A real pickle question!

I'm making pickled, brined vegetables - beets from the garden - and the recipe says to let the brine solution cool before pouring it over the vegetables in jars. Is it really necessary to allow the solution to cool first? Also, I'd love some opinions on what flavors to add to the jar - fennel, corriander, etc?

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7 Comments

Anitalectric March 1, 2011
@Nora. Thanks! Yes. I made those pickles for my Dad last father's day.

I like to do the raw vegetables with chilled brine because they come out so crisp and flavorful. The only downside is that they have to stay refrigerated. But the upside is that they pickle in one night! And I like them ice cold, anyway.

I love that you and your husband both make pickles but they are totally different kinds. What a match made in heaven!
 
Nora March 1, 2011
I'm accustomed to pouring hot hot hot brine over the vegs snd spices in the jar. But my husband does a cool or room temp brine with his pickles. Could be an all of the above thing.

Anitalectric, beautiful photo. Your pickles?
 
Sundayinthekitchen March 1, 2011
Mustard seed, coriander, cardamom pods, fennel, plain ol' black pepper, garlic, chili peppers and chunks of ginger are my faves. I agree w/ Anitalectric ... the warm water may make your veg soggy. Better to wait just in case.
 
Anitalectric March 1, 2011
I strongly recommend letting it cool because you will get a crisper texture to your vegetables. If the brine is too hot it might cook the vegetables and make the pickles wimpy and slimy.

My favorite homemade pickles have, in addition to the great ingredients mentioned above, at least two jalepeno peppers per jar!
Answer image
 
boulangere February 28, 2011
Gosh yes! If you use garlic, be sure to check for accurate processing time - risk of botulism, which would be a little too much of a science experiment.
 
student E. February 28, 2011
i'm a big fan of tumeric, mustard seed, and garlic too!
 
boulangere February 28, 2011
You likely want for all the jars' contents to be at the same temp before processing. As for additional flavors, oh yeah! Fennel, corriander, great; dill, even thyme. It's all a science experiment!
 
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