Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600867



4 lb. of 2- to 5-inch pickling cucumbers
(If packed whole, use cucumbers of uniform size)
3/4 cup canning or pickling salt (separated - 1/4 cup each
on the 1st, 3rd and 5th days)
2 tbsp. mixed pickling spices
2 tsps. celery seed
5-l/2 cups sugar
4 cups vinegar (5% acidity)

YIELD: About 5 to 9 pints

PROCEDURE: Wash cucumbers. Cut l/l6-inch slice off
blossom end and discard, but leave l/4-inch of stem
attached. Place whole cucumbers in suitable 1-gallon
container. Add l/4 cup salt to 2 quarts water and bring
to a boil. Pour over cucumbers. Add suitable cover and
weight. Place clean towel over container and keep the
temperature at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit. On the third
and fifth days, drain salt water and discard. Rinse
cucumbers and rescald cover and weight. Return cucumbers
to container. Add l/4 cup salt to 2 quarts fresh water and
boil. Pour over cucumbers. Replace cover and weight, and
re-cover with clean towel. On the seventh day, drain salt
water and discard. Rinse cucumbers and rescald containers,
cover and weight. Slice or strip cucumbers, if desired,
and return to container. Place celery seed and pickling
spices in small cheesecloth bag. Combine 2 cups sugar and
4 cups vinegar in a saucepan. Add spice bag, bring to a
boil and pour pickling solution over cucumbers. Add cover
and weight and re-cover with clean towel. On each of the
next six days, drain syrup and spice bag and save liquid.
Add l/2 cup sugar to the liquid each day and bring to a
boil in a saucepan. Remove cucumbers and rinse. Scald
container, cover and weight daily. Return cucumbers to
container, add boiled syrup, cover, weight, and re-cover
with towel. On the fourteenth day, drain syrup into
saucepan. Fill hot sterile pint jars (see directions below
for sterilizing jars) or clean quart jars, leaving l/2-inch
headspace. Add l/2 cup sugar to syrup and bring to boil.
Remove spice bag. Pour hot syrup over cucumbers, leaving
l/2-inch headspace. Adjust lids and process as below
or use low-temperature pasteurization treatment (see
directions below).

Sterilization of Empty Jars

To sterilize empty jars, place them right side up on
the rack in a boiling-water canner. Fill the canner and
jars with hot (not boiling) water to 1 inch above the tops
of the jars. Boil 10 minutes at altitudes of less than
1,000 feet. At higher elevations, boil 1 additional minute
for each additional 1,000 feet elevation. Remove and drain
hot sterilized jars one at a time as filled.


Process Times at Altitudes of

of Jar 0- 1001- 6001-
Pack Size 1000 ft. 6000 ft. 8000 ft.

Raw Pints 5 min. 10 min. 15 min.
Raw Quarts 10 15 20

Low-Temperature Pasteurization Treatment For Processing


The following treatment results in a better product
texture but must be carefully managed to avoid possible
spoilage. Place jars in a canner filled half way with warm
(120 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) water. Then, add
hot water to a level 1 inch above jars. Heat the water
enough to maintain 180 degrees to 185 degrees Fahrenheit
water temperature for 30 minutes. Check with a candy or
jelly thermometer to be certain that the water temperature
is at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit during the entire 30
minutes. Temperatures higher than 185 degrees Fahrenheit
may cause unnecessary softening of pickles.

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