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Is There a Universal Pickling Recipe?

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An Ask the Chef question sent in by a site user and answered by Food Channel Chef Allison Langford, Ed.D.
 
Q: Is there a universal pickling recipe for a medley of veggies?

--Teddi

A: A universal pickling recipe does not exist that is also supported by scientific research. The concentration of the brine, the amount of salt, and the length of time for the water bath are similar for many recipes, but these factors could change depending on what food is put in the jar. To provide a recipe for a “medley of veggies” would be impossible since it is the acidity and density of the vegetables that determines the factors listed above.
 
The National Center for Home Food Preservation cautions, “Do not alter vinegar, food, or water proportions in a recipe…” and “Use only recipes with tested proportions of ingredients.”
 
There are older resources (from the 1800’s and early 1900’s) and many blog sites that provide a universal recipe, but I would recommend following the scientifically-supported suggestions of the NCHFP.