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Video:How to Make Pickles

with Richard Ruben

If you love pickles, you can easily make homemade pickles that taste amazing with just a few simple ingredients. See how to make your own pickled cucumbers.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Make Pickles

Hi. Richard Ruben here, Chef Instructor at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City and we’re here with About.com. And today, we’re taking these cute little cucumbers and we’re making pickles. But before you do any kind of canning or preserving, you need to think about safety.

Sterilizing Pickling Supplies

So, to sterilize your jars you can either place them in boiling water for about six minutes then carefully remove them with a pair of sterilized tongs or alternatively we can make a sterilizing solution. Using one quart of water to one tablespoon of bleach. And I’m just going to fill up my jars and let this sit for a few minutes, drain it out, and let them air dry.

Picking Good Cucumbers

Now, I must say, I’m a little militant about my cucumbers. When I want to pickle them, I look for small ones. They’re too large too swollen, too large of a seed pocket, I’m not going to get the crunch that I like later on the year.

Spicing Your Cucumbers

I like to fragrant my cucumber pickles with some internal leaves of celery. Some garlic, some whole black pepper corns, and this is my basic fragrance elements. Then, you want to take your cucumbers and you want to shove 'em in there like soldiers waiting to be called up into action. Really nice and tight.

They will kind of shrink a little as they pickle, because they’ll be releasing water, so, while it’s really tight in here right now, later on, after they’re finished, you’re going to be able to extract a little more easily then you actually would realize.

Making the Brine

We need to make a basic brine. What does that mean? Well, brine, briney… if that word means anything to you it’s salty. And a brine is the preserving liquid. And for us in pickling the brine is going to be one quart of distilled vinegar, two cups of water, and about ¾’s of a cup of salt.

We take those three items, bring it to the boil, make sure that the salt has dissolved and you have a basic brining medium. Good for cucumbers, good for beets, good for carrots. It’s a great basic formula.

Pour Brine Over Cucumbers

So, our brine has come to the boil and the salt has completely dissolved. Now, while the brine is still hot I want to pour it over the cucumbers. You want to make sure that your cucumbers are completely submerged. If you find you’ve run out of brine, but your cucumbers are a little exposed at the top – just cap it off with a little bit of vinegar. And you’ll be fine.

Store Pickles in Refrigerator

At this point let’s secure it with the lid nice and tight. Put it in the back of the refrigerator, to avoid temptation, and let it sit for a minimum of two weeks. Then, start crunching.

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