5 tips for making your own pickles!

pickle slices
Home canned pickles.

Pickles! It seems like everyone wants to make pickles this time of year. We get so many calls related to pickles; I will highlight just a few of the facts that we share with callers.


  • Use small cucumbers of a variety designed for pickling.
  • Use canning or pickling salt.  Other salts may result in cloudy brine.
  • Use commercially produced vinegar with 5% acidity.  Use white if you are concerned about brine color.
  • Recipes do exist for reduced salt pickles.  Don’t just cut back on the salt in your recipe, the product may be unsafe.  These recipes can be found in the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning.
  • Alum is not recommended in current pickle recipes.  Other products and processes are available.  Check with us at AnswerLine for some ideas.

Remember to use tested recipes for your pickles. Tested recipes will always include a boiling water bath processing time.

Liz Meimann

I received both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in Food Science at Iowa State University. I love to quilt, sew, cook, and bake. I spent many years gardening, canning, and preserving food for my family when my children were at home.

More Posts - Website

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Connect with us!

AnswerLine's Facebook page AnswerLine's Pinterest page
Email: answer@iastate.edu
Phone: (Monday-Friday, 9 am-noon; 1-4 pm)
1-800-262-3804 (in Iowa)
1-800-854-1678 (in Minnesota)