Pickling: The Best Way for Beginners
THE HOT PACK METHOD:
1. Wash your jars.
2. Put the jars, mouth UP, on a cookie sheet or roasting pan. They can be damp.
3. Put the cookie sheet & jars into a COLD oven
4. Close oven door. Turn oven on to 250˚. (It is VERY important to obtain this temperature!)
5. Boil a pot of water.
6. 10 minutes before you need them, put the lids of the jars (and the rings) into the boiling water (212˚). Cover the pot and turn off heat. (Once again, it is VERY important to obtain this temperature!)
7. When ready to jar your pickles in boiling syrup, take the jars from the oven. Keep them on the sheet/pan for easy handling. Put them right next to your pot of boiling hot stuff.
8. Put your boiling hot stuff into the extremely hot jars.
9. When they are full, but still have about 1/4″ space at top, take a chopstick and give a quick swirl to release any trapped air bubbles among your fruit/chunks.
10. Put a lid from the boiling hot water bath on each jar.
11. Put a ring on and screw down the lids.
12. Place jars somewhere they can cool down slowly. I like to use a cookie rack so there’s a bit of airflow under there.
13. Be patient. Eventually you’ll hear “POP”, and you’ll know that a vacuum seal has been achieved. If none of your jars seal, or if a couple of jars don’t seal, that’s OK. Still usable! Just store them in the fridge instead of the pantry.
14. Label. Eat in winter when you miss summer most of all.