Pickling, preserving questions

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by upallnight, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    This summer I made pickles with these Ball jars. They were good, we ate them. I don't know if I did it right if I want to actually preserve them on a shelf. My cousin bought me a book on preserving and canning with all kinds of recipes.
    When I made them this summer, I just put vinegar and mustard seed, dill, and garlic in with the cuc's. I didn't boil anything, I didn't use cheesecloth for the spices, and don't own any thermometer or canning device. Every recipe in the book calls for boiling and all that other stuff.

    Here is my question, I just made beets, carrots, and pickles by just pouring vinegar on them. Will they last, or should I just eat them real quick? I did put dill and garlic in with the pickles and carrots. My kitchen is a mess, oh I did boil the beets first before peeling and cutting, but I only added vinegar.TIA
  2. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    Keep them in the fridge and they will keep for quite awhile. If you want to preserve them on the shelf, you need to do a hot water bath with them. It is easy and not nearly as touchy as they try to tell you. Basically, follow your pickle recipe. Before you fill the jars, scald them with boiling water. Add the pickles. Fill the jars to within about half an inch of the top. Put the canning lids in boiling water; without touching the inside, put them on the jars, screw on the rings and drop them in a deep kettle of boiling water so they are completely covered. Boil them about 10 minutes; take them out, put them out of the draft and let them cool. As they cool, the lids should seal - you should hear a pinging sound and the tops will be indented in the middle. If you're not sure they're sealed, after they're cool, tap them lightling with a metal knife. The ones that are sealed will make a dinging sound and the ones that aren't will be more of a dull thud. If they are sealed, they'll keep for months and months. This works for any pickles with vinegar and also with acid foods like tomatoes. It doesn't work with just veggies out of vinegar - for them you need a pressure canner which is a whole other process but pickles are pretty easy.
  3. 1905

    1905 Well-Known Member

    Thanks mm, for all that info. I'm going to print that and save it. I'll do that next time, I'll keep it all in the fridge. I'm sure they won't last very long anyway.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    Why do you have to boil the lids? Don't they cool anyway when you take them out to put them on the jars???
  5. ThreeShadows

    ThreeShadows Quid me anxia?

    AnnieO, I used to leave the lids in a saucepan of boiled water until I was sealing the filled jars. That's to keep bacteria from contaminating the product.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    A couple of additions to mm's list...
    1) the lids need to be in water that is actively boiling, for at least 5 minutes; then turn the heat down, and take them out as needed. You can get a little "magnet on a stick" in the canning section of your grocery store, designed to pull one lid at a time out of boiling water.

    2) you need something on the bottom of your kettle, to keep the jar from touching the bottom. If you're using a formal "canner", it has a wire rack for that purpose. Otherwise, at least put a dishcloth or a metal trivet or something. Otherwise, the direct heat can break the jar.

    A formal canner... I have the "big one" and it can take 7 jars (either quarts or pints) at a time... but it's not designed for "one at a time" as it takes a long time to get that much water up to a boil.