Pickles and relishes are very popular condiments. They are easy to make; however, it is very important to following the steps correctly to ensure a safe product. Many vegetables can be pickled with cucumbers and cabbage the most often chosen to be pickled.
Pickling is the term used for preserving foods with acid and salt. Pickling relies on adding acid to lower the pH of the product to 4.6 or lower to allow the food to be processed using the boiling water or steam canner process. There are two pickling methods that can be used to achieve this level of acidity, fermentation and the fresh-pack or quick-process method. Measure or weigh the amounts of food carefully because the proportion of fresh food to the other ingredients will affect flavor and safety of the final product.
More information on making pickles:
Crispy Pickles, June 25, 2019, Penn State Extension
Food Preservation: Making Pickled Products (FN 1989, Revised Aug. 2019) North Dakota State University
Fundamentals of Consumer Food Safety and Preservation: Master Handbook, 2015, Washington State University
Guide 6 Preparing and Canning Fermented Foods and Pickled Vegetables, Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2015, USDA
Publication originally written by Julie Albrecht. Updated and reviewed by Nancy Frecks in 2021.