You may need to add more water to ensure they are fully covered.
7. Place the smaller jar inside the larger jar as a weight to keep the cucumbers submerged.
8. Cover the jar with a non-reactive lid, such as a plastic lid or a canning jar lid. Do not use a metal lid because the acid in the pickles can react with the metal and create an off-flavor.
9. Place the jar in a cool, dark place and let it ferment for 4-7 days. Check on the pickles daily and remove any scum that forms on the surface.
10. Taste the pickles after 4 days to see if they are to your liking. If they are still too crunchy, let them ferment for a few more days.
11. When the pickles are ready, remove the weight and the spices from the jar. The pickles can be stored in the refrigerator for several months.
– Use pickling cucumbers, which are smaller and have thinner skins than the cucumbers you find in the grocery store. If you can’t find pickling cucumbers, you can use regular cucumbers, but you’ll need to peel them first.
– Use pickling salt, which is free of iodine and anti-caking agents. Regular table salt can affect the flavor and texture of the pickles.
– Don’t be afraid to experiment with different spices and herbs. You can add anything you like to the brine, such as bay leaves, juniper berries, or red pepper flakes.
– Make sure your jars are completely clean and free of any residue or bacteria that could affect the fermentation process.
– If you’re new to fermenting, start with a small batch to get the hang of the process. Once you have a feel for it, you can scale up and make bigger batches.
Making your own fermented pickles at home is a fun and delicious way to preserve the flavors of summer. With just a few simple ingredients and some patience, you’ll have a jar of crunchy, tangy pickles that you can enjoy all year long.