Sunday, September 21, 2008

Basic Pickle Brine Recipe

You can adjust this recipe to make larger or smaller quantities; just be sure to keep the proportions of salt to vinegar to water the same.

You'll Need:
  • 1 3/4 cups pickling salt (not iodized)
  • 2 1/2 gallons water
  • 2 1/2 cups vinegar
  • 1/2-3/4 cup Pickling Spice Mix (see recipe below)
  • 2-3 bunches whole dill heads or 1 cup dried dill weed (optional for noncucumber pickles)
  • Garlic cloves to taste (up to 1 head, peeled and separated)


Mix the salt into the water until it is completely dissolved (the water will start out cloudy, then grow clear).
Add the vinegar and the cheesecloth bag containing the spices and, if you're pickling cucumbers, add the dill.

You may use our Pickling Spice Mix or one from the grocery store.

Include garlic if you wish.

Makes enough brine for about 20 pounds (about 1/2 bushel) of vegetables.

Pickling Spice Mix

Use this recipe as a point of departure for your own favorite mix.

You can add this mix loose to a batch of fresh pickles.

For fermenting, use twine to tie the mixture up in a cheesecloth square as a spice bag; remove when you can pickles. A big jar of your own spice mix makes a nice gift and will last up to a year if stored in a cool, dark place.

You'll Need:
  • 4-inch cinnamon stick, broken
  • 4-6 small dried chile peppers, seeded (or ? teaspoon hot chile flakes if you like things hot)
  • 1 tablespoon black or pink peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons whole coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon small pieces nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds
Makes about 1/2 cup (enough for a 5-gallon batch of pickles)


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