Crispy, crunchy dill pickle question

July 17, 2019

Dill pickle question: I have a recipe (Linda Lou's Heinz Dill Pickles) that I got here years ago, which my family loves. Planning to make a bunch soon, but I wondered, how can I make them crunchy? I've tried pickle crisp, middling results. Many recipes call for grape leaves (for the tannins, perhaps?), but I don't have access to those. Are there any tricks out there that I don't know about? Loose tea leaves (tannins) maybe? Thanks!

Comments (3)

  • HighColdDesert

    My cuke pickles weren't crunchy so I tried watermelon rind instead, and it came out great! After a couple weeks in the brine, the watermelon rind, which would be too hard to enjoy eating raw, softens up to become the texture/hardness of a fresh cucumber. Perfect!

    When I have a watermelon with a thick rind, I serve it by cutting off the rind instead of letting people bite it themselves. Cut off all the pink parts because those go soft. Peel off the dark thin rind with a veg peeler. Cut into fat matchsticks or chunks. Then I pack it in jars with a 50-50 vinegar-water brine just as I used to do for cukes, with salt and dill and whatever other spices are wanted. I close the jars and immerse them in boiling water for 5 to 8 minutes, and then they'll keep on the shelf for months.

    Now I'm into fermenting pickles and I've been making kimchi and Indian pickles so I haven't made any vinegar pickles for a couple of years. I'd like to learn how to make fermented dill pickles with cucumbers or watermelon rind.

  • LoneJack Zn 6a, KC

    I use the Mrs. Wages packet mixes and add 1/4 heaping tsp. of pickle crisp per quart jar (1/8 tsp. per pint). I think the key to crispy pickles is to process them within a couple hours of picking and pick them ASAP in the morning before it gets hot. As soon as I get them into the kitchen I put them into a sink filled with ice water before washing and trimming the blossom ends which also helps.

    Are you making whole pickles or chips/spears? It's easiest to keep whole pickles crispy.

  • defrost49

    I thought brined pickles stayed crunchy because they don't get cooked by the canning process. There are plenty of fermenting recipes out there and I have been happy with some of the recipes. I haven't tried dill pickles yet but I'd love to reproduce the green tomato pickles some restaurants serve. A Chicago restaurant said they made their own in the kitchen and just kept them refrigerated.

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