How to Make a Pickle Out of a Cucumber

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Dill pickles are easy to make.
Dill pickles are easy to make. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A pickled cucumber, usually known simply as a pickle, is made by soaking a cucumber in a brine or vinegar solution and allowing it to ferment. The most common pickle recipes are dill pickles and bread and butter pickles. Dill pickles are made with garlic and dill weed in a salt brine. Dill pickles can be used in many recipes and are also popular eaten on their own. Bread and butter pickles are sweeter, due to sugar in the brine. Bread and butter pickles are delicious on top of a sandwich or hamburger or chopped and added to potato salad.

Things You'll Need

  • Dill Pickles:
  • Pickling cucumbers
  • Bunch of fresh dill
  • Garlic cloves
  • Small hot peppers
  • 2 qt. water
  • 1 qt. cider vinegar
  • 1 c. canning salt
  • Bread and Butter Pickles:
  • 25 thinly sliced cucumbers
  • 6 thinly sliced onions
  • 2 diced green bell peppers
  • 4 chopped cloves garlic
  • ½ cup salt
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp. mustard seed
  • 1-½ tsp. celery seed
  • ½ tsp. whole cloves
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric

Dill

Choose firm and fresh cucumbers.

Wash the cucumbers and pack into canning jars. You can pickle the cucumbers whole, in spears, or sliced depending on your preference. Prepare the cucumbers in the way you desire and then pack them into the canning jars.

Add 1 sprig dill, 2 cloves garlic and 1 small hot pepper to each jar. If you prefer a stronger garlic taste, add 3 cloves. If you just want plain dill pickles, leave the garlic out of the jars.

Boil the water, vinegar and salt together. Canning salt is different from table salt -- it is important to use canning salt. If you use table salt, the pickles will shrivel and turn dark. Most grocery stores carry canning salt.

Pour the hot mixture over the cucumbers and seal the lids on the jars. The pickles will be ready to eat in 3 to 4 weeks.

Bread and Butter

Wash and cut cucumbers into desired shape. Mix the cucumbers, onions, peppers, garlic and salt together and let sit, uncovered, for 3 hours.

Mix the cider vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, whole cloves and turmeric once the cucumber mixture has stood for 3 hours. Bring the mixture to a boil.

Drain liquid from the cucumber mixture, then stir it into the boiling vinegar mixture. Continue to let the cucumbers heat but remove the pot from heat just before the mixture starts boiling again.

Pack into canning jars and seal with fresh canning jar lids.

Chill the jars in a refrigerator for at least 2 days before serving.

References

  • "The Complete Book of Pickling:" Jennifer MacKenzie: 2009
  • "The Joy of Pickling"; Linda Ziedrich; 1998
  • “Pickles and Relishes: From Apples to Zucchinis, 150 Recipes for Preserving the Harvest”; Andrea Chesman; 1991
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