I will here fully admit to being pickle challenged. In fact I did not make dill pickles for many years. This came as a result of a frustrating experience.
I made dill pickles using the recipe from the Ball Blue Book. They were tasty, but soft and soggy. My family resisted eating them, and the jars were now a year and a half old. They were not spoiled and I could have saved them longer but, I realized they were never going to be eaten. and I threw them out.
I vowed to NEVER make pickles again. All that work down the drain, or actually out to the chickens. The chickens loved them!
I next tried a product called Pickle Crisp, and I did get some fairly nice pickles. It is a granule that you add to each jar.
Put out by Ball you can usually find it where you buy canning supplies.
Pickle Crisp can be found at Amazon here.
But I don't want to always count on this product being available. (that self-reliant part of me goes deep!)
I found my solution! The low temperature process that I saw on the National Center for Home Food Preservation website works for me.
The trick with this method is a lower temperature process. The caution is that you must carefully monitor the temperature.
If you want to do this, use a thermometer and time things carefully. In addition, use this processing method ONLY with a tested recipe that specifically says low temperature pasteurization treatment.
Here is the pickle recipe and directions I used.
Guess what? It worked. I am now happily filling my jars and ending up with nice crunchy dill pickles. I'm happy, my family is happy! Give it a try!
Here is a brief explanation of the process.
Remember to use a thermometer and monitor your time carefully. And remember only use this with recipe that specifically state that it is compatible with this method.
Have your canner ready and half full of warm water. About 120 to 140 degrees F. Also have a kettle or other pot of hot water ready.
Place your filled jars in the half full canner. Now add hot water to 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Turn on your heat and warm water to 180 to 185 degrees. Use your thermometer and be sure this is maintained for 30 minutes. This is longer than the time indicated in the regular waterbath processing.
When 30 minutes is done turn your heat off and remove your jars to a counter to cool. Check the seals after the jars are completely cooled off. I usually leave mine until the next day and check them, label and store them.
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