Pickled vegetables are quick and easy to make, delicious, and highly addictive. They’re also an amazing way to preserve your bounty of produce. Pickles can be made with any vegetable or fruit you like – cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, onions, green beans…the list goes on! In this article, we’ll discuss how quick pickling works so that you can go home and try it out for yourself.
What is this Process All About?
Quick pickling is a quick way to infuse your food with the taste of vinegar. Rather than spending hours in fermentation, quick pickles are ready within an hour or two! They’re also much easier to make since they only require three ingredients: vegetables, vinegar, and salt.
The quick pickling process works best with vegetables that are fresh and recently harvested. They should also be free of bruises or damage to ensure they don’t get mushy while quick pickling.
The Process for Quick Pickling Vegetables
Start by combining vinegar, salt, and water in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil over high heat while you prepare your produce.
Once it reaches boiling point, pour this brine into an airtight jar (mason jars work well for quick pickling). Then add your prepared vegetables – cucumbers need only be quartered while onions should be sliced.
Once vegetables are added, put the lid on your jar and let it cool to room temperature. Then move it to the refrigerator for quick pickling.
Quick pickles are ready in about an hour or two! They can be stored at room temperature for up to a week before their flavor starts to deteriorate. Quick pickled vegetables should always be refrigerated once opened.
Do You Need Some Gear to Do It?
Mason jars are quick pickling essential for many reasons. They’re easy to find, cheap, and work beautifully as quick-pickle storage containers! You can also write the date on them so you know how old your quick pickles are.
Another quick pickling tool worth investing in is a mandolin slicer. The super sharp blades of a mandolin slicer are perfect for quick pickling vegetables, especially if they’re thinly sliced.
If you have neither mason jars nor a mandolin on hand, don’t sweat it! You can quickly pickle your produce in an airtight container that’s oven-safe – Pyrex works perfectly for this purpose.
Regardless of what quick pickling equipment you use, quick pickled vegetables are delicious and easy to make! Try them out yourself.
What Vegetables Can You Pickle?
Pretty much anything! Cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, beans…the list goes on. However not all vegetables are quick pickling friendly – leafy greens, in particular, should never be quick-pickled due to their quick spoilage rate if left in the brine for too long.
What About Fermentation?
There is a lot of talk about quick pickling versus fermentation. Basically, quick pickles are vinegar-infused vegetables while fermented vegetables rely on naturally occurring lactic acid in the food to create a similar taste and texture over time (think sauerkraut). Both quick pickling and fermentation come with their own set of benefits as well as drawbacks.
Quick pickling is quick and easy, while fermentation takes a bit more time. Quick pickled vegetables have better flavor but do not last as long (one to two weeks) whereas fermented veggies can last for months with proper storage!
Should Vegetables be Fresh?
Yes! The quick pickling process works best with vegetables that are fresh and recently harvested. They should also be free of bruises or damage to ensure they don’t get mushy while quick pickling.
How Long Do Pickled Vegetables Last?
Pickled vegetables last for up to three months when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They’re quick to make and last for a long time!
What Dishes Can be Made with These?
With quick-pickled vegetables, the possibilities are really endless! You can add them to salads or use them as an appetizer with hummus. They’re also delicious on sandwiches and burgers – try quick-pickling some cucumbers for your next veggie burger!
How Long Does it Take to Make Quick Pickle Vegetables?
Quick pickled vegetables take about two hours to prepare and another hour or so for them to pickle.
Can You Quick Pickle Fruits?
Unfortunately, quick pickling fruits is a little harder than quick-pickling veggies since they don’t contain high enough amounts of natural sugars (and therefore lactic acid) to ferment on their own. However quick-pickling fruits are possible by fermenting fruit juice or honey water instead!
Who Can Benefit from Quick Pickles?
Anyone! Since quick pickling is fast, it’s the perfect way to preserve your produce when you live in a small space or don’t have much time. You can also use quick-pickled vegetables as part of an appetizer platter or just enjoy them on their own for a quick snack.
Are Quick Pickled Vegetables Good For You?
Yes! Quick pickled vegetables are quick and easy to make, cheap, and delicious. They also last for a long time so you can prepare quick-pickled veggies way in advance – just remember that the pickling process takes about one hour or more depending on what type of quick pickles you’re making.
What Can I Use If I Don’t Have Pickling Spice?
If quick pickling veggies is your goal, you can either make quick-pickling spice yourself with the recipe provided above or buy quick pickling spices online.
What is Pickling Spice Made Of?
Pickling spice is made up of a blend of spices that are commonly quick-pickled with (usually includes mustard seeds, bay leaves, allspice berries, coriander seeds, dill seed, or heads).