A Beginner's Guide to Pickling

Posted by Simon M on

Pickling is a fantastic way to enjoy your favourite produce long after the season has passed. It's also simple, requiring little more than a few basic steps and some trusty glass jars. In this blog post we will look at how to get started with pickling utilising pickling jars from us here at Glass Jars and Bottles.

One of the first things to consider when looking to start pickling is the jars. Invest in good quality glass jars with tight-fitting lids. Here at Glass Jars and Bottles, we have a range of glass jars, including pickling jars, which are perfect for your needs. While new jars are ideal, if you're reusing old ones, make sure they are free from chips or cracks, and sterilise them thoroughly.

Now, choosing your produce. Almost any vegetable can be pickled, but favourites include cucumbers, onions, carrots, and cauliflower. If you're feeling adventurous, try pickling beetroot, peppers, or even courgettes. Whichever vegetables you choose, make sure they are fresh and blemish-free. Scrub under running water to remove any dirt or grit. Some vegetables, like cucumbers, benefit from an additional step. Salting them draws out some moisture, leading to crispier pickles. Simply toss your chopped cucumbers with salt and leave them for a few hours before rinsing them clean.

Next, it's time to create your pickling brine. The basic formula is equal parts water and vinegar (white, cider, or malt vinegar are all good choices). You can then adjust this base to your taste. Salt is essential for both flavour and preservation. Sugar adds a touch of sweetness to balance the tartness of the vinegar. Experiment with different spices and herbs too. Peppercorns, garlic cloves, and mustard seeds are all classic pickling partners, but feel free to get creative with chilies, ginger, or even curry leaves.

In a saucepan, combine your chosen vinegar, water, salt, sugar, and spices. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Let it simmer for a minute or two, then remove it from the heat.

Now comes filling the jars. Pack your prepared vegetables into the warm, sterilised jars, leaving a little headspace at the top (around half a centimetre). Add your chosen herbs and spices, then carefully pour the hot pickling brine over the vegetables, ensuring everything is completely submerged. Wipe the rims of the jars clean, then screw on the lids tightly.

To see our full range of jars, for pickling and other purposes, visit our online store today. If you need help finding the best jar for your needs, contact us today and speak to a member of our team. Call 01134871092 or email us at info@glassjarsandbottles.com.

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