How to Cut Pickles for Canning

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Pickling is a good way to use up a large harvest.
Pickling is a good way to use up a large harvest. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Pickling and canning cucumbers is a tasty and economical way to preserve them for later consumption. It is important to select cucumbers that are no more than 2 inches in diameter and specifically labeled as pickling cucumbers. If you are canning pickles, you may want to cut them before processing them. Although it is possible to can whole pickles, canning slices or spears produces pickles that are excellent for sandwiches, relish trays or just savoring straight from the jar.

Things You'll Need

  • Pickling cucumbers
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board

Slices

Rinse the pickling cucumbers thoroughly in water.

Cut off 1 inch from the top and bottom of the cucumber. Discard the ends.

Set a cucumber on a cutting board.

Cut the cucumber into round slices that are ¼ -inch thick.

Toss slices into the brine and process according to your pickling recipe.

Spears

Rinse pickling cucumbers thoroughly in water.

Cut 1 inch off from the each end of the cucumber. Discard ends.

Lay the cucumber down on the cutting board.

Cut the cucumber in half lengthwise.

Turn the cucumber halves onto their cut sides.

Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise again.

Toss spears into the brine and process according to your pickling recipe.

Tips & Warnings

  • For pickling and canning, select pickling cucumbers that are firm, with no soft parts or insect damage.
  • For pickles that will be used as salad garnishes, cut them into chunkier slices and then cut them into half-circles.
  • The blossom end contains microbes that lead to softening. Because of this, the ends should be removed from the pickles.

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