Quick Pickles vs. Canned Pickles
Quick pickles are not heated and are stored in the refrigerator whereas canned pickles must be heated to preserve them. These pickles will have a shelf life in the refrigerator of between 1-2 months whereas canned pickles can be stored for as long as a year in a dark pantry. They will be crisper, brighter and better tasting.
Quick Refrigerator Pickle Process
Cucumber selection: The differences between a standard cucumber and the pickling cucumbers the difference are several. Pickling varieties have thinner skins, have smaller seeds and are extremely crisp. Pickling cucumbers are also typically smaller in size. Varieties include:
- Kirby (most common pickle cucumber)
- Boston Pickling Cucumber
- National Pickling Cucumber
- Bush Pickle
- County Fair 83
- Little Leaf
Prepare jars: Use glass canning jars that have been cleaned and have tight fitting lids. You are not canning pickles but these work and store well.
Prepare cucumbers: Use the freshest pickles. Wash cucumbers well and remove a small part of the blossom end to reduce spoilage. Pickles can be cut into halfs, spears, or rounds. Fill jars with the cucumbers.
Make your brine: Combine water, salt, vinegar and any aromatics. Sugar is optional and will help offset the pucker punch of the vinegar. Add aromatics which often includes mustard seeds, allspice berries, black peppercorns, coriander seeds, minced garlic, red pepper, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and chili pepper for a little heat. Heat this mixture to dissolve the salt and optional sugar. Let cool to room temperature. If you don’t cool the brine, you will partially cook the cucumber and they will become less crisp.
Add the brine: Pour in enough brine liquid to completely cover the cucumbers. Once filled seal the jars.
Refrigerate: Put pickle jars into the refrigerator. Don’t touch for at least five days to let the brine do its magic. The pickles will keep in the refrigerators 1 to 2 months. Since you didn’t go through a canning process, quick pickles must be stored in a properly chilled refrigerator. Use a perrmanent market to write on the lid thedate you made this pickles.
Variation of Quick Refrigerator Pickles
Spicy Pickles: Turn up or turn down the heat to suite your tastes. Add more or less red pepper flakes. I made these a mild heat level to accommodate most palates, but if you want more of a kick, feel free to add as much red pepper flakes as you want. Sliced jalapens or other similar chiles can also be added.
Sweet Pickles: If you prefer sweeter pickles, increase the sugar.
Other Vegetables: You can pickle onions, green beans, carrots, cauliflower and many other vegetables. Some vegetable may be parboiled ahead like cauliflower and green beans.