Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600557


For brining or fermenting pickles, use a crock or stone
jar, an unchipped enamel-lined pan, a large glass bowl or
jar, or a food-grade plastic container. Plastic containers
which are obviously intended for food use, like mixing
bowls, food keepers, or cake savers, are food grade. Large
food-grade plastic containers are available at wine-making
supply stores. Do not use plastic pails or trash cans for
brining pickles. Toxic compounds could migrate from these
containers into the brine.

For heating pickling liquids, use utensils of unchipped
enamelware, stainless steel, aluminum or glass. Do not use
copper, brass, galvanized or iron utensils.

A brine-filled plastic bag is an effective cover for
sealing the brine surface and keeping out air, thus
preventing the growth of yeast or mold. The bag should be
of heavyweight, watertight plastic and intended for use with
food. Fill the bag with enough brine (6 tablespoons salt
to 1 gallon of water) to form a tight-fitting cover over
the cabbage or cucumbers. Tie it tightly so the water will
not leak out.

For added protection, place the brine-filled bag inside
another heavyweight, watertight plastic bag intended for
food use. Check the bags daily for leaks. Replace
leaking bags.

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