Pickling Supplies and Tools
Pickling comes with its own supplies and ingredients. The following are essential tools to create that perfect pickle.
A recommended home canning jar comes in a several standard sizes ranging from pints to quarts. The two main brands in canning jars are Ball and Kerr.
However, glass containers that are used to fill commercially-made products such as mayo spreads can also be used as pickling jars. However, it is not safe to use commercial food product containers that are supposed to be used only once.
For each pickle recipe, make sure to use the appropriate size jar. Commercial canning jars or newly bought ones are not guaranteed to have been subjected to safe processing procedures so it is wise to sterilize them before packing pickles into it. Boiling-water canners can be more convenient as they already come with lids and bands.
Pickling spices are the mixture of spices that helps in inducing a depth of flavor to pickles. They are usually enfolded in a small pouch and cooked with the other pickle ingredients. Instead of being preserved with the pickle, the spices are taken out after the cooking process.
There are a variety of ingredients used which can vary greatly based on the traditional preferences of certain cuisines. A basic spice mixture often includes coriander seeds, black peppercorns, mustard seeds, cloves, ginger root, cinnamon stick, chilies, and bay leaves.
Store-packaged pickling spices are available in supermarkets or grocery stores. But to give that pickled food a homespun signature, it can be fun to make it at your own kitchen. You can easily make large portions or small packs of pickling spices for the next pickle batch. The pickling spice blend can be stored in an air-proof container for several months.
Vinegar for Pickling
Vinegar is one of the most important ingredients used in pickling foods. Use vinegar that has an acetic acidity level of five percent. Grocery stores now have a supply of vinegar that has only four percent acetic acid so shop scrupulously since vinegars of this type are not approved for making homemade pickles. Types of vinegars that typically have five percent acetic acid include white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and apple cider flavored distilled vinegar.
White vinegar has a soft acidic tang that establishes a smooth flavor and light color to the pickled vegetables. Apple cider vinegar leaves pickled products a darkened color but adds a fruity taste to the pickle. There is also apple cider flavored distilled vinegar incorporates white distilled vinegar with an apple cider flavoring. It tastes the same as apple cider vinegar.
A jar grabber is a convenient tool used for pulling out jars from the boiling water. There's no need for fumbling around with the pickle jars anymore as this handy grabbing tool simply lifts them up from any angle.
Funnels aid in the careful pouring of pickled ingredients into the sterilized jars. It spares you potential spills and unwanted ingredient leaks. There are different sized funnels for filling big and small jars and bottles. Also, customized funnels are popular choices for people storing their pickled foods in medium sized containers.
A lid lifter helps in removing jar lids safely and securely from scalding hot water. It ensures a firm grip on jar lids and allows the movement of the cover in any position. This item also decreases hand contact while keeps things tidy and sterile. Make sure to sanitize the lid lifter as well.
A crock looks like a pot or a small bucket that helps in the safe fermentation of pickled foods. The main purpose of this pickling item is to create tasty fermented vegetables that encourage good bacterial growth to fight off bad bacteria in raw foods.
Just about any vegetable can be pickled right from the crock. Crocks have been used as containers to pickle food for centuries. They are usually made of stoneware or ceramics. Ensure that there are no splinters and chips found on the crock for safe usage.
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