Process of Pickling:
There are two basic methods to pickling. The biggest difference between the two methods is the use of vinegar. Quick pickling or just pickling is the process of introducing an acid, vinegar, to an item in an air tight container which over time brings the PH level of the food to such an acidic level that no microorganism can form thus preserving the food. Fermentation is the second method of pickling. In fermentation the acid that preserves the food item is naturally occurring rather than being introduced. The main components of this process is simply salt, water, and time.
Step 1) Procure yourself some glass jars to store whatever item you are pickling, mason jars are the traditional standard. If you are going for long preservation, greater than 1 month, you will want to make sure you sterilize the jars. You can do this by bringing a large pot of water to boil and letting the jars/lid sit for 15 minutes. If you plan on consuming the pickled item over the next couple weeks a simple washing of the jars will suffice.
Step 2) Place all dry spices into the mason jar. Common spices would garlic, dill, pepper, but really depends you the item you are pickling. If you are unsure on what spices to use check out our recipes page. Make sure before placing dry spices into the jars that they are dry and cool.
Step 3) Place item to be pickled into the jar. It is important to make sure to pack the fruit or vegetable as tightly as possible. Also make sure the produce is washed and trimmed accordingly so it can fit neatly within the jar.
Step 4) Boil the brining solution consisting of equal parts vinegar and water with 1 T of salt per LB of produce as a general rule,although some recipes may vary. You want to keep this brine on the stove top until it reaches a roiling boil (surface is covered in bubbles).
Step 5) Pour the brine into the jars that are already packed with produce and spices. You should have half a fingers length from the top of the jar to the liquid. Let sit for 5 minutes or until the bubbles dissipate. If the bubbles persist you can gently tap the open jar against a surface.
Step 6) Tighten lids on the top of the jars making sure they are sealed as tight as possible.
Step 7) Bring a pot of water to a boil place full jars in the boiling water submerging them completely. The rule of thumb is you leave them in 10 minutes if you are at 1,000 feet or less above sea level and add an additional minute for every thousand feet above 1,000. This step is optional but i would advise you do this if you have a large amount of produce that you are pickling. By canning the pickling product it can last for up to a year without being refrigerated, just make sure the tab on the top of your mason jar in popped down.
Steps 1-3) Reference pickling steps from above.
Step 4) Combine 1 T of salt for every cup of water. Unlike with the pickling process above you will not need to boil the brine. Stir for 30 seconds.
Step 5) Pour the brine over the vegetable/spice mixture that is already combined in your jar. As with the pickling process you will want to make sure there is a good amount of room at the top of the jar.
Step 6) Tightly seal the jar and shake vigorously to combine the brine and dry spices.
Step 7) Let the jars sit out at room temperature anywhere from 3 days to a week before consuming. This is a personal preference time table you may find that you enjoy the pickled item the longer it ferments or you may enjoy it with light fermentation. Room temperature is anywhere from 58 F to 72F any more or less and it may not ferment properly.
Step 8) After the fermentation process is complete you can store the finish product in the refrigerator. Generally speaking it should last you up to a month from time of fermentation.