Jarring cucumbers is another term for making pickles. It also is referred to as canning, although the cukes are put up in jars. If you have a garden and you grow cucumbers, you often face an abundance of the vegetables, which have a short shelf life. Extend a cucumber's life by jarring it, preserving it in a spice mix so when your plants no longer produce cucumbers, you still have vegetables.
Things You'll Need
- Fresh cucumbers
- Clean canning jars
- Quick process pickling mix
- Clear vinegar
- Nonmetal, large pot
- Jar grabber
Choose your cucumbers
Use freshly picked cucumbers to get the freshest pickles. Jarring cucumbers is not a way to use up old, mushy cukes -- you will just get mushy pickles. If you have a garden, you can jar the cukes the day you pick them. If not, go to a farmer's market and buy the crispest cucumbers you can find. Scrub, but do not peel the cucumbers.
Sanitize your jars in the dishwasher. You don't need to boil the jars; the hot water in the dishwasher should be hot enough. Canning jars have lids and rings, and the lids can be boiled separately, though they are fine to run through the dishwasher as well.
Mix the vinegar with the pickling mix and bring to a near-boil in the nonmetal pot. You can make your own pickling mix, using spices, salt, dill and sugar, but a commercial mix gives you the correct proportions and tells you how much vinegar to add.
Fill the jars with cucumbers, and add pickling liquid to cover. You can leave small cucumbers whole, or cut into slices or spears. Whole jarred cucumbers last longer, staying crisper, but cut-up cukes absorb the spices more quickly, so if you want to eat your pickles right away, choose this method. Put the lid and rings on.
Boil the jars in the large pot, which has been cleaned and refilled with fresh water. Boil them for about 10 minutes (the pickling mix might give a precise time frame). Use the jar lifter to remove the jars.
Store pickles in a cool, dry place, and they will keep for up to a year. If you do not seal jars properly, you can keep them in the refrigerator and eat within six months. Once you open a jar, keep the remainder in the refrigerator, and consume within six months.
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