Call us Toll free: 866-FILL-JAR
Pickle Tips
August 27, 2014 Canning, Canning 101, Pickles, Pickling, Preserving Recipes, Recipes

5 Tips for Crispy Pickles

(Updated July 1, 2020)

We don’t all have the space in our refrigerators to be squirrelling away “Refrigerator Pickles” to last us the year. Some recipes call for a “pickling agent”, but if you’re adverse to that, or if you really want to increase your crispy odds, here are some tips and recipes that should keep your crisp-o-meter happy!Boys&Pickles-Fillmore Container

  1. Freshly Picked – pickle them as close to the harvesting as possible!
  2. Smaller is Better – stick with pickling cucumbers that have not grown too much larger than your thumb. Turn those big ones into refrigerator pickles, or relish.
  3. Trim off the blossom end of your cucumbers. While this may seem wasteful, there’s an enzyme (pectinase) that will cause your pickles to become soft. Trim about 1/16 inch from that blossom end before pickling. Some people have seen improvements with adding a grape leaf which contains tannins – a substance which is thought to inhibit the pectinase.
  4. Pint or Smaller – try canning in pint jars or smaller – the larger jars will require longer processing which results in a softer end product.
  5. Try Low Temperature Pasteurization Treatment as described here by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. We hosted a class and made Garlic Dill Pickles with this method. You can get the recipe, and read more about low temperature pasteurization here.  Please note that you can only use this method if the recipe indicates that it is appropriate and be sure to monitor temperature carefully!

Post a Comment

  1. Spread Love (Shirley Posted July 18, 2016 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    You can also use (pointy) oak leaves to crisp up pickles.

  2. Linda M. Kiefer Posted July 22, 2016 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    You can freeze refrigerator pickles. The don’t suffer a bit. I freeze mine in pint plastic containers.

  3. canfoster60 Posted April 18, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    I do a fermented dill pickle that is to die for.

    • Gail Pickens Posted April 19, 2017 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Would love the recipe!!!! My husband is trying fermenting veggies now.

  4. Bill Posted April 18, 2017 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    Use Pickle Crisp.

  5. Karminder Brown Posted July 13, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    For crispy dill pickles of any size, in quart jars, soak the cucumbers in ice water bath for minimum of two hours (max 8 hours) before processing them. No agent or additive needed, just extra time, and they always come out crispy, even if the cukes are harvested from the garden gradually over a period of 1-2 weeks and stored in fridge until there are enough to make a big batch of pickles. Works every time!

  6. Diana Posted July 16, 2017 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Do you soak the cucumber whole are after you have sliced?

  7. Margie Posted April 22, 2021 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

    Good information. My pickles tend to be to soft after processing. I want to try Bread. & Butter this season. Will save this information. Hope to have better luck this time.

  8. Ray Gabrysch Posted July 15, 2021 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Another tip, let your cukes sit in ice water at least 3or 4 hours, rehydrate. I agree, fresh picked, refrigerate immediately, then rehydrate, only cook in submergered water for 8 mins.

  9. Peggy Nava Posted October 26, 2021 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Thank you!! I am always on the lookout for ways to make my pickles crisper, since my family is very picky about that. This was a treasure trove!

  10. Pingback What To Do With Large Cucumbers - Fillmore Container