Pickling cucumbers is a traditional method to enjoy the spicy summer vegetables from your own garden for longer. We give tips and introduce four popular recipes. In this article, we read about How to pickle cucumbers?
Whether in brine, as a pickled or dill pickle: Pickled cucumbers are a popular snack – and have been for a long time. More than 4,500 years ago, the people of Mesopotamia preserved their cucumbers in brine. And even thousands of years later, pickling and canning of cucumbers are still very popular. In Germany, the Spreewald is best known for the spicy vegetable specialty, but in Eastern Europe, it is also a standard side dish for many different dishes.
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How to pickle cucumbers?
Preserving vegetables that you have picked yourself from your own garden has become a real trend among amateur gardeners. Because anyone who has already harvested cucumbers that they have grown themselves knows how productive the plants can be: the more often you harvest the juicy fruits to pickle cucumbers, the faster new ones will grow back. We’ll give you tips on how to pickle cucumbers and thus preserve them and reveal four delicious recipes – including a recipe on how you can pickle cucumbers without cooking.
Pickling cucumbers: the most important things in brief
There are two methods of preserving cucumbers: soaking in vinegar for an intense acidity or in brine for a weaker acidity. For pickles, for example, wash the cucumbers off and soak them in salted water overnight. The next day, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water to a boil and cook the cucumbers for two minutes. Now put the cucumbers, onions cut into rings, and spices of your choice into clean glasses. Spread the boiling stock on top and close immediately. Turn it upside down and let it steep for two to three weeks in a dark place.
Which types of cucumber are suitable for pickling?
When it comes to cucumbers, a distinction is made between lettuce and pickled cucumbers. While cucumbers are traditionally eaten fresh from the greenhouse or processed into cucumber salad, pickled cucumbers are grown solely for preservation purposes. Strictly speaking, pickled cucumbers are nothing more than young cucumbers, since they both belong to the species Cucumis sativus. Pickling cucumbers, however, are certain types of cucumbers that not only stay significantly smaller but also do not have such a smooth surface. In addition, their taste is much lower.
While cucumbers are usually tied up, pickling cucumbers can also grow to lie on the floor because they are a little more resistant to diseases. Because of their shorter growing season, they also thrive outdoors, which is why they are often referred to simply as outdoor cucumbers. However, they are just as heat-loving as cucumbers and the yield is significantly higher in the greenhouse.
Harvesting cucumbers correctly: our tips
If you have watered and fertilized them sufficiently beforehand, you can expect a rich harvest of cucumbers in August and September Look forward to from the garden. Our tips: Do not tear the fruit from the cucumber tendril, it is best to carefully cut the stem with a knife or scissors. You can tell from the peel whether the cucumber is ripe. It should be evenly colored green.
If you can already see light areas, it is overripe. An early harvest has another advantage because smaller fruits have a more intense taste. So don’t wait too long to harvest because the more often you harvest, the more yield you can expect. Ultimately, the plant can put all of its energy into the ripening of the new fruits. We recommend a harvesting rhythm of no more than two to three days – this is how long the plant needs to develop new fruits. With mini or snack cucumbers you can even pick new fruits every day.
Preserving cucumbers: this is how it works
To preserve the vegetables after harvest and to store valuable vitamins, you can pickle your cucumbers in different ways. The two classic ways to preserve cucumbers are pickling them in vinegar or salt. The latter ensures that the cucumbers keep for about a year and produces slightly less sour cucumbers. Important: If you have opened the glass, it is best to keep it in the refrigerator. The cucumbers can be kept there for about a week.
However, if you prefer a more intense acidity for your pickled cucumbers or want to store them longer, pickling them in vinegar is well advised. Of course, salt and vinegar aren’t the only ingredients for the recipe. All kinds of spices and vegetables can be added according to your own taste, the flavor of which the cucumber should take on.
Recipe 1: dill pickles
Ingredients for six one-liter jars:
- 3.5 kg of cucumber
- 4 medium onions
- 1 bunch of dill herb with flowers
- 6 teaspoons of mustard seeds
- White wine vinegar
Pour the washed cucumbers, the onions cut into rings, dill leaves, and dill flowers as well as the mustard seeds into the boiled glasses. Then boil the vinegar with salt and water (1 part vinegar, 2 parts water, 2 tablespoons salt per liter of water), lather the liquid if necessary and pour it hot over the cucumbers to pickle cucumbers. Instead of the water-vinegar mixture, you can also use ready-made cucumber vinegar such as is currently available in stores. Seal the jars airtight and boil for 30 minutes at 90 degrees.
Recipe 2: quick cucumbers (shaking cucumbers) – without cooking
Ingredients for two to three people:
- 2 cucumbers
- 6 tablespoons of vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoons of cane sugar or a few dashes of liquid sweetener.
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
- 2-3 tbsp fresh dill.
- 2 small shallots
So, peel and core the cucumber and cut into bite-sized pieces. Mix the remaining ingredients and place in a mason jar to pickle cucumbers. Add the cucumber, close the jar with the lid and shake well. The glass is now placed in the refrigerator for at least twelve hours to draw through and shaken every now and then.
Recipe 3: pickled cucumbers
Ingredients for four one-liter jars:
- 2 kg of cucumber
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 4 stalks of dill
- 2 liters of water
- 110 g of salt
- 4 vine leaves or 12 sour cherry leaves
Wash the cucumbers thoroughly in cold water, then distribute them between the cleaned glasses and add 1 clove of garlic, 1 stalk of dill to pickle cucumbers, and 1 vine leaf or 3 sour cherry leaves. However, bring the water to a boil with the salt (if the water is very hard, add a tablespoon of vinegar). Pour the boiling salted water over the cucumbers until they completely covered, then close the jars immediately. The cucumbers are ready after seven to ten days. The jars are only opened shortly before consumption.
Recipe 4: pickled cucumbers
Ingredients for five one-liter jars:
- 2 kg of cucumber
- 800 ml light vinegar (white balsamic vinegar or spicy vinegar)
- 1.2 liters of water
- 400 g of sugar
- 3 tbsp salt
- 4 teaspoons of yellow mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons of black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon of allspice
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries
- 1 large onion
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons of dried dill
However, brush off and wash cucumbers thoroughly and soak in salted water overnight (ascending bubbles are normal here). The next day, lightly pestle the juniper berries, allspice, pepper, and mustard seeds so that the peels tear open to pickle cucumbers. So, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt, and water to a boil, cooking the cucumbers in portions for two minutes at a time. Cut the onions into rings and layer them between the cucumbers in the thoroughly cleaned glasses to pickle cucumbers. Add 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon of crushed spices, and ¼ teaspoon of dill to each glass. Spread the boiling stock on the glasses. Then close the lids immediately. Turn the jars upside down and let them steep for two to three weeks in a dark place.
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