How do you keep your homemade pickles crispy?

I am canning pickles (using pickling cucumbers) but last year they got soggy and weren't crisp at all. Any tricks of the trade?

  • Posted by: Beth
  • July 21, 2015


Beth July 22, 2015
Thank you everyone! I really appreciate it.
AntoniaJames July 22, 2015
Brine the cucumbers for at least 12 hours before pickling.
Cut off the blossom end.
Process in a hot water bath, not boiling water. Generally, at normal altitudes, process for 30 minutes once the temperature reaches 185 degrees. It needs to remain at 180 - 185 degrees during the 30 minute processing time.
Hope this helps. ;o)
AntoniaJames July 22, 2015
Brine ratio is 3/4 cup kosher salt to 2 gallons cold water. ;o)
Trena H. July 22, 2015
The crispiest pickles I've made have been fermented. I once pickled 30 pounds of cucumbers, you read that correctly, that came out soft. I managed to use them all in relishes and sauces, but it took a year to eat them.
Midge July 22, 2015
I recently subbed black tea for alum in sweet pickles (, which discolored the pickles a bit but worked fine. I'm also fermenting sour pickles at the moment and added a few fig leaves to the crock. Will let you know how it turns out.
SusanKP July 21, 2015
Add some black tea leaves to the brine. I used about 5 tea bags to 3 liters of pickles. If you have them try some grape leaves or horseradish leaves.
hardlikearmour July 21, 2015
My parents would always add a grape leaf to the jar.
Nan July 22, 2015
Do you have a recipe for pickles with the grape leaf
kimhw July 21, 2015
Pickle them the same day you pick them.

Voted the Best Reply!

Matthew B. July 21, 2015
This is not a complete fix, but if you add about 1/8g of Alum per quart--which you can find in most baking or spice sections of your local grocery--it helps to maintain the nice snap for longer.
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