Ever noticed how those grocery store jarred pickles can come in a variety of flavors? That’s no accident. Pickling is a versatile way to inject flavor into your favorite cucumbers. However…. You have to be a bit careful with what you try to do for several reasons. There are some mainstays for the type of brine combination you want to use as well as the herbs you want to infuse with it.
Think Dill Seed for Pickling — But There Are Other Flavors, Too
Dill seed is the most common. In fact, many can’t help but think of pickled cucumbers when they smell dill! However, you can do some pretty nifty pickling when throwing in other stuff to round out the flavor and make for something so robust that you blow all the other supposed competition out of the water —
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Mustard Seed
- Celery Seed
- Black Peppercorn
Actually just about anything (except for sugary additives, of course) could work well with pickling cucumbers, so feel free to experiment. Chances are good you should always stick with your base dill seed flavoring, but you know what’s even more important?
The Brine: the Basis for Great Pickling All Depends on It
Among the many secrets on how to make a pickle, knowing how to make the brine itself is 101 right there. The traditional way to do it is to make it with equal parts cider vinegar with salted water. Simple as that. Rice vinegar, white wine vinegar, and other vinegars could also work. You then soak the cucumbers in the brine for a while. As in you wait before eating. Sure, that would be agony, because you love those brined pickles and the rich taste. But it’s well worth the wait.
Like we said…. It’s an art form. Give it a shot. Those cucumbers will be happy when you do.