A lot of pickling supplies are common and you can find in your local grocery store, but some are a little harder to locate such as pickling salt, spices, or even a fermentation crock. We run through some of the basics of what you need in order to start pickling below.
Pickling Salt: Whether you are going with the fermentation process of pickling or using a vinegar based brine you are going to need salt. You can use regular salt when pickling however the impurities in table salt have a tendency to turn pickling liquid dark and cloudy overtime, which can impact flavor and overall appeal of your pickled product. You may be hard pressed to find pickling salt at your local grocery store but a natural food store should have a small selection. Our personal favorite is Precision Foods Pickling and Canning Salt and at 3 pounds for 8 dollars you really cant go wrong.
Pickling Spices: As you have probably noticed by now there are a few staples in pickling recipes that tend to appear in a lot of recipes. Spices such as; Mustard, Dill, Allspice, Peppercorn, etc. Pickling spice blends typically include these traditional standbys and more. Buying 4-5 different spices can get expensive so if your spice cabinet is rather empty you might want to think about buying a pickling spice blend instead. Our personal recommendation is Marshall Creek’s Pickling Spice Blend.
Mason Jars: Which containers you are storing your pickled vegetables in play an integral role in the quality of the end product. Mason Jars have been the go-to for pickling and canning for generations. They also have the great benefit of being air-tight and since they are glass are they are easy to clean and don’t hold on to smells as plastic tends to. Our personal recommendation is for the Ball Mason Jars Wide-Mouth Can or Freeze – 16 oz which is a good size and should be perfect for most products.
Fermentation Crock: Mason jars are great for quick pickling or natural fermentation. However in the case of fermentation sometimes it is just easier to have one large container, especially if you are doing a large batch. Fermentation pots are great because they provide an oxygen deprived environment which will allow your vegetables to pickle naturally overtime without the possibility for mold. The most reliable and affordable crock we found is made by TSM Products. They come in 5, 10, 15, or 20 liter varieties and should handle any fermentation recipes nicely.